Swamp Thing annotations to Greg Plantamura

Agora há pouco, enviei este texto ao Greg Plantamura. Estou dividindo com potenciais googladores. Não é necessariamente com você.

Hello. I keep on perusing your Swamp Thing pages. Quite a job, may I insist.

Earlier today I was reading New Titans from 1993. There is a sequel to Swamp Thing #60 there!!!

Cyborg went catatonic some ten or twelve issues before New Titans #103 (Nov 1993), losing his memory and, in fact, all ability at communicating. In this issue, he is at the S.T.A.R. Labs, where Team Titans’ Prester Jon is attempting to interface with his inner circuits. Late in this issue, the cause of tampering is found to be a group of aliens who are the avatars of beings from a machine planet.

In New Titans #104 (Early Dec ’93), the Titans are brought to the aliens’ planet — lo and behold, that’s the machine planet from “Loving the Alien” (Swamp Thing #60). It transpires that Swampy’s visit, years before, brought the planet out of a stagnation state. Some of its “life” forms learned then of new ways and became curious about this “life”. As a consequence, they left their cradle and went out into the stars, seeking understanding, which ultimately led to Cyborg being hacked. I am still at this point in my reading, so I do not know where this leads, but there you have it.

In NT #104, Marv Wolfman attempts to describe the machines’ world in much the same way as Alan Moore had, but fails. Just as in ST #60, panels are disjointed from one another, and the text floats in off-narration with sentences that are not to be much understood. Anyway it lacks Moore’s spark (which, it is my feeling, was also missing from the original #60, which was very poor in my own POV — still, that was Moore, for better or for worse).

In fact, NT #104 has a two-page spread panel where the Titans arrive at a gate to the machine planet’s core. It pretty much imitates Spock’s venture into V’Ger in Star Trek: the Motion Picture — and, instead of a fixed, aloof Ilia figure, what do we have? Four Swamp Thing figures, which I believe correspond precisely enough with the Green’s four avatars selected by the Parliament of Trees for the Regenesis/Spontaneous Generation storyline — you know, Ghost Hiding In the Rushes, Kettle-hole Devil and their likes.

In my opinion, NT #104 sucks. Still, I think it a worthy reference and one you might like to purchase from online second-hand retailers such as Mile High Comics, My Comic Shop etc. etc. so you can check it for yourself. And you will have the benefit of checking the original, for I have so far only had access to Brazilian translations, which leave out some of the text.

On another note, I made a mistake years ago when I wrote to you on Swamp Thing #70. You wrote up an annotation and credited it to me (thank you), but in fact I should have referred to issue #71, and so should you. Please check! The annotation is part of the issue #70 annotations and goes like this:
“PAGES 22-23:3 João Paulo Cursino pointed out to me that the sound effects “SHLOEL BSSTTE TTLBN” sound like the artists names Bissette and Totleben. But who is Shloel?”
… except I should have referred to issue #71, where those pages were printed.

On a third note, please check Swamp Thing #34, included in the beautiful storyline of volume 2. Page 20 (to be sure: I refer to the page with text “With me.”, “With him.”, “…”) — does page 20 not depict a woman’s vulva, very clearly in front of you? You can clearly distinguish the labia, the clitoris, there’s even a lot of hair around it. I think this was the intent there. It is a beautiful piece of art by Bissette and Totleben, who managed to disguise it from moralists by making it look like a piece of plant. The things those guys managed to get away with, the madness of Moore, the best hiding of things in plain sight…

Another vulva, I think, can be found in issue #70 (“The Secret Life of Plants”), in page 17 (the one where Abby lies down on some orchids), albeit in a more symbolic sense. Please take note of the orchid’s shape.

And issue #65, page 14, panel 5 — Take note of a tire at the bottom right corner. Is the brand not “Alcalá”? :-)

Issue #66, page 2 — “Len and Berni were here 1972”. Indeed. Len Wein and Berni Wrightson created S.T. in 1972. Apparently they did so as they sat in Arkham Asylum. That explains it. :-)

Would you please check these and add them to your notes?



