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#53, October 1986
"The Garden of Earthly Delights"

(38 pages)
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: John Toleben
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Karen Berger
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson

Cover: Steve Bissette (initialed)


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Gotham City's history is further shown in issue #86.

Cover sketches by S.Bissette

1:? Gotham City's Mayor Skowcroft previously appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS #558.

1:3 According to CBLT News, In 1980, Ronald Reagan famously asserted that trees themselves are a source of pollution. During his election campaign he mocked environmentalists, saying that if they had their way "we'd all be living in rabbit's holes and bird's nests." (Thanks to Jon Schaper for spotting this.)

2:1-4 This describes what happened last issue.

4:1 Commissioner Gordon and Detective Harvey Bullock are supporting characters from Batman's series.

5:4 The boys spinning on their heads are "breakdancing "- a popular urban fad of the 1980s.

5:5 The hallucinagenic tubers were first used in #34.

8:1 This panel may be an homage to Michaelangelo's painting of the Creation, depicting God touching Adam's fingers.

8:4 While Lex Luthor is Superman's archenemy, he is publicly seen a philanthropic businessman at this point in DC comics' continuity. Luthor knows what "invulnerable" is because Superman is invulnerable. Luthor's threat was foreshadowed on page 8 of issue #46 and ST seeks revenge on him in #79.
Wicker is head of the DDI, the covert government agency responsible for "killing" ST in issue #20.
Swamp Thing helped Batman
save Gotham City from
uncontrollable plant growth

10:3 Chester Williams was first and last seen in issue #43. Wallace Monroe appeared in issues #35 and #36. He witnesses his wife's fate in issue #63.

10:4 Salvador Dali is famous for his surrealist landscapes.

11:1 Link from 10:6 = "different now"/"is changed"

12:1 Link from 17:7 = "He's gone"/"gone from the maps"

13:2 As Batman says, he has met Swamp Thing before - in SWAMP THING (1973 series) #7, and in BRAVE AND THE BOLD #122 and 176. In the main DC Comics universe, many stories prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths (such as the aforementioned) are no longer considered to be in continuity (i.e.- "they never really happened".) Batman ran across Swampy briefly during the Crisis itself in #46, written by Moore.
Mr. Denzil

20:2 I don't know who Lori Dickens is(shown here on the screen) but Denzil Peachy is the name of a retired gentleman in Oxfordshire, England. Given how unusual his name is, I'd bet that he is an acquaintance of Alan Moore. Moore featured a disembodied brain of a character named Denzil Metavac in his later TOP TEN series ("Deadfellas" story featured in AMERICA'S BEST COMICS 64 PAGE GIANT, 23:4).

21:4 Wallace did this in issue #36.

27:1 I hope that coffee on the mayor's lap wasn't hot!

28:4 ST met warriors from Hawkman's planet in issue #58.

32:1 The reporter resembles Geraldo Rivera, a television reporter well-known in the late 1980's for his excessively sensationalistic style.

34:1 The "metallic sphere" motif here appeared when ST was shot in issue #20 page 22. It also was used in #21 in 6:2, 13:2, 20:4, etc. (BALLS VIDEO)

37:1 ST is remembering his origin in SWAMP THING (Vol.1) #1 "Dark Genesis!" by Len Wein in 1972. See also issue#28 for further analysis.
The man who fired the projectile is Gus Foley and the man firing the napalm is Paulie Skinner, as revealed in #63.

37:4 The warning from the Parliament of Trees was in issue #47 .

COMMENT: Swamp Thing gets his revenge on Wicker & company in issue #63.

COMMENT: This issue takes it's title from the triptych painting of hell by the late 15th century surrealist Hieronymous Bosch. The painting was seen in 2:2 of issue issue #25. Click the image at left for a larger view. Or really blow your mind with the music video version.

COMMENT: This issue ranked #6 in the "Favorite Comic Book Story" category of the 1986 Comic Buyers Guide Fan Awards.

COMMENT: View the original printing plate for this issue's cover at Steve Bissette's blogspot.

COMMENT: In 2002, DC Comics collected issues 51-56 in the trade book "Swamp Thing: Earth to Earth".

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