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"Shine On You Crazy Diamond"

(17 pages)
Writer: Rick Veitch
Artist(s): Brett Ewins
Colorist: Shelly Eiber
Letterer: Augustine Mas
Editor: Greg Weisman and Mark Waid

Cover: S.Bissette?


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The title of this story is the title of a Pink Floyd song which is supposedly a tribute to original band member Syd Barrett, who suffered debilitating mental illness.

1:1 Killer Croc is a Batman villain whom Batman brought to Arkham Asylum and subdued with paralyzing gas in SWAMP THING #66. He has a skin disease that makes him look like a reptile.

1:3 Arkham Asylum, where most of Batman's enemies are incarcerated, has been seen in SWAMP THING issues #30, #52, and #66.

1:5 Does anyone know if this secret society among the asylum's guards was a plot element in another series? Who is "Great Dragon"? The title "Grand Dragon" is used within the Ku Klux Klan. Are these guards Klan members?

1:6 Is this Dr. Jaeger's first appearance? For more on Dr. Jaeger see page 15.

Pages 2 and 3 The grafitti above Woodrue's toliet says "Are we not (men)?" This was chanted chanted by the hardly-civilized animal-men in H.G.Wells' novel "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (and used in a song by the 1980's band Devo). The other grafitti behind the Joker says "Riddle me this", which is a catch-phrase used by another villain, the Riddler.

Captain Queeg, to whom Harvey Dent (a.k.a. Two-Face) is compared, was the paranoid character from the classic 1954 film "The Caine Mutiny".

Note that Preston Payne (a.k.a. Clayface III) lives under the delusion that a mannequin is his wife. SWAMP THING author Alan Moore wrote about him in BATMAN ANNUAL #11. The people Croc compares them to are former Beatle John Lennon and Yoko Ono, known for their eccentricity.

Deever & Dumfree Tweed (a.k.a. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum) were villains in the golden age Batman series, but have not been seen much since then.

5:1 Woodrue, the dryads and the world of Floria first appeared in THE ATOM #1 (June 1962; cover at right). Contrary to what Woodrue says, Maya was a benevolent ruler and the Atom (Ray Palmer) is a hero.

7:4 The scene of Woodrue using shears to snip the Atom is from the cover of THE ATOM #24 (April 1966; shown below).

8:2 Woodrue transformed into his plant-body in the Green Lantern backup story in FLASH (First series) #245 (Nov 1956).

10:3 The super-villain Dr. Destiny recruited Woodrue in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #61 (March 1968).

10:4 The SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS had their own series in the mid-1970's. Those shown in the panel are (left to right) Gorilla Grodd, Blockbuster, Woodrue, the Mist, Star Sapphire, and Reverse-Flash.

11:1 At the top of the page we see Superman fighting Gorilla Grodd and the Ragdoll. Green Lantern is battling ???? while Batman punches Blockbuster. WonderGirl fights the Psycho-Pirate (who figured prominantly in the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.

11:2 The reality-shattering battle between the Monitor and Anti-Monitor (the two largest figures shown on this page) was the premise of the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS maxi-series which resulted in the restructuring of the entire DC Comics universe. None of the characters who appeared in it, including Woodrue, are supposed to remember it.

12:2 This happened in SWAMP THING #21.

12:4 In SWAMP THING #22, after eating a bit of vegetation from the Swamp Thing's body, Woodrue went berserk. He washed off his false skin and tried to make plant life dominate all the human and animal life in the world.

13:2 As the story continued in SWAMP THING #23, the JLA was helpless, but Swampy subdued Woodrue and talked him out of it. The story ended in SWAMP THING #24 with Woodrue having a mental breakdown and trying to re-apply his synthetic flesh face.

14:2 Swamp Thing visited Woodrue in SWAMP THING #52.

14:3 John Constantine snuck into the Asylum to talk to Woodrue in the above-mentioned SWAMP THING #66. Constantine was then detained by Dr. Huntoon but the Batman/Croc fight in Huntoon's office allowed Constantine to escape.

14:4 The faces here are the Parliament of Trees, frequently seen in SWAMP THING.

14:5 The Guardian Herupa Hando Hu and the Zamaron Nadia Safir visited Woodrue in issue 3 of the MILLENIUM mini-series.

15:3 This sounds like the memorable soundtrack of the extremely campy Batman television series of the 1960's.

15:6 An alien Manhunter posing as Dr. Jaeger freed Woodrue from the asylum, as revealed in MILLENNIUM #3. This was because Woodrue was supposedly one of the beings chosen by the Guardians of Universe to save the Earth in the MILLENIUM mini-series/crossover event.

16:3 As Batman discovered in BATMAN #415, this Commisioner Gordon is an alien imposter seeking to foil the Guardians plans, in which Woodrue is key.

16:4 Killer Croc's real name is Waylon Jones.

17:4 While Huntoon is overly cynical, his suspicions are not far from the truth. The Guardians are indeed planning to breed a higher form of humans, whcih is the premise of the short-lived NEW GUARDIANS series. The Gordon-imposter is just trying to throw him off the trail.

17:6 Croc doesn't get out of Arkham anytime soon. His next clash with Batman is in the 2004 graphic novel ARKHAM ASYLUM by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean.

COMMENT: Woodrue's next SWAMP THING appearance is in issue#82.

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