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"Center of the Cyclone"

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

Cover: Mike Kaluta (signed)


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In HELLBLAZER #7, published in the same month as this issue of SWAMP THING, Constantine refers to events in issue #50: "Spontaneous human combustion... last time I saw it was in Baron Winters' house."

1:1 The tower in the background is labeled as part of the Sunderland Corporation.
2:1 Author Rick Veitch tells me that the license plate number seen here has no significance that he can remember.
3:2 Swampy bonded the Sprout (essence of the next Swamp Thing) to Abby and told her to flee in last issue.
3:4 The Wild Thing, was a terrorist who was intended to be the next Swamp Thing until Alec interfered in issue 68.
The Wild Thing previously spoke only in advertising slogans and media jingles.
3:7 Roy Raymond and his assistant Lipchitz have been trapped in the limo since issue 69.
4:1 The "Swamp Knucker" was a prehistoric elemental sent by the Parliament of Trees to thwart Swamp Thing and to sacrifice a human to create the next Swamp Thing in last issue.
6:6 Link to 7:1 "Freedom"="free ride"
7:5 Raymond says his "neck on is on the line" but Lipchitz's neck is really in peril here.
8:1 Link from 7:6 "down to business"="down"
8:4 Silk Cuts are Constantine's favorite cigarettes.

Art from HELLBLAZER #8
by John Ridgway and
Alfredo Alcala

9:1 "Yid" and "wop" are racist slang terms for Jewish and Italian people, respectively.
9:5 Constantine sustained his injuries from stepping off a moving train in HELLBLAZER #7. (He was scared from sleep by apparitions of his dead associates.)
10:1 A flashback of this scene occurs in HELLBLAZER #8, with Swampy's silohuette appearing.
10:2 Constantine consulted Rodney the idiot-savant in issues 70 and 72.
10:3 Constantine consulted Carl the dream analyst and Ming the acupuncturist in issues 70 and 72.
10:4 The body seen here is the cave-painter whom Constantine consulted in issues 70 and 72. Although there are rats crawling on him, he's apparently not dead until issue 88.

Constantine consulted Freddy the geomancer in issue 70 and last issue.
The druid was Blackbriar Thorn whose spirit Constantine summoned in issue 70. Thorn also had a cameo appearance in the aborted "Swamp Thing Meets Jesus" story.
10:5 Constantine consulted Staj the farmer in issue 70 and last issue. He consulted Dogbum ( the seer of auras) in issues 70, 71 and last issue. He consulted Brenda the coroner in issues 70 and 72.
10:6 We saw earlier stages of this painting in issues 70 and 72.
11:5 The name "Holland" on the motor is also the name of the human whose body became Swamp Thing. This coincidence is part of the "synchronicity storm".
13:4 The Wild Thing spoke the same Chinese words in issue 72.
12:5 Constantine warned Abby about the synchronicity storm in last issue.
16:4-7 These four characters are earth elementals from previous eras. They first appeared in #47 and formed the Committee of Four in issue #68 to ensnare ST permanently into the Parliament of Trees. They vanished when Swamp Thing did something to them in issue #69.

The way they speak is related to their origins:

    - "Ghost-Hiding-In-The-Rushes" came from ancient China.
    - Bog Venus was a prehistoric human.
    - Saint Columba came from an old Celtic tribe, and hence is repeating the old English epic "Beowolf", as explained in notes for last issue.
    - Kettle Hole Devil was a union worker from America's Industrial Revolution.
They appear again in issue #80.
19:2 Cosmic forces tried to make a new Swamp Thing out of Solomon Grundy in #67, out of Alan Bolland in #69, of Gary Holland in #71, of Alden Hollandaise in issue #72 and of Chester in last issue.
19:2 Abby visited Heaven in issue #66.
20:2 This explains what happened to the Commitee of Four at the end of issue #69.
23:2 An early TV advertising slogan for Pepsodent toothpaste.
24:3 Rick Veitch drew these cops as ST artists John Totleben and Steve Bissette in #31 page 20. The crazy sailor they speak of was a victim of ... oh, I can't explain it in a way that does the story justice. Just read the story from issue #29 through Annual #2.

Comment: Constantine is nursed back to full health with an infusion of blood from a demon whom he is forced to work with in HELLBLAZER #8. This will have serious implications in the next few issues. This issue's story takes place after HELLBLAZER #7 and before HELLBLAZER #8.

Comment: In the month of July, 1988, when this issue was originally printed, Swamp Thing co-starred in CAPTAIN ATOM #17. (Cover at right) When Captain Atom is the only one of the Justice League International who can face up to the rogue Red Tornado, who has become an air elemental, Swamp Thing pulls them through the Green to negotiate peace, to avoid their battle destroying the Louisiana swamps. The Black Racer and Brainwave also get involved. Pat Broderick's art uses geometric symbols to depict characters transitioning through astral plains, similar to the Mandelbrot visual patterns Veitch uses in SWAMP THING (used prominently in issue #62.)

Comment: The original printing of this issue included a full-page advertisement for classic "The Killing Joke" comic book written by SWAMP THING author Alan Moore.

COMMENT: In 2006, DC Comics collected issues 71-76 in the trade book "Swamp Thing: Spontaneous Generation".

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