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"Infernal Triangles"

(24 pages)
Writer: Jamie Delano
Artist(s): Tom Mandrake, Alfredo Alcala
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Karen Berger
Swamp Thing Created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson

Cover: Dave McKean


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Titan Books once reprinted four volumes collecting HELLBLAZER #1-14 together with ST#76-77. Titan also reprinted all the ST issues writen by Alan Moore. These hard to find books were available only in the UK.

Abby felt taken
advantage of in

COMMENT: This story takes place after Constantine's book, HELLBLAZER #13 (wherein he is just recovering from his battle with Nergal), but references events from HELLBLAZER #10 ("Sex and Death", art at right from that issue by Richard Piers Rayner and Mark Buckingham ). In that story, Abby and Swamp Thing, in Constantine's body, were still having sex when Constantine's consciousness returned to his body.

1:1 Note the number of parents in the family of ducks. Two. Which is traditional.

1:5 The orderly family of ducks is disrupted by an outsider - the gator. Similarly, Abby's relationship with ST has been disrupted by the inclusion of Constantine.

2 - 3 Panels 1-5 run across the tops of pages 2 and 3. This is a departure from the conventional panel layout which progresses one page at a time.

2 - 3:4-5 Abby is repelled, as ST states, by the worms revealed in his "heart". This may be a natural phenomenon since he is a plant, or is it a psychosomatic reaction symbolizing how she's perceiving him?

2 - 3:9 "Time to PUZZLE this out"

2 - 3:10 The flying ducks form a triangle. So does the area from ST's nose to his chest.

4:1 The road forms a shape of a triangle.

5:1 The bridge struts are in a form of triangles.

5:6 It's obvious by this point that Ella's scarf, earrings and necklace all have a triangular pattern.

6 Ella and Julius want to have a 3-way sexual encounter.

7:4 The child plays on a pyramid of triangles.

7:5 Swing supporters are in a shape of a triangle
Tree Frog Beer

On page 14, in the first panel of the dance, there's a can of Tree Toad beer. This is a reference to "Tree Frog Beer", the favorite drink of Clay S. Wilson's CHECKERED DEMON, published by ZAP! Comix. This was referenced in issue ST #25 page 2. Jonathan Schaper tells me that SWAMP THING artist Bissette's anthology series, TABOO, has included Wilson's work.
In 1969, a band from Kansas University named themