Swamp Thing 84 (March 1989)

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Veitch really puts Abby through the wringer this issue. Instead of supervillains, she gets to deal with the American healthcare system. Comatose ex-husband (and government operative) Matt is now ringing up ten thousand a day and the hospital expects Abby to pay up.

It’s a distressing issue. Without Swamp Thing, there’s not a lot of fantastic in Abby’s life–when Adam Strange shows up to check on her, he’s in regular clothes even–and the assault from the hospital drains her. Mandrake and Alcala show her cornered in small spaces.

All the strengths make up for the lack of resolution in Veitch’s script. He’s even got Matt Cable meeting the Sandman–who tells Cable to make things right–but there’s no explanation how things got right. Maybe there was a page missing in my issue.

Still, the “real world” horror aspect of it gives Veitch a chance to flex.

CREDITS

Final Payment; writer, Rick Veitch; penciller, Tom Mandrake; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Karen Berger; publisher, DC Comics.

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