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When Alan Moore came to DC to write Swamp Thing, he had already made a name for himself in England with 2000 AD and his early works, including V For Vendetta, The Ballad of Halo Jones, Marvelman (later renamed Miracleman when published here in the States), and more. But it was his legendary work on the Swamp Thing series that broke him into the big time and made the name "Alan Moore" synonymous with "genius" amongst conic book fans.
Saga of the Swamp Thing is a reprint of Moore's first story arc of the series (issues #21 through 27), the groundbreaking series that shook the entire comics industry. This was the first mainstream series to defy the archaic, outdated Comics Code (Marvel had done it earlier with Spider-man's drug issues, but this was the first series to abandon the Code completely); it was the first step towards "serious" mainstream comic books that catered more towards adults (and gave birth to DC's "Vertigo" line); it took an old has-been DC character that no one knew what to do with and breathed new life into him; and it also gave us a pair of wicked stories that are a sheer delight to read. Swamp Thing discovers his "true" origin in the saga of "The Anatomy Lesson," and he meets a horror from beyond death in "The Monkey King," while encountering several "minor" DC characters who had never been cast in the way they appeared in this series. (Moore's virtual re-writing of Etrigan the Demon sparked a new interest in the character, leading him to several spin-off books of his own.) And we mustn't forget the fantastic, haunting, beautiful, terrifying artwork of Steve Bissette and John Totleben, who made the pages fairly glow with life, as they turned the "swamp" world of the Swamp Thing into an eerie, beautiful, mysterious realm where life and death hide in every pool, waiting to spring out at you.
This book comprises the first half of an unforgettable comic book saga, laying the groundwork for a horrific tale that would cliax with a journey into Hell itself. When paired with the second reprint volume of the saga, Love and Death, Saga of the Swamp Thing shines as an early example of the genius of Alan Moore, the man who nearly single-handledly took the genre of mainstream comic books and turned it into a "serious" literary art form.