Swamp Thing, created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson was successfuly revamped in the eighties by then-new-to-the-US scribe Alan Moore. He transformed the character and the book, lifting sales dramatically and in the process creating a new kind of comic at DC, non-Comics Code approved with the tag line “sophisticated suspense” that would go on to form the Vertigo line of books with series such as Hellblazer and Sandman forming an early backbone to the imprint.
After Moore left the book, it was handled by a number of creators, finally concluding with Mark Millar’s run on the title. Since then there have been a number of short lived Swamp Thing series, by the likes of Brian Vaughan and Andy Diggle, but the character, so intrinsic to Vertigo, has been “resting” for a while.
China Miéville, award winning English sci-fi novelist and socialist politician with repeat Hugo nominations for his novels Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council and The City & The City was approached by Vertigo to start Swamp Thing afresh. He’d already written a short Hellblazer story for issue 250.
A series bible had been written, and scripts were being written.
And then… Vertigo were told to scrap it. Bin the lot, pay a kill fee. Why? Find out in the next article…