Howard the Duck 5 (September 1976)

Howard the Duck #5

If you’re a duck stuck in the Marvel Universe, how are you going to earn some quick cash? Wrestling, of course. Everyone knows fighting crime doesn’t pay and you’ve got to look out for number one!

Howard and Beverly are having money troubles–I love how Gerber gets around to discussing the obvious logic problems in Howard (I can only hope there’s the sleeping situation issue)–and Howard tries finding a job of his own.

Beverly’s modeling gig isn’t going to make them millionaires, after all.

His misadventures get him on TV–fighting a clown (the clown did hit him with a cream pie)–and then working as a collection agent. Not any kind of work for a respectable duck, hence the wrestling for ten grand.

There’s a lot humor, but Colan’s pencils really show the humanity of it all. Gerber works some considerable magic with Howard the Duck’s thoughtfulness.

CREDITS

I Want Mo-o-oney!; writers, Martin Pasko and Steve Gerber; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Steve Leialoha; colorist, Michele Wolfman; letterers, Gaspar Saladino and Irving Watanabe; editor, Marv Wolfman; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Star Trek 13 (April 1981)

Star Trek #13

It's another high concept issue from Pasko. He's got McCoy meeting his estranged daughter for the first time in years–she's marrying a Vulcan (a much, much older one), he's got the Enterprise landing on The Planet of the Apes and how it plays out when the Klingons get there. Pasko plays a lot with the Apes thing, working in all sorts of genre stuff from outside. For a few pages, it all feels like a mystery, and for the last few pages, Pasko goes for difficult character work.

In the meantime, there are also Klingons around causing trouble. These are post-The Motion Picture Klingons having a very television series encounter with the Enterprise crew. Pasko hits all the right notes.

Unfortunately, Joe Brozowski, Tom Palmer and Marie Severin don't exactly knock it out of the park on the art. There's some detail, but it's more consistently messy than anything else.

B+ 

CREDITS

All the Infinite Ways; writer, Martin Pasko; pencillers, Joe Brozowski, Tom Palmer and Diverse Hands; inkers, Palmer and Marie Severin; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Star Trek 12 (March 1981)

Star Trek #12

Penciller Luke McDonnell–along with Tom Palmer on inks–does a lot of photo referencing this issue. But he’s only partially successful. Kirk looks spot-on, but Spock doesn’t. And Janice Rand returns this issue; she’s not spot on either. At least she’s not problematic. The work on Spock is downright bad.

The issue references the first episode of the television show, the disappearance of Rand in the first season and then a lot from the movie. There are a few visual cues straight from The Motion Picture.

Pasko’s script moves fast and doesn’t stop for the absurdity speed bumps. There’s a big crisis and the entire thing should have been avoided. Pasko seems to realize it and skips even trying.

He also does a feeble characterization of Rand. She’s an entirely new character from her time on the show; Pasko can’t connect to her.

It’s a well-intentioned misfire.

C 

CREDITS

Eclipse of Reason; writers, Alan Brennert and Martin Pasko; pencillers, Luke McDonnell and Tom Palmer; inker, Palmer; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Joe Rosen; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Star Trek 11 (February 1981)

Star Trek #11

This issue’s art, from Joe Brozowski and Tom Palmer, is better than the usual for the comic. A lot of emphasis on the faces, lots of photo reference, but also a decent level of general competency. If a little static.

Pasko’s script regurgitates some of the old “Star Trek” episodes without offering anything new. He relies on bringing in a guest star from a character’s past, which hurries along the setup because Pasko can use expository conversation. It’s just not very useful in terms of furthering the characters. Everyone is stuck; it’s unfortunate the series doesn’t take the time to develop any character subplots. Maybe the license forbids it.

It’s a perfectly fine licensed property comic. Pasko’s clearly a “Trek” enthusiast and he does fine remixing a bunch of old episodes into this story. It’s a shame Marvel isn’t doing anything more with the comic, but it’s to be expected.

