(2001) Alan Moore et al, Titan Books, £13.99, trd pbk, 208pp, ISBN 1-84023-318-4
This fourth Swamp Thing collection completes the "American Gothic/Great Darkness Saga" storyline begun in volume 3, The Curse, and comprises issues 43-50 (Dec '85 to July '86) of the original series. This storyline was the first to feature the character John Constantine, who went on to star in his own comic, Hellblazer, and also features nearly all the DC Comics supernatural heroes and, in large part, contributes to a complete overhaul of the DC Universe. From the moment that Moore took over Swamp Thing in 1983 he, along with the rest of the 'Brit Pack', utterly transformed comics as we know them, incidentally doing away with the sanitisation of the Comics Code Authority and directly bringing about the creation of DC's 'mature readers only' imprint Vertigo. Moore's sophisticated stories brought about a complete transformation of the much-loved Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing and sparked a total re-think of the entire comics industry. And welcome it was too! So it is with much delight that, a decade and a half after their first appearance, these stories are received. Join Swampy, the Phantom Stranger, the demon Etrigan, Deadman, Dr. Fate and others as they confront the Great Darkness and witness comics history as it was made. I couldn't possibly recommend this book enough.
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