Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Decent Comics: "Rebirth and Nightmare" by Conway and Redondo

Okay, Groove-ophiles: the cover of Swamp Thing #23 (March 1976) claims, and I quote, "Because YOU asked for it!" What Ol' Groove wants to know is, which one'a you asked for "The New Swamp Thing"? C'mon, fess up! That horribly generic new logo, the super-silly (but oh-so-1970s) super-villain... But ya know, other than that--what writer Gerry Conway and artist Nestor Redondo isn't too terribly different from the Conway-scripted fill-ins (issues 19-20). Still and all, all the hype on the cover is too little, too late as we'll see next month. Meantime, prepare for..."Rebirth and Nightmare!"
Cover art by Ernie Chan (Chua)


















8 comments:

  1. Poor Swamp Thing. He started in such glory in House of Secrets # 92 and came to a merciful end in ST # 24. His was a title so shaped by original creators Wein and Wrightson that any stepping down from that was a massive chipping away of quality. Those 10 issues (with the first seven especially) remain a Mount Rushmore of comics done with the utmost greatness.

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    Replies
    1. If you are able to see #10 in black-and-white (I saw a French reprint in the early '80s) it is AMAZING. Great Wrightson work. He largely moved away from the lush brusnwork of those earlier issues, and experimented with penwork that led to his Franklin Booth-inspired FRANKENSTEIN illustrations.

      Regards,

      Chris A.

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    2. Growing up a comics fan in the 80s, I inherited the received wisdom that post-Len & Berni (and pre-Alan Moore) Swamp Thing was worthless. So, I was shocked when I (very belatedly) discovered these Nestor Redondo issues. Most of the writing doesn't stand up to Len, although David Michelinie did a pretty good few issues as a beginner in the business, but I can't believe I deprived myself of Nestor's work for so long. Wrightson's Swamp Thing is the gold standard, but Nestor's work was higher quality than pretty much everything else DC was putting out at that time (think Delbo, Heck, Colletta, Blaisdell, Giella, et. al). I'll say the same about Marty Pasko & Tom Yeates' tragically overlooked early 80's Swamp Thing, which was great, solid horror that paved the way for Moore, Gaiman, and company, IMO.

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  2. I love those 70's one dimensional villians with a gimmick who you would see once and never again. When you really think about it is there any difference between Sabre and someone like Punisher who also started out as a bad guy. I guess Sabre has a slightly less plausible origin.

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  3. That new logo is a horror in itself.

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  4. The cover art is by Ernie Chua (he was called Ernie Chan at Marvel). Nestor Redondo's interior page drawings are of a much higher quality. Dreadful logo! The old one by Gaspar Saladino was so much better. I didn't mind the 17th century riding boots on the villain, except he didn't ride a horse at all! A funny mishmash of a costume. The whole thing was falling apart at this point. One more issue, and it was all over, but Nestor jumped ship with this one.

    Regards,
    Chris A.

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  5. I'd have to check comics.org or a similar source, but of hand I'd guess Nestle Redondo went to Pendulum Press after Swamp Thing to adapt several classic novels into comics form, then, with his brother Frank & other Filipino artists, opened the Redondo studio where he handled accounts like the Marx, Lenin, Mao, & Christ comic book for Open Doors in 1977 & drew over Joe Kubert's layouts in Ragman #1-5 in 1977-78. Somewhere in that time Nestle was working on the Knights of the Round Table treasury edition when the DC implosion occurred & it never saw print.

    Regards,

    Chris A.

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    Replies
    1. Autocorrect is bothersome! I wrote "off hand" & Nestor which were changed to of hand & Nestle!

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