Elvira in the House
Elvira was a sexy, humorous host of televised horror movies in the 1980s, portrayed by Cassandra Petersen. (VIDEO SAMPLE) Her character (accurately drawn) was licensed to DC Comics in 1986 to be the host of their revived HOUSE OF MYSTERY, which ran for 11 issues.
The scantily-clad Elvira (Issue #3 was published without the comics code, as an experiment, containing scenes of nudity) took possession of the House while Cain and Abel had moved to the House of Weirdness in the pages of BLUE DEVIL. Portraits of Cain often appear in issues of Elvira's HOUSE OF MYSTERY, as she searches for clues to his whereabouts. A contest was held for readers to explain where (and what) Cain is. Cain and Abel finally made full appearances in issue #10 of ELVIRA'S HOUSE OF MYSTERY, and in #11 they had difficulty remembering their appearances in SWAMP THING and BLUE DEVIL. (Art by Colan and Giordano, below.) DC Comics also published ELVIRA'S HAUNTED HOLIDAYS SPECIAL in 1987, and Marvel Comics published a "Spring Special" comic adaptation of her film in 1988, ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK. More horror comics featuring Elvira have been created by other publishers as well.
1:4 Cain is referring to Elvira. Her style of speech was similar to that of a "Valley Girl", a southern Californian teen trend popularized by Moon Unit Zappa's 1982 song. ("VALLEY GIRL" VIDEO)
Cain is evidently annoyed because Elvira, in cartoon form, replaced him as host of DC Comics' revived HOUSE OF MYSTERY anthology series in 1986. (Cover at right by Brian Bolland) Issue #5 of that Elvira-hosted series was published in the same month as this issue. It contained an image of a recent ST cover to prompt them to buy this issue.
1:6 At left is Abel's HOUSE OF SECRETS. At right is Cain's HOUSE OF MYSTERY.
2:3 Place of Lights=Heaven.
3 The floating guy in red is Deadman (Boston Brand) whom Swampy met in ST Annual #2. He appears again in ST 55.
5:3 Constantine (seen here with cigarette) lured Swampy into adventures involving the creatures shown here: a town of vampires in #38-#39 ("one community...destroy another"), a female werewolf in #40 ("gender against gender"), zombies in #41-#42 (race against race), and gunfighter ghosts in #45.
6:1 Link from page 5= "a universe away"/"getting closer"
In the same month that this issue was published, NEW TEEN TITANS Vol.2 #22 showed Constantine coming to get Dayton.|
Dayton had been becoming dangerously mentally disturbed in recent issues of NTT, in anticipation of the confrontation in this issue of ST.
Words: Marv Wolfman, Art:Tom Mandrake
6:4 See last issue for info on Sargon (who appears in the first few issues of the 2004 SWAMP THING series), Baron Winters, Mento, Doctor Occult, Zatara and Zatanna.
6:5 Constantine appeared with Steve Dayton (a.k.a. Mento) in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #4 and recruited him in ST issue #44.
7:3 Etrigan appears many times in SWAMP THING.
9:3 Kent Nelson's power as Doctor Fate indeed comes from his helmet, which has a mind of it's own.
10:4 The Stranger's
words here hint at the origin which Moore suggests for him in SECRET ORIGINS #10, 1987.
11:3 Rath, Abnegazar and Ghast, known as the Demons Three, first appeared in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #10, March 1962.
|Constantine reflects on these events in|
the Books of Magic miniseries by Neil Gaiman
20:1 Is Abnegazar giving Dr.Fate the finger?
20:5 Dr.Fate mentions Isis because his power originated from ancient Egypt.
23:1 Link from 22:5 = "frail hands"
23:10 Zatarra and his daughter speak their spells backwards, as an aid to focussing their concentration.
25:1 While he's not mentioned in the Bible, Jewish lore speaks of Metatron as one of God's highest representatives and he is sometimes referred to as the Voice of God. Metatron is one of the Seraphim, the highest rank of angels. The other ranks are Cherubim, Thrones, Domininons, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and (standard) Angels.
27:3 Jim Corrigan was the human host of the Spectre, as ST knows from meeting him in ST Annual #2 (In the year 2000, Hal Jordan, the Former Green Lantern, became the Spectre's new personality.)
28:5 The Spectre "teaches vengeance" because he is literally the spirit of God's wrath. His defeat here is particularly shocking because the Spectre is virtually omnipotent.
34:3 The swirling black and white image is a yin-yang symbol.
35:5 Is Winters' statement about knowing about casualties a reference to a specific incident in his NIGHT FORCE series?
36:7 Storms are nature's way of discharging the static electricity in the atmosphere, resulting in the feeling of freshness in the air after the storm.
38:3 The tombstones bear the names of artists & writers:"Stephen R. Bissette - Late for his own funeral", "A.Moore -R.I.,P.", "R.I.P. Totleben - The dead shall rise again and again and...", "Veitch" . If you look closely you'll see Alan Moore's head peeping up out of his grave!
COMMENT: Jonathan Schaper points out that Salvador Dalí did a painting depicting God as a giant thumb, which perhaps gave Moore an idea for this story.
COMMENT: Does the importance of keeping their hands joined during the seance parallel the joining of the giant hands of Good and Evil? Is the giant hand related to the giant hand which Ganthet witnessed in the Guardians' mythos of GREEN LANTERN(40)?
COMMENT: Constantine, Doctor Occult and the Phantom Stranger are re-united in Neil Gaiman's BOOKS OF MAGIC mini-series. Along with Mr. E, they form the so-called "Trenchcoat Brigade" .
COMMENT: On the inside back cover of the original printing of this issue features an advertisement for DC Comics including an unused alternate cover picture for this issue by Bissette and Totleben.
COMMENT: This story is parodied in MIGHTY MITES issue 2, volume 2 ("Sump Thing") from Eclipse Comics.
COMMENT: In 2001, DC Comics collected/reprinted issues 43-50 in a trade book titled "Swamp Thing: A Murder of Crows".