Tonawanda News — Moore and his team of artists didn’t rest at creative new takes in characterization. The artwork presented in the “Saga of the Swamp Thing” series was also the first of its class, incorporating new techniques in paneling, where Moore’s artists Stephen Bissette and John Totleben opted for a much more experimental layout.
Darker, more sinister monsters than ever before are depicted. Bordering on pure horror, Moore, Bissette and Totleben tested the limits of the Comics Code Authority. Eventually they would push things so far that “Saga of the Swamp Thing” would become the first comic book published by DC Comics under its imprint Vertigo, to forgo the CCA badge on its cover entirely, gambling on the series’ new-found success to carry it past any bumps the series might take for not being CCA certified.
This wouldn’t happen until after the contents of Book One, however, where in the final three issues of the collection, Swamp Thing battles Fear itself. Embodied in a deceivingly innocent looking white monkey, Fear uses the gullibility of young child Paul to attack the human world. While Swamp Thing does his best to fight Fear back, it’s not until Paul has the courage to stand up to the white monkey that the enemy is finally repressed. For now.
This collection of the first eight issues of Moore’s run is some of the best in its class as-is, but it’s really just a primer for the truly groundbreaking scare-ride that is to come in the later books. Whether looking for an introduction into one of the most beautifully horrific pieces of graphic literature ever written, or simply as a taste test for Moore’s style, readers would be hard pressed to find much not to like in “Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book One.”• WHAT: "Saga of the Swamp Thing" • BY: Alan Moore • GRADE: B+ Dean Goranites publishes weekly video book reviews at unleashthis.tumblr.com, and can be reached through Twitter at unleash_this.