Swamp Thing 45 (February 1986)

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Woch and Alcala are good artists for this issue, which is mostly just a haunted house story.

Moore follows the genre standards. He sets up the history of the curse, splits up his unsuspecting cast, gives it an ominous ending. It’s over half the issue before Swamp Thing shows up and, clearly, the story doesn’t need him.

Only after the haunted house visitors disappear does the issue become less reliant on the horror aspect and Moore can introduce Constantine and his sidekicks. Swamp Thing around the sidekicks–who are comedy relief for Constantine–is the only breather in the issue.

Otherwise, it’s wholly downbeat. Moore manages to encourage curiosity with the haunted house, even excitement at discovering its secrets, only to make it all horrible and more horrible.

It’s an excellent issue, but Swamp Thing is the deus ex machina in his own comic. It feels like Moore’s neglecting him.

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