image source: Comic

It’s rare for me to enjoy a horror story, even as a TV series. However, just because I’m not a usual fan of a certain genre doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy something specific from it. Above is the only Swamp Thing comic I own (although this cover is in far better shape, like many of the old comics I own).  I never really got into it. I tried watching the first movie but just couldn’t stick with it. It was many years before I finally saw the second and I’m still not sure what I think of it. Then there’s the cartoon, that had a decent intro, decent animation, and not much else.

Yet, I find myself strangely interested in the USA Network series. Tonight I bring you the first episode, introducing you to the cast. It admittedly doesn’t do much a whole lot else.

Created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson, the character has undergone a few changes. However, I think this took more from the movies as far as tone. (I don’t believe it was meant as a spin-off to the movies, since from what little I know there are a few continuity errors. There are differences from the comic as well. Later concepts like “the Green” aren’t here and this is in fact THE Alec Holland, not some magical swamp creature that has his memories. Just a mutated scientist bound to the swamp while facing mutations and the occasional hint of the paranormal. Dr. Anton Arcane, Swamp Thing’s arch nemesis, isn’t actually involved with Swampy’s origins in the comics (not sure, post New 52), but as the hero’s main foe in the comics that’s what they went with for the movies and TV shows.

Jim would be taken out in season two in favor of his half-brother, Wil (who hadn’t been mentioned up to that point), as Jim would be taken prisoner by Arcane (no relation to RU leader and semi-retired supervillain Ozzie Arcane) and his fate never resolved. Apparently they wanted to drop the younger audiences and take on a darker tone. I still liked it but it wasn’t as good to me, partly because in the back of my mind I wanted Jim to at least be rescued, even if he never returned to the show.

Dick Durock, who passed away in 2009, played Swamp Thing in both movies and the TV show. (The only other people to play Swamp Thing would be Len Carlson in the animated series and more recently Chilimbwe Washington in the DC Universe Online game. Personally his performance wasn’t as good as Durock’s or Carlson’s.)  Another episode, “The Living Image“, told the story of how Dr. Holland became Swamp Thing. While the show would take the occasional supernatural bend (there is a certain mysticism to this swamp), it was more the dark sci-fi/horror variety stories as Dr. Arcane’s experiments would cause trouble for our heroes, and occasionally for himself.

So there you go, one of two horror shows I watched, and the only one I remember watching regularly (I did catch the occasional episode of Friday The 13th, which bore no connection to Jason Voorhees. I wasn’t a regular watcher, though.) I’m probably not that into it now, but I do have some ideas that would make this show responsible.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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