Our next book club selection is one of the most famous comics runs in history, Alan Moore's 1980s Swamp Thing run. Moore took what started as a rather cheesy action comic into a gothic, cerebral, and quite adult series. Swamp Thing becomes more than a monster in the first issue and the series gets even less conventional and more creative from there. Here are discussion questions for this month:
1. Many reboots of obscure superheroes have been done. What did Alan Moore do differently?
2. Swamp Thing is a small part of the DC Universe, protecting only "the Green" and his swamp in Louisiana. How do Moore and other writers make him important DC storylines?
3. What is the importance of Abigail in Swamp Thing's life?
4. Many of Moore's Swamp Thing arcs focus on the characters and happenings around him rather than himself. One later arc sees Abby defending her love for Swamp Thing, another involves Constantine and the fate of Hell. Nolan's Batman films seem to follow the same formula of not focusing too much on the hero. What are your thoughts on this storytelling technique?
5. Other than Moore's run on Swamp Thing, it seems the character has not had much success staying on for extended series. Why is this? Does a horror/fantasy character not fit in the DC universe?
6. Is it inevitable that a hero must die for a reboot to happen?
7. What did you think of the inclusion of the Floronic Man? What was Moore's thinking in introducing a character in the DC Universe with similar powers?
8. The film and television adaptations of Swamp Thing failed spectacularly. One reviewer of USA's live action Swamp Thing said it wasn't even entertainingly bad. What's so difficult about getting the character right?
9. The story arcs occasionally touch on environmentalism and a Bigfoot-esque hunt for Swamp Thing. Was Moore wise not to focus more on these ideas?
10. Moore was writing Watchmen simultaneously with Swamp Thing for a while. Did you see any evidence or hints of this?
11. Swamp Thing was the first to abandon the Comics Code Authority and cater to adults. Is this evident? What effect does that have on the series and other comics released at the time?