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"Loving the Alien"

(22 pages)
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: John Totleben
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Type: Richard Bruning
Production: Steve Bove
Editor: Karen Berger
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson

Cover: John Totleben


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The title of this story is the title of a 1984 song by David Bowie as well as a Bowie biography.

7 "Arachnid"=Anton Arcane, "feral"=werewolf, "infant"=Rosewood vampires.

8 "presence whose upper extremity was shrouded by a mass of white strands"= Abby (Thanks to Petar Stojakovic for spotting this!)

COMMENT: What was that??!!
Flashback to SWAMP THING
#60 in NEW TITANS #104
In September 2010, Joćo Paulo Cursino pointed out to me something that hardly anyone else has ever noticed. The machine-planet-being in this story reappeared in THE NEW TITANS #103-107 in 1993, written by Marv Wolfman! Swamp Thing is directly mentioned only in one editorial caption in each of three of the issues (THE NEW TITANS #103,105,107) and is seen in flashback in #104 in a distorted form. Swamp Thing is not mentioned by name in the story itself, although Arsenal learns in #107 that the being had previously encountered a "swamp creature from Earth." Wolfman named the planet-being "Technis", and it appeared again in the 1999 min-series JLA/TITANS: THE TECHNIS IMPERATIVE. In the 1993 NEW TITANS story, the Titans member Cyborg has been electronically infected by a group of aliens who are the avatars of beings from the machine-planet. Joćo Paulo says:

In NEW TITANS #104, the Titans are brought to the aliens' planet -- lo and behold, that's the machine planet from "Loving the Alien". 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.

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.

The machine-world's "rape" of Swamp Thing resulted in the birth of an electro-mechanical being called Zavior which wanted to take over the Earth. (So Zavior is Swampy's first-born child?) Cyborg's soul ended up merging with the techno-entity in NT #107, later called Cyberion, and in later appearances his word balloons are shaped like Swamp Thing's, with angled edges and thick borders.
Further, Joćo Paulo notes that in NT #104, in a scene reminiscient of Spock's entering into the huge V'ger construct in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), the Titans enter the machine- planet's core. There we see four faces, one of which looks like Swamp Thing. Two others look very similar in theme to Ghost-Hiding-in-the-Rushes and Saint Columba of the "Committee of Four" elementals which Rick Veitch developed in issue 69. The fourth face has a demonic/gargoyle appearance.
NEW TITANS #104: Faces reminiscent of earth elementals

COMMENT: This issue's art utilizes pencil, ink, paint, collage and photography. John Totleben created a ST sculpture for the photographs. Totleben created the experimental art first and then Alan Moore wrote the prose around it.

COMMENT: Beginning with this issue, as part of DC Comics' "New Format" line of comics, SWAMP THING is printed on higher quality paper. From this issue onward, all SWAMP THING covers are required to carry a "Suggested for Mature Readers" label. Interpreting this as censorship, writer Alan Moore stops writing the series as of 64.

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