Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Swamp Thing Annual #1

Will the Narration Boxes in this issue be in the voice of Liev Schreiber?

I have two annuals left before I'm done with all of the comic books in my to-read pile. But there's no anticipation for them. I'm not excited to read them at all. And since I'm in no way anticipating a good read from The Swamp Thing annual, might I suggest you just skip reading this commentary and enjoy some Future Retard instead?

This issue begins with an enormous Swamp Thing reacting to the news that Abigail Arcane is dead. The editors decide to drop a note for any regular readers stricken with a moment of What the Fuck?

Hopefully he's super-sized because he just consumed all of the rotten Teen Titans.

This opening scene doesn't have anything to do with the annual's story which is a tale told by the Parliament, full of bullshit and ancient history, signifying I'm out five bucks. This story begins with a very young Alec Holland having been invited to the Carpathian Mountains, Abigail's homeland, for reasons I've yet to read. And then I read the reasons!

The town which has not been named (possibly Latveria?) has absolutely no vegetation due to a soviet nuclear accident of some kind. And since Holland has been getting really good grades in Botany in college, he's been invited over by a Dr. Doom Mr. Arcane to help restore the town. That Arcane! What a philanthropic leader.

Or insane monster.

While Anton Arcane hems his suit, Alec Holland studies the landscape surrounding the castle. After seeing no vegetation at all, he suddenly spies some purple flowers growing in the distance. He heads out to investigate and runs into Abigail Arcane. Alec is no Donald Draper because he doesn't immediately fuck her while they both remain ninety percent clothed. Instead, they flirt innocently enough in the shadow of Anton Arcane's gigantic phallus.

Sorry about spoiling sixty percent of all Mad Men episodes with that Donald Draper line!

Abby decides to give Alec a tour of the still unnamed town Since she calls the flowers Alec finds, "The Flower," I suppose the town is simply called "The Town."

Although it might be called Castle Grayskull.

Alec and Abby tour the town and share some chemistry. Whatever happens in this annual, I'm beginning to suspect it'll set the foundation for the story about how Abby survived the plane crash. Although I'm not sure how much of that stuff matters at this point since, once again, there is no way the year that has passed that killed everyone on Earth is going to remain actual continuity!

So Alec and Abby feel like they've met somewhere before which leads to first base.

Who the hell has she been kissing in this town? Everyone is either really old, really young, or full of radiation sores.

Alec dumps a shitload of Foxglove seeds in the river just outside Grayskull Village. These foxgloves may become important later! After this, he makes a date with Abby for breakfast and then heads back to Castle Von Doom for a chat with Anton Arcane. And after the chat, he'll settle down with a nice cup of being murdered.

Alec studies The Flower and discovers it's just a bunch of rotting organic material that's pretending to be a flower. It also causes memory loss which Abby was complaining about. That's also enough to explain why Abby and Alec never retain this memory of meeting each other. I think I need a few of those flowers so I can forget how much I hate The Ravagers. Maybe then I'll be excited for each new issue! Although I'll be horribly disappointed after each new issue as well. So I'd better make sure I have a lot of The Flowers. Maybe I already have some and I've forgotten where I put them?

Anton Arcane checks in on Alec to make sure he's ready to be killed. He is! So Arcane knocks him out with the Rot Flowers. But one of the Parliament of Trees gives its life to save Alec. It uproots itself from The Green and travels through the Foxglove seeds into Grayskull Village. It grabs Alec and escapes with him although Alec's mind has already been fogged up by the Rot Flower. The Parliamentary Swamp Thing manages to deliver Alec to Jason Woodrue so that Woodrue can transport him back to Louisiana. In exchange for his service to The Green, Woodrue will be rewarded. I think he'll be turned into the Floronic Man or something crazy like that.

And that's the end of that story. Which leads to the end of the main story.

Hopefully you just took my earlier advice and read Future Retard.

Swamp Thing Annual #1 Rating: Forgetful. Ha ha! That was a play on words. What it actually was was kind of cute and funny. Not much horror in cute and funny though. No wonder Alec Holland was allowed to forget it. This is a horror comic, not a teen romance.

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