Nancy A. Collins

Swamp Thing 138 (December 1993)

16108I’m not sure Collins’s version of adult relationships would even work in a kids cartoon. Odd place to start, but she really does expect after Abby running off with ponytail guy–willfully abandoning Tefé as a freak–Alec would all of a sudden make house with Lady Jane?

And then there’s Constantine pointing out if Abby really does care about her kid, she’s not really worth much. Except Collins wrote Abby’s adventures with her as the sympathetic protagonist.

Oh, and the hair. Alec gets rid of the grey Swamp Thing look and goes back to the normal one. But then for the finish he grows big long green rock star hair. It’s idiotic.

This issue’s Collins’s last one, thank goodness. Her run started so strong and then got so unbearably bad.

There’s nothing to recommend this issue–though Eaton’s better than usual–except how speedily it reads. It’s simply awful.

CREDITS

And in the End…; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, Tim Harkins; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

Swamp Thing 137 (November 1993)

16107Collins reveals Arcane’s master plan. After a hundred plus issues, dying multiple times, going to Hell, escaping Hell, going back to Hell, old Anton has exactly the same plan he had when he first appeared.

But the lack of ambition from penciller Braun actually helps out here. One can’t confuse Swamp Thing with a good comic anymore, not with Arcane dragging hostage Abby out like the Bride of Frankenstein at the end, not with Collins turning the guy Abby went out with once into the love of her life.

Not with Braun giving Constantine some slicked back nineties hair.

The comic’s a joke. Laughing helps one get through it. Collins has seven or eight characters to manage in the issue and she does awful with them. There’s not a single honest conversation; though she does get in a pointless origin of a villain.

Pointless sums it up in general, actually.

CREDITS

Dead Relatives; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Russell Braun; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterers, Tim Harkins and John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

Swamp Thing 136 (October 1993)

16106 2I assumed Collins would handle the return of Arcane, Alec’s embrace with Lady Jane and everything else this issue rather poorly. But she outdoes herself. It’s even worse than expected–possibly because Arcane reveals himself here, which seems somewhat early. But there are a lot of suspects for Collins’s worst move.

First, Alec and Lady Jane get busy. Alec thinks about how much better it is than with Abby. Meanwhile–a day or two after leaving her family–Abby’s going out on a date with some guy. Now, an implication could be neither wanted the romance (and Collins directly suggests it in a flashback) but just got thrown into it.

Then, you know, they had a kid. Except both ignore the kid to get busy with members of their own species and bad things happen.

Russell Braun’s pencils don’t help things either. All his figures are stunted.

It’s entirely dreadful.

CREDITS

Cross Pollination; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Russell Braun; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

Swamp Thing 135 (September 1993)

16105Let’s see. Of all the lame turns in this issue, I think Tefé all of a sudden being old enough to form questions is the worst. She’s concerned about Alec, who has rooted in his sorrow at Abby’s leaving him.

Abby, meanwhile, has already found a new romantic interest thanks to Constantine. It’s all very contrived–and unclear how the new guy is a better choice for her than Chester, except maybe he’s taller. Collins is all of a sudden cheapening the relationship between Alec and Abby. It’s unclear why, especially since it’s requiring her to make big changes in the characters. Not just as how others wrote them, but how she herself did.

Oh, and Arcane is possessing Sunderland. It combines Swamp Thing’s two main villains, but removes half the personality. It’s a really lame move, like all the other ones this issue.

The comic’s become a train wreck.

CREDITS

Marital Problems; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

Swamp Thing 134 (August 1993)

16104 1What’s so funny about this issue is how Collins clearly thinks she’s telling it from Abby’s point of view. Besides the physiologically unlikely scene where Alec cries, most of the comic–the significant bits anyway–follows Abby. And Collins also does have Chester perv on her. Literally a moment after she has a big fight with Alec. No wonder Liz left him.

Oh, and Collins does touch on Abby abandoning Tefé. Alec mentions it and Abby tells him not to “throw it in her face” or something to that effect. But she never talks about it. If Collins were telling the story from Abby’s point of view, her decisions would make sense. They might not seem rational, but they would make sense from the character’s viewpoint.

But not here.

It’s a weak issue. Luckily, with Eaton’s hit or miss (mostly miss) art, it almost never reminds of good Swamp Thing.

