Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Werewolf Week Continues! Swamp Thing in "Monster On the Moors"

Welcome back to Werewolf Week, Groovesters! As I promised yesterday, we're heading back to 1973 (almost exactly one year before Batman #255--ain't time travel a trip?) to focus on another wily wolf-man as we keep on truckin' toward...I've already expounded on the greatness of Len Wein in a few different posts, so there's no need to keep beating that drum. If you don't realize by now that "Live-it-up" Len was one of the Groovy Age's shining stars, you ain't never gonna see the light, brother! As for Swampy's artist, Harris (He Ain't My Cousin) Smith over at Negative Pleasure is doing a great series of tributes to Bernie Wrightson. (Hope he leaves me something to say here, later on!) I guess that means there's really nothing left for Ol' Groove to do but get outta the way and get on with the story! So, from Swamp Thing #4, January, 1973, Messrs. Wein and Wrightson, along with letterer Gaspar Saladino, colorist Tatjana Wood, and editor Joe Orlando introduce us to the coolest-looking werewolf ever..."The Monster On the Moors"! As you can see, our favorite muck monster has been in a plane crash. Seems he was hitching a ride and weighed the plane down, either causing it to use too much fuel or overworking its engine or somesuch. Main thing: the plane crashed in Scottland (and don't dare play "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" around Swampy). For the next few pages, we witness an old couple, Angus and Jenna Mac Cobb, retrieving the survivors, Abby Arcane, Matt Cable, and the pilot, from the wreckage and loading them up on a wagon. They speak cryptically about someone else beating them to the wreck and losing "another one" as the Swamp Thing watches them load his comrades into their wagon. When they leave, he follows them...For the next few pages, Cable explains the details of the crash to the Mac Cobbs, while and eaves-dropping Swamp Thing fills in the missing details (for the reader) of how he helped the plane land more safely by using his own body as a brake. Of course, he can't just shamble in and tell his friends and the Mac Cobbs his side of the story; they'd freak out and Cable'd try to kill him.

Then the pilot decides to go out to check the plane's damage (he should'a been wearing a red shirt...)

Poor pilot. Throat ripped out! Brrrr! Nope, Swampy, you're certainly not the only monster on them there moors...meet the Mac Cobbs' son, Ian...Now growing up, I always heard that there were only two reasons for a guy to have hair on his palms...and since this is a family-friendly blog, I'm guessing that Ian might just be our lycanthropic lurker. Later that night, our band of misplaced misfits begins to hear strange noises outside. Cable decides to investigate, and the real fun begins!
Meanwhile, the Mac Cobbs serve Cable and Abby some doped sherry (more classy than the gas Wein had Lupus use on Batman, I s'pose). They have plans for curing Ian of the full-body fur coat he grows during the full moon...with Cable's blood!
Now that's a werewolf, man!

Always let that be a lesson to you, Groove-ophiles; if you have kids who might have a touch of werewolfism, don't have silver-trimmed chandeliers hanging around the house!

Tomorrow: Doug Moench! Mike Zeck! Solomon Kane! And "The Silver Beast Beyond Torkertown!" Be here as Werewolf Week rolls on!



2 comments:

  1. That full page image of the werewolf is one of my favorite comics panels of all time.

    I agree that is some werewolf.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Only two problems with the full page of the werewolf (which is still classic): one: MacCobb's wife must have crawled down the attic stairs that the Swamp Thing was on, because her head is absolutely in the WRONG place for perspective if she were standing upon the floor with everyone else. OOPS! Two: the werewolf, though fearsomely realized for the most part, has TINY feet (much, much smaller than his humanoid hands) which could never support that large upper body). OOPS AGAIN! Looks kinda silly in that light, eh? Oh, well...

    ReplyDelete

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