Some more comics annotations

All information here is garnered from the Brazilian translations of these issues, which were published in Superalmanaque DC no. 2 (June 1991). They are listed here in the order in which they appear there, which is the order in which they are supposed to be read as part of the Janus Directive storyline.

Checkmate! #16 (May 1989) — pencils by Rick Hoberg

In page 3, panel 6, a helicopter attack is represented on Project Atom which is the exact selfsame attack depicted in Suicide Squad #27 — an issue immediately preceding this one here. In Checkmate! #16, the helicopter can be identified as a twin-engine Bell AH-1 Cobra. Curiously, in SS #27, the helicopter was no current type, instead being some generic design contrived by the penciller. I would suggest they coordinate somewhat better if they wanted to appear so ingenious in showing continuity.

Checkmate! #17 (Jun 1989) — pencils by Steve Erwin

In pages 4 and 5, the helicopters are respectively a long-cabin Bell 206 and a Bell 212. If I could venture a guess, I would say that the penciller was resorting to some Bell calendar to draw his pictures from.

Page 9, panel 3; page 14, panels 4 and 7 — The spaceship is Starblade, directly from the pages of Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD, by Stewart Cowley.

Page 16, panels 3 and 4 — The helicopter is a Hughes 269 (TH-55 Osage).

Page 19, panel 5; page 20, panel 3; page 23, panel 3; page 24, panel 1 — The helicopter appears to be an Aérospatiale AS 365, even though its first appearance gives it the front of an SA 360.

Suicide Squad #29 (1989) — pencils by John K. Snyder III

Page 16, panel 1 — The Starblade features prominently at a picture that is a near-replica of the original from Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD.

Checkmate! #18 (Jun 1989) — pencils by Steve Erwin

Throughout this issue, the USAF fighters are clearly those seen in An Illustrated Guide to Future Fighters and Combat Aircraft, by Bill Gunston, as the British Aerospace P.1214-3. The Brazilian edition of Gunston’s work (Aviões do futuro) has them on volume II, page 43. In Checkmate! #18, the same picture can be seen on page 17, with the major difference that the single, fuselage-mounted engine has been replaced by four engines under the wings. Other depictions are seen on pages 1, 12, 18 and 19.

Likewise, the Starblade is featured throughout, notably on pages 14, 15, 18, 19 and 20.

Page 21 — The landing on the Starblade’s cargo bay was unlikely enough, to say the least. Now they compound it with a charge very much resembling one of those from the silly G.I. Joe cartoon, which, to be sure, was contemporary to this issue.

Suicide Squad #30 (1989) — pencils by John K. Snyder

Page 19, panel 2 — Starblade again.

Mais anotações a quadrinhos

Toda a informação aqui foi apanhada das traduções brasileiras destas edições, que foram publicadas em Superalmanaque DC no. 2 (junho de 1991). Elas estão listadas aqui na ordem em que aparecem lá, que é a mesma ordem em que devem ser lidas como parte do arco Conspiração Janus.

Xeque-mate #16 (maio de 1989)– desenhos de Rick Hoberg

A página 3, quadro 6, representa um ataque de helicóptero ao Projeto Átomo que é o mesmo e exato ataque mostrado em Esquadrão Suicida #27 — uma edição imediatamente precedendo esta aqui. Em Xeque-mate #16, pode-se identificar o helicóptero como um Bell AH-1 Cobra bimotor. Curiosamente, em ES #27, o helicóptero não era qualquer tipo atual, sendo, em vez disso, de algum formato genérico imaginado pelo desenhista. Eu sugeriria que eles se coordenassem um pouco melhor se quisessem parecer tão engenhosos em mostrar continuidade.