CREDITS

She’s Leaving Houma; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

Swamp Thing 133 (July 1993)

16103Is Eaton trying visually infer romantic feelings between Chester and Abby? It’s the first such occurrence and I’m sure it’s unintentional, but it’s far more interesting than anything else this issue.

Except maybe the stuff with Tefé. When she gets tough towards the end of the issue, Collins writes the scene rather well. Otherwise, the issue’s a mess.

One character dies in front of a sheriff, who doesn’t even file a report, then Abby runs off in the middle of a huge tragedy. She abandons Tefé, which seems somewhat unlikely. Then there are all the scenes with the giant petal monster. They don’t work because it’s viciously killing a bunch of people instead of being a fun giant monster fight.

It’s not the worst issue Collins has written lately, but it’s far from good or even mediocre.

And Swamp Thing still rocking his inexplicable, dumb-looking, shaggy grey hair cut.

CREDITS

Daisy Chain; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

Swamp Thing 132 (June 1993)

16102 1Collins can’t write a fight issue, especially not one where she desperately needs one side to win to progress Swamp Thing. Or maybe it should have gone the other way. She’s got Alec fighting clone Alec. Regular Alec now looks grey with antlers, clone Alec is the traditional green Swamp Thing.

They fight for seventy-five percent of the comic, then Alec ends the fight in a page. He just didn’t know his elemental powers.

It’s really lame and not just because Collins has made Alec so unaware of himself he’s a painful protagonist. The other lame things involve a former Nazi gubernatorial candidate trying to take Tefé away (through the law). It’s both odd and inept, with Collins’s attempts at social commentary flopping.

The best part of the comic is how fast it reads. I am not entirely which of the many options I would pick for worst part.

CREDITS

Home Body; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

Swamp Thing 131 (May 1993)

16101I don’t remember Swamp Thing ever having a costume change before. Except for special occasions, like when he went through space or time. Collins and Eaton give Alec a costume change, complete with rock star hair and spikes… it’s awful and it’s dumb. Even though Alec can travel from place to place, he can’t grow his body in some other way.

More of Collins’s convenient power limitations for the character.

Most of the issue is spent getting Alec well again after the toxic waste. He meets some elves and they use magic to fix him up; he looks funny because of the elf magic. Collins’s pacing of the issue is atrocious. The introduction of a strange race reminds of the old Wein clockmaker children issue except Collins grossly misspends the issue’s time.

And these days, it’s always bad when Swamp Thing reminds of older issues. Collins’s stuff is never better.

CREDITS

Folk Remedy; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

Swamp Thing 130 (April 1993)

16100I think I figured out what Collins is doing with Abby. She’s turned her into a generic nagging wife character; gone is the Eastern Europe history, gone is motherhood, gone is her strength as a person. Even though writers have occasionally been incompetent when it comes to Abby… Collins is the first to reduce her to a gender role. It’s odd. And rather unfortunate, because Swamp Thing needs Abby.

There’s one good bit when Tefé’s little flower people getting free will and warring with one another. It’s almost enough to offset the continued indication Alec and Abby have “regular”–let’s try mammalian–sex. Maybe I was wrong, maybe Collins hasn’t seen Return of Swamp Thing because even it got that activity right. By using the Moore explanation, of course.

Speaking of Moore, Collins continues to break apart lots of his work. It’s an okay issue in a now clumsy series.

CREDITS

Home Sick; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

Swamp Thing 129 (March 1993)

16099Eaton (and Collins) give Swamp Thing long hair. Why? Because he’s losing control thanks to toxic waste and forgetting he’s not a man. Or something along those lines.

Apparently Alec can reanimate dead wood–a baseball bat–but he can’t get rid of this toxic waste. And Abby’s allowed to leave the swamp to visit Chester but Alec can’t leave to save the world.

Oh, can’t forget–Chester never thinks to say goodbye to Alec too.

Reading Swamp Thing is now just watching Collins make every single character unlikable and unsympathetic–hell, she never rehabilitated Tefé from killing her cat. It doesn’t offer anything else, except endless bad narration from Alec.

Someone else probably could have made the mundane plot work, but Collins isn’t cutting it. There’s nothing in the comic she seems to like. One can’t blame her, there’s nothing to like.

Well, it does read fast, I suppose.

CREDITS

Swamp Fever; writer, Nancy A. Collins; penciller, Scot Eaton; inker, Kim DeMulder; colorist, Tatjana Wood; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Stuart Moore; publisher, Vertigo.

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