Friday, December 13, 2013

The Parliament of Worlds

"The Parliament of Worlds" from Swamp Thing vol.2 #171 (Vertigo, 1996) by Mark Millar, Phil Hester and Kim DeMulder
From issue 31, Saga of the Swamp Thing lost the three first words of the title, and remained, simply, Swamp Thing until its cancellation at #171. So where in that very long run would I go for a splash page? After the title change, Alan Moore continued his seminal run for almost three more years. Rick Veitch then did a couple years, including if I remember correctly, the Green's battle with the Gray. That storyline was reprised in the New52 as Swampy's fight with the Rot, and funnily enough, the run ended in a very New52 way, with the writer quitting because of editorial interference (DC refused to publish an issue that featured Jesus as a character despite approving the script ahead of time). Then, a period when people weren't really reading Swamp Thing anymore, followed by horror novelist Nancy A. Collins who went to a mix of horror tropes and family drama (by then, Alec and Abby had conceived a daughter, Tefé). Though I dutifully read this run, it was mostly because I was reading anything Vertigo, and the run was never that interesting to me. So it had to be the final run, written by Mark Millar and possibly ghost-written/plotted by Grant Morrison, with art by Phil Hester that proves to be a surprising favorite. A lot of weirdness, of course, but also an epic final arc in which Swamp Thing defeats the champions of various "Parliaments" and takes on their duties until he becomes the Earth's sole elemental and gets invited to the Parliament of Worlds. A great idea, and a great way to the series, it inspired one of my "Bubble World" articles, so here's that splash again.

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