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SWAMP THING
#68
"Reflections in a Golden Eye"

(24 pages)
Writer: Rick Veitch
Artist(s): Rick Veitch, Alfredo Alcala
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Karen Berger
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson

Cover: John Totleben (signed)


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FACTOID
FROM THE BOG

The HELLBLAZER comic book series premiered in the same month in which this issue of SWAMP THING was published.

1:1 This is the first appearance of Alan Bolland. Most of the humans who have become an earth elemental or "Swamp Thing" have names similar to "Alec Holland".
(Morgan) Edge, a shady businessman who appeared in the Superman books, is the owner of Galaxy Broadcasting, based in Metropolis.

1:4 How many golden things can you spot in this issue? A "golden parachute" is a substantial payment which is contractually guaranteed to an executive in case they are fired when the company is taken over.
"Greenmail" is a blackmail payment to persons threatening to take over a company.
The Sunderland Corp. was run by General Sunderland, an old nemesis of Swamp Thing. He was apparently killed in #21, but issue #72 offers a surprise.

1:7 When threatened by a takeover from a hostile buyer, a company may seek to be bought instead by a friendly buyer, called a "white knight".
A "poison pill" is a tactic to discourage a hostile takeover in which the threatened company causes itself to become less profitable if taken over.

2:3 Reflection in a golden frame mirror

2:6 Reflection in a golden doorknob

2:8 The flower shop with the "romance" sign was seen in issue #54 ("The Flowers of Romance" ) in which Liz escaped from her psycho boyfriend.

2:9 Reflection in a window

2:11 Liz's boyfriend Dennis went nuts in issue #20 and she was under his control until issue #54.

3:1 "POW Psychology" is by Dr. Roger "Piggy" Huntoon, which we learned in issue #66. As for the magazine titles: "Shiny Beast" is the title of a 1978 experimental music album by Captain Beefheart. Beefheart, a favorite band of Veitch, Alan Moore and artist Steve Bissette, is also referenced in issue #72, page 6, and in the title of Annual #3. Veitch also wrote a story titled "Shiny Beasts" for EPIC magazine and there is a collection of his stories with the same title.

3:2 Chester is known to be "dealing" drugs.

3:3 We met Lipschitz in ST Annual #3, which also reintroduced Roy Raymond.
Woodstock was a 1969 musical festival of great cultural significance.

3:4 Reefer means marijuana.

3:5 In 1987, the Iran-Contra scandal indicted U.S. Col. Oliver North (among others) for secretly selling weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages in Lebanon. This was against U.S. policy, and so was the use of profits to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
"The Munsters", a TV comedy about a family of monsters, aired from 1964-1966.

3:7 Chester's button "Free Huey, Dewey and Louie" was a parody of the 1960's slogan "Free Huey" which pertained to the arrest of Huey P. Newton, leader of the Black Panther activist group.

4:1 Swampy fought Solomon Grundy in Slaughter Swamp last issue.

4:2 The talking tree was Alex Olsen, the Swamp Thing in the very first SWAMP THING story in HOUSE OF SECRETS #92 (reprinted in SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #33.)

6:2 Qurac is a fictional middle astern country in the DC Universe.

6:5 The American embassy in Beirut, Lebanon was indeed bombed in 1983, killing 63 people. According to Paul F. Walker and Eric Stambler:

"Fuel-air explosives form highly gaseous mixtures which, when detonated, produce much more blast than fire. For their size and weight, they provide a much larger blast than any other weapon except for nuclear devices; in fact, the blast can mimic a small nuclear explosion."
(Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 1991, Vol. 47, No. 4)

7:4 "The Gotham City affair" took place in issue #53 The poster shows "Mr. Zip", a character created in the 1960's to promote the usage of address zip codes.

7:7 I asked artist Rick Veitch and he said "4318 Finley" was the address of a friend of his and Bissette's from Louisiana whom they knew from the Kubert School. "We slipped it in early and kept it going as an in joke." Abby's address is also seen in issues #51 and #83.

10:1 In "Taxi Driver" (1976) a disturbed veteran (Robert De Niro) seeks to assassinate a presidential candidate. In real life, John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to kill President Reagan in 1981 in an attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster, who starred in "Taxi Driver".
James Earl Ray was convicted of assassinating civil rights leader Martin Luther King in 1968.

10:3 If it's 2pm in London, then it must be 3pm in Paris, not 4pm as the clock says.

10:5 This scene of Lana Lang as a Manhunter being chased by Superman is from SUPERMAN #13 (1988) and is part of the MILLENNIUM storyline which crossed over into many DC Comics series.

11:4 "The Man from Glad" was a space-age character appearing in ads for Glad plastic wrap in the mid-1960's. Watch video.

12:4 The Committee members first appeared in #46. On his website in Feb. 2009, Veitch mused about this two-page spread:

One of the very cool things about doing SWAMP THING in the late 1980ís was that, for a short period, they relegated the ads to the back of the books. Besides allowing for a much more coherent reading experience, the format offered me the opportunity to work in double page spreads whenever I felt the storytelling benefited.

16-17:5 Bel (or "Beltine") was a powerful sun god to whom many people were sacrificed in Celtic mythology. There was a Saint Columba of Iona (c. 521-597), but I don't see any resemblance.
"Terra cotta warriors" refers to the army of over 7000 life-size statues found in 1974 buried at the ancient burial-site of the first Chinese Emperor Qin Shihuangdi around 211-206 BC.

15:4 Abby's father was blown up by a land mine and turned into the monstrous Patchwork Man by her evil uncle Anton. Abby last saw him in #59.
Abby's husband Matt became an alcoholic and was possessed by her uncle Anton.

18:3 "We Are the World" was the immensely popular 1985 song performed together by the top pop singers of that time. It was part of producer Bob Geldorf's "Live Aid" fundraiser concert for Ethiopian famine relief. Watch video.

19:4 The classic 1950's TV series intro said Superman fought for "truth, justice and the American way." Click to listen.

21: The "single-note mantra" of Buddhists is the "om" sound they make while meditating. Click to listen.

24:1 Reggae Sun Splash (seen on Chester's shirt) is an annual concert tour.

24:2 Liz wrote a book at the Swamp Thing many years ago.

24:3 Chester's karma from 18:6 pays off here.
Swampy makes a cameo appearance
in the final panel of INFINITY, INC. #46
published in this same month.

COMMENT: The title of this story comes from the title of the 1967 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.

COMMENT: In 2004, DC Comics collected issues 65-70 in the trade book "Swamp Thing: Regenesis".



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