C 

CREDITS

“…Like a Woman Scorned!”; writer, Martin Pasko; pencillers, Joe Brozowski and Tom Palmer; inker, Palmer; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterers, Joe Rosen and Rick Parker; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Star Trek 9 (December 1980)

Star Trek #9

Dave Cockrum must have refused to draw faces and made the inker do it. It might explain why the features on the characters this issue appear to slide around their faces, Frank Springer had to get them all filled in.

Bad art aside, it’s not a bad issue. It’s nearly decent, but Pasko throws in a subplot about Kirk and some ex-girlfriend and then some other big coincidence. The ex-girlfriend is a weak character and Kirk doesn’t look anything like himself anyway, so it’s almost entirely out of place. When Pasko resolves it, he relies in the female character only he never did anything to build her up.

The rest of the issue has a somewhat predictable finish but also has a boring way of unfolding. Pasko can’t make it compelling, maybe because he mocks the danger. He shows one extreme, then a nearly comical one.

Very mixed bag.

C+ 

CREDITS

Experiment in Vengeance!; writer, Martin Pasko; pencillers, Dave Cockrum and Frank Springer; inker, Springer; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Star Trek 8 (November 1980)

Star Trek #8

Martin Pasko writes the heck out of this comic book. He’s got a really complicated plot and it makes for a fantastic, lengthy read. Pasko doesn’t just come up with a great reveal for the aliens, he’s also got the really cool subplots going. He runs two subplots through the comic, resolving one and then introducing the next. And those run under this intriguing main plot.

It shows why, for once, a licensed property comic can excel. The comic only works because it’s a Star Trek comic yet Pasko so profoundly transcends the norm in plotting ability, it becomes something singular.

Unfortunately, Ricardo Villamonte is the apparently worst possible inker for Dave Cockrum in the world. Forget the characters looking too photo-referenced, they don’t even look the same between panels. And there’s no depth. Villamonte didn’t put in any shadows. None.

But that Pasko script is a wonderful thing.

A- 

CREDITS

The Expansionist Syndrome; writer, Martin Pasko; pencillers, Dave Cockrum and Ricardo Villamonte; inker, Villamonte; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Ray Burzon; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 19 (December 1983)

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It’s Pasko’s final issue and he goes out on a high note. The opening quickly resolves the now protracted cliffhanger, then brings Arcane almost immediately into the story.

While I’m still underwhelmed with a reprint for the previous issue, it did establish the precedent for Arcane appearances, which Pasko continues here. When old Anton shows up, it’s a very special issue.

Bissette comes up with some disgusting Un-Men (the insect thing is creepy) and Alec and Abby have to escape them. Even though old home week continues, Pasko gives the cast members he created farewells. Dennis and Liz finally get close and the evil German doctor who wasn’t always evil tries for a redemption.

This issue, with Arcane, is so strong it overshadows some of Pasko’s good work on the series. It’s as though all it needed to excel was Bissette and old characters, but Pasko was also essential.

CREDITS

…And the Meek Shall Inherit…; writers, Stephen R. Bissette and Martin Pasko; penciller, Bissette; inker, John Totleben; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 18 (November 1983)

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Hey, wait a second, I’ve already read this story….

This issue reprints the tenth issue of the original Swamp Thing series, when Arcane swims across the ocean and attacks Swamp Thing only to be defeated by the spirits of dead slaves. Wrightson art, one of Wein’s last good unsettling issues, it’s a good comic book. Wish whoever had been in charge had at least changed the editor’s notes so it didn’t refer to the second issue of the original series here in a Saga of the Swamp Thing book.

There are bookends, of course, and I guess they’re were the issue has problems. The flashback isn’t particularly important, at least not as a full reprint. Pasko, Bissette and Totleben could have retold it in a page or two. It’s an awkward fill, since it doesn’t do anything to resolve the previous issue’s cliffhanger.

They should’ve just taken a month off.