Xeque-mate #17 (junho de 1989) — desenhos de Steve Erwin

Nas páginas 4 e 5, os helicópteros são, respectivamente, um Bell 206 de cabine longa e um Bell 212. Se eu pudesse arriscar um palpite, diria que o desenhista estivesse recorrendo a algum calendário da Bell de onde tirar suas figuras.

Página 9, quadro 3; página 14, quadros 4 e 7 — A nave espacial é a Starblade, diretamente das páginas do clássico Naves espaciais 2000 a 2100, por Stewart Cowley, livro tão fácil de se encontrar nos sebos do Rio de Janeiro e, até há uns anos, na promoção dos encalhes da Sodiler.

Página 16, quadros 3 e 4 — O helicóptero é um Hughes 269 (TH-55 Osage).

Página 19, quadro 5; página 20, quadro 3; página 23, quadro 3; página 24, quadro 1 — O helicóptero parece ser um Aérospatiale AS 365, apesar de sua primeira aparição lhe dar a frente de um SA 360.

Esquadrão Suicida #29 (1989) — desenhos de John K. Snyder III

Página 16, quadro 1 — A Starblade aparece com destaque em uma figura que é quase uma réplica da original de Naves espaciais 2000 a 2100.

Xeque-mate #18 (Jun 1989) — desenhos de Steve Erwin

Por toda esta edição, os caças são claramente aqueles vistos em Aviões do futuro, de Bill Gunston, no volume II, página 43, como o British Aerospace P.1214-3. Em Xeque-mate #18, pode-se ver a mesma figura na página 17, com a grande diferença de que o motor único, montado na fuselagem, foi substituído por quatro motores sob as asas. Outras representações são vistas nas páginas 1, 12, 18 e 19.

De forma semelhante, a Starblade aparece ao longo da edição, notavelmente nas páginas 14, 15, 18, 19 e 20.

Página 21 — O pouso no compartimento de carga da Starblade era improvável o bastante, para se dizer o mínimo. Agora, eles o compõem com uma carga que em muito se assemelha a uma daquelas dos infantis desenhos animados dos Comandos em Ação, que, note-se, eram contemporâneos desta edição.

Esquadrão Suicida #30 (1989) — desenhos de John K. Snyder

Página 19, quadro 2 — Novamente a Starblade.


More dull annotations on comics

These are my annotations on some comics issues I have read not too long ago. They are not meant to be interesting to the general public, but only to myself and to those who google for them.

Batman #500 (Oct 1993)
Page 7, panel 2; page 8, panel 5; page 23, panel 6; and page 24, panel 1 — Jordan B. Gorfinkel, Assistant Editor.
Page 23, panel 6 — Does the sign not remind you of Geoforce?
Page 52 — The car’s impact was reused in 2005’s Batman Begins.

Superman: the Man of Steel #26 (Oct 1993)
Page 19 (Brazilian edition), panel 3 — The Cyborg’s eye and teeth are reminiscent of Swamp Thing‘s Anton Arcane as seen after death in Alan Moore’s run.

Estas são minhas anotações a algumas edições de quadrinhos que li há não muito tempo. Elas não pretendem interessar ao público em geral, mas apenas a mim mesmo e àqueles que googlarem por elas. A numeração das páginas e dos quadros segue a das edições originais.

Batman #500 (Oct 1993) — publicada em Batman no. 4 (junho de 1995)
P. 7, quadrinho 2; p. 8, quadrinho 5; p. 23, quadrinho 6; e p. 24, quadrinho 1 — Jordan B. Gorfinkel, Editor Assistente.
P. 23, quadrinho 6 — O símbolo não lembra o do Geoforça?
P. 52 — O impacto do vagão foi reutilizado em Batman Begins, de 2005.

Superman: the Man of Steel #26 (Oct 1993) — publicada em O retorno do Super-Homem no. 3 (novembro de 1994)
P. 19 (edição brasileira), quadrinho 3 — O olho e os dentes do Superciborgue remetem aos de Anton Arcane após a morte, conforme representado no período em que Alan Moore escrevia o Monstro do Pântano.