Bits & Panels: Swamp Thing #52

Sequential art is a medium unlike any other. The combination of art and text to convey a narrative can be a daunting task for any creator but the rewards of doing it well make the undertaking well worth it! There is a long list of masters and publishers who have been providing readers with incredible stories and imagery for many many years. But if you want to learn about the creation of comics and the history of sequential art there are plenty of resources. I suggest starting with Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud!

Here we will discuss and feature important single panels, key sequences and some of the most detailed splash pages ever created.

Swamp Thing #52
Writer – Alan Moore
Art – Rick Veitch & Alfredo Alcala

Moore’s poetic prose give life to one of DC’s most famous landmarks, Arkham Asylum. There’s a fascination with Arkham that many fans cannot deny. When she is shown in all her glory we rejoice and are often disappointed when the building isn’t portrayed in a proper manor.

Here Moore’s detailed description of the gothic monstrosity is wonderfully illustrated by Veitch and Alcada, a vine illustrating Swamp Thing’s path. As Arkham is slowly becoming it’s own key location on the TV show Gotham we can only hope that the showrunners put as much effort in it’s design and mythology as past creators have done.

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It’s quite interesting to see such a prominent Gotham structure examined outside of a Batman comic book. Also seeing Moore’s take on Joker, two years prior to the Killing Joke, gives it a little extra weight.. Even though Swamp Thing is there for the Floronic Man and not to deal with any other of Batman’s villainous cast, it is a unique look at arguably the most important and popular prison in comics!

First Appearance: Batman 258

By: Topher S & Mark H

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