CREDITS

The Man Who Would Not Die!; writers, Martin Pasko and Len Wein; pencillers, Stephen R. Bissette and Bernie Wrightson; inkers, John Totleben and Wrightson; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Ben Oda; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 17 (October 1983)

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Wow, what an unpleasant issue. Pasko brings back Abby and Matt—with yet another retelling of the first series, but this time from their perspective, which reveals how they just disappeared from it at some point.

Keeping with the old home week feel to the issue, Arcane shows up at the end. Bissette and Totleben really know how to make him disgusting, maybe more than anyone else so far. It’s a glorified cameo, but gives the feel things are changing in the series.

What’s most striking about the issue is how Pasko ties Matt’s alcoholism to the horrors Alec and the supporting cast face. Interestingly, the second Abby calls him Alec, he ceases to be Swamp Thing to me. Bissette and Totleben’s artwork is absolutely fantastic, whether its the flashback, the monsters or just the page layout.

It’s a great issue, though Pasko takes a few pages to get rolling.

CREDITS

…And Things That Go Bump in the Night; writer, Martin Pasko; penciller, Stephen R. Bissette; inker, John Totleben; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 16 (August 1983)

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For Bissette and Totleben’s first issue, Pasko does something of a refresh. The issue opens with a quick origin retelling, then reintroduces the supporting cast. It’s amusing the previous evil German guy is now a good guy. Apparently, being a Holocaust survivor means you get to later torture and murder people and it’s okay.

Most of the issue is spent with Swamp Thing in a small town where everyone accepts him. It’s the kind of thing Wein did in the seventies series (and did do in the seventies series, as I think about it). Obviously, there’s a reason why they all accept him. It’s an introduction issue, maybe even for readers who liked the original but missed the relaunch.

Seeing as how Abby shows up, for the first time, in a non-speaking cameo.

Bissette and Totleben are off to a fine start; they mix the horror and action well.

CREDITS

Stopover in a Place of Secret Truths; writer, Martin Pasko; penciller, Stephen R. Bissette; inker, John Totleben; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

DC Retroactive: Superman – The ’70s 1 (September 2011)

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Martin Pasko knows how to write a good Superman story. Again, not up enough on seventies Superman to know how accurate a flashback issue he writes, but it’s a darn good comic anyway. Pasko brings humanity to the all-powerful character, both in the plot and how he ties it to Superman’s actions.

The stuff with Lois Lane–they’re dating somewhat steady here, but on unstable ground–is absolutely fantastic. Pasko’s dialogue and pacing are also particularly impressive. He fits a lot into the pages, sometimes so much penciller Eduardo Barreto has trouble fitting it all in.

Now, I’m generally familiar with Barreto but the effect Christian Duce’s inks have on the pencils are stunning. Barreto’s clear ability is still there, but the inks give this retro Superman a modern style. It’s beautiful superhero art.

Superman‘s easily DC’s best Retroactive so far. I wish this team did a regular series.

CREDITS

Death Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry; writer, Martin Pasko; penciller, Eduardo Barreto; inker, Christian Duce; colorist, Andrew Elder; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editor, Ben Abernathy; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 13 (May 1983)

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Pasko finishes up the arc he started the series on and, wow, does it disappoint. It’s not a terrible issue—seeing Yeates draw Satan is pretty cool—but it’s not a good one. This issue is the fourth in the conclusion and there’s no point for it. Pasko’s just dragging it out. He even gets rid of one of his long-time subplots here.

He does have a couple good moments. Like when he shows Christians embracing a new Messiah who turns out to be the Antichrist. The Christians are just too dumb to realize. I’m surprised to see it in a big two comic book, especially from the early eighties.

But that point doesn’t make up for Pasko turning Swamp Thing into Scott Summers for a bit. The only reason he saves the world is because he temporally gets eye beams.

It’s lazy writing.

Then Cuti’s Stranger’s weak again.

CREDITS

Lambs to the Slaughter; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. The Man Who Isn’t There; writer, Nicola Cuti; artist, Fred Carrillo; colorist, Anthony Tollin. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 12 (April 1983)

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Okay, this story line has gone on way too long at this point. Pasko sets up a decent finale only to reveal it’s still not over… they still need to fight the Antichrist.

The story’s awkward, mostly because there’s a huge supporting cast and no reintroduction to them. I’m reading it at a fairly accelerated pace; monthly it would have been very difficult to follow.

At least Pasko is working on his subplots, both Swamp Thing’s illness and the romance between Liz and Dennis. I guess he’s finally memorable enough I’ll use his name. Unfortunately, their almost love scene is terrible. The comic’s rather mature overall but Pasko tones down the adult nature of their conversation and comes off silly. He shouldn’t have done it if he wasn’t allowed the required vocabulary.

There’s some nice Yeates art. The issue’s packed with visuals.

Cuti’s Stranger backup is overwritten but not terrible.

CREDITS

And Yet It Lives; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. Ageless; writer, Nicola Cuti; artist, Fred Carrillo; colorist, Anthony Tollin. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 11 (March 1983)

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I think this issue must have been an informal “jumping on” point. Over the first four or five pages, Pasko recaps every major event in the series in a flashback. Then he spends another five or six pages on expository dialogue.

The Yeates art, along with some of the concepts, make those dull pages work. I’ve never come across anything else, I don’t think, linking the Holocaust and the Antichrist. Pasko’s idea is the Antichrist would obviously target the Jews, as they’re God’s chosen people (it’s not directly stated, but it’s definitely implied).

The action picks up towards the end with the villain—a mutant child who uses her powers to artificially age herself, which is also a good concept but poorly executed. There’s her, there’s Swamp Thing (who’s incidental to this issue’s events) and there’s a golem.

The less said about Levitz’s anti-euthanasia Phantom Stranger propaganda the better.

CREDITS

Heart of Stone, Feet of Clay; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. And I Shall Stand in the Shadow of Death; writer, Paul Levitz; artist, Fred Carrillo; colorist, Anthony Tollin. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 10 (February 1983)

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John Totleben joins Yeates on the art this issue, but it’s hard to see what effect his inks have on it. The issue is almost incomprehensibly dense, with Pasko starting in the States somewhere and ending up in Dachau. Not sure how well the big reveal works—the Nazis were fueled by a powerful psychic who’s been reincarnated and wants to start the Holocaust up again.

It seems a little insensitive.

What’s best about the issue, which barely features Swamp Thing—it’s more of a global-trotting thriller for his sidekicks, Liz and… the blond-haired dude—is how much Pasko and Yeates fit into it. It’s fully organic, lush comic book narrative. Yeates doesn’t employ any special panel arrangement, he just impossibly fits everything on each page.

The Stranger backup from Cavalieri and Carrillo is weak. The Stranger helps rid the world of an endangered species. Bully for him.

CREDITS

Number of the Beast; writer, Martin Pasko; penciller, Thomas Yeates; inker, John Totleben; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Todd Klein. …By All That’s Holy!; writer, Joey Cavalieri; artist, Fred Carrillo; colorist, Tom Ziuko. Editors, Nicola Cuti and Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 9 (January 1983)

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I never thought, reading the issues before this one, I would see cheesecake in Pasko and Yeates’s Swamp Thing run. But this issue isn’t Yeates, it’s Jan Duursema. Duursema handles the art in varying degrees of quality. With Tom Mandrake inking, there are some very iconic Swamp Thing action moments. Duursema and Mandrake make Swamp Thing look even more like Redondo’s rendition in the first series than Yeates ever does. But there’s also a strange approach to people—Duursema likes long shots, with the moving figures looking awkwardly static.

It’s not terrible art, it’s just not great.

It’s also strange because there’s no gimmick, no monster. It’s a very plot-filled issue, with Pasko working through a lot of the series’s threads, sort of unraveling a ball of yarn.

Joey Cavalieri takes over Phantom Stranger scripts this issue and he and Carrillo’s story is fine supernatural mystery. It’s perfectly serviceable.

CREDITS

Prelude to Holocaust; writer, Martin Pasko; penciller, Jan Duursema; inker, Tom Mandrake; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. Sanctuary of Shadow; writer, Joey Cavalieri; artist, Fred Carrillo; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 8 (December 1982)

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This issue features Swamp Thing and company–I’m tempted to start singling Liz out because I think she remains a character, but I’m not sure yet–on an island with a bunch of scenes from classic movies. You get to see Tom Yeates, for a couple pages, do a King Kong adaptation. It’s awesome.

Unfortunately, Pasko established himself as pretty serious early on in the series and doing an issue with a giant gimmick is beneath him. Oh, there’s a whole plight of the Vietnam vet thing going on too, but Pasko’s handling of it is far from innovative. It’s a serious subject and Pasko’s ambitious to try to discuss it… It’s just a bad execution.

The awesome artwork easily makes up for the story’s bumps though.

The Stranger backup too discusses war, but in a far broader sense. Barr doesn’t do a terrible job, but these backups are all pretty useless.

CREDITS

Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. If the Sword Should Slay the Dove; writer, Mike W. Barr; artist, Fred Carrillo; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 7 (November 1982)

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Swamp Thing continues his cruise ship adventure, ending up fighting a giant undersea monster. It reminds a lot of the first series, only this time there are subplots. Casey, Swamp Thing’s former charge, has turned out to be an evil psychic. Or something along those lines. It means more action scenes for Yeates, who handles some of them beautifully—Swamp Thing getting knocked around by a tentacle, for example.

The issue sort of fails though. It’s great looking and Pasko’s writing is fine, but there’s nothing to it for Swamp Thing at all. The subplots don’t have to do with him; Pasko spends more time on regular scenes with the supporting cast. Not being having Swamp Thing talk is really starting to hurt.

The Stranger backup is notable as Barr goes all out for an anti-war statement. On art Fred Carrillo does well enough. It’s interesting, but not compelling.

CREDITS

I Have Seen the Splintered Timbers of a Hundred Shattered Hulls; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. The Haunting of Amanda Dove; writer, Mike W. Barr; artist, Fred Carrillo; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 6 (October 1982)

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Yeates’s art takes a strange turn this issue. He spends less time on Swamp Thing than he does on the supporting cast. There’s a lot of action this issue too—Pasko does a great job pacing, considering how many big events occur—and even those Yeates handles oddly. He hurries through them, not taking the time to elaborate. Like I said though, his work rendering the supporting cast in still moments shows a great deal of work.

Pasko’s writing, besides the great plotting, is still strong. He’s got a couple iffy scenes, but he’s really working hard towards making the world of Swamp Thing both fantastical (with awful monsters) and realistic (with awful people).

The issue has the familiar “monster of the month” feel to it, which is unfortunate as the monster just becomes an abnormal, totally unnecessary plot point in the story.

The Stanger backup’s decently produced but silly.

CREDITS

Sins on the Water; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. …Till Death Do Us Join…; writer, Mike W. Barr; artist, Dan Spiegle; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Carrie McCarthy. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 5 (September 1982)

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So Swamp Thing now has his supporting cast… at least for now. Casey the mute wasn’t cutting it.

It impressive what a good issue Pasko and Yeates produce with all the handicaps. It’s all about the evil organization running an evil clinic. Swamp Thing shows up and gets duped into believing it’s real–his doctor turns out to be a naive innocent too. Hence the growing supporting cast.

Pasko only has so many pages and he paces the issue quite well, even if some of the content is way too expository. Eventually, it gets to the good, disturbing stuff and he and Yeates do well. Yeates shines, in fact, on the creepy stuff. Though I guess Swamp Thing is still secondary to the horror revelation of the issue (again).

The Phantom Stranger backup is pointless. Howard Bender, with DeZuniga on inks, produces some great art, but Barr’s missing a compelling story.

CREDITS

The Scream of Hungry Flesh; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. But the Patient Died; writer, Mike W. Barr; penciller, Howard Bender; inker, Tony DeZuniga; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterer, Milt Snapinn. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 4 (August 1982)

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This issue concerning a demon who possesses people in order to feed on children’s souls. The children in question must be murdered, of course. The demon targets minority children as it turns out their troubled souls taste the best. So it’s definitely disturbing, but not as terrible as he could have made it. In some ways, it’s a cop out but Pasko’s Swamp Thing is episodic. Any different handling would have been insensitive.

Yeates’s art just gets better and better. He still has a more action-oriented Swamp Thing rendition, but the people and places are exceptional.

A lot of the issue is talking heads and Pasko has definite understanding of complex issues, if not the dialogue-writing chops to perfectly convey them.

He does well enough though.

The Stranger back-up from Barr and Tony DeZuniga is a little off. Great art, but too much emphasis on Stranger backstory.

CREDITS

In the White Room; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. Hospital of Fear; writer, Mike W. Barr; artist, Tony DeZuniga; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 3 (July 1982)

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And here’s where Pasko hits his stride. The issue features Swamp Thing versus a town of teen vampires who have not just ruined the town but done so out of boredom. Though I suppose their argument vampires don’t have to worry about money rings true.

Pasko handles the villainy of the characters and their supernatural situation well. But the best part is how he deals with the vampire hunters. Swamp Thing sort of moves through the issue (he’s only trying to get out of town) as an observer. That approach harkens back to the original series.

Speaking of the original series, Yeates usually renders Swamp Thing in that slicker manner, but he’s starting to establish the more mossy Swamp Thing here. Very interesting to see how it all progressed.

It’s a good issue.

The Phantom Stranger backup is strong too. Barr has an interesting script, though he needs another page.

CREDITS

A Town Has Turned to Blood; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood. The Beauty of the Beast; writer, Mike W. Barr; artist, Dan Spiegle; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 2 (June 1982)

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Pasko immediately identifies the bad guys this issue—not just the regular bad guys, but the bad organization too. It’s the Sunderland Corporation and I’m pretty sure they’re around the rest of the series.

As for the regular bad guys, Pasko’s got a goofy, steel-handed corporation espionage guy who’s straight out of the first series and its silly villains. The other villain is revealed to be secretly German, something he’s kept hidden.

The story itself moves fast. Pasko gets in a resolution to the cliffhanger, a chase scene (a slow one, Swamp Thing can’t run) and then a big finish. He even hints at what’s coming next, something with punk vampires in rural Illinois.

It’s fine, if familiar. Yeates’s style is changing, getting into his creepy renditions of normal people.

Mike W. Barr joins Spiegle on the Phantom Stranger backup. It’s okay, though Spiegle foolishly illustrates the Stranger unveiled.

CREDITS

Something to Live For; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood. Soul on Fire; writer, Mike W. Barr; artist, Dan Spiegle; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Saga of the Swamp Thing 1 (May 1982)

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For his first issue, Martin Pasko basically just rewinds a little from where the seventies series left Swamp Thing and picks up like it’s just another issue. There’s an ignorant small town (this time in the South), a helpless child everyone calls a witch and Swamp Thing’s miserable. It’s like nothing has changed.

The issue opens with a flashback of the old series, concentrating on the origin not the subsequent developments, and Pasko does well with Swamp Thing’s internal monologue.

There’s another secret organization and a man in the shadows and someone out to exploit Swamp Thing. The big revelation here is the bio-restorative formula is slowly killing him, something both Swamp Thing and the bad guys know.

Thomas Yeates’s artwork is great, bringing out the horror elements in an otherwise straightforward story.

Then there’s a Phantom Stranger backup from Bruce Jones and Dan Spiegle. It’s pretty good too.

CREDITS

What Peace There May Be in Silence; writer, Martin Pasko; artist, Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza. “…In Shadowed Depths”; writer, Bruce Jones; artist, Dan Spiegle; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Phil Felix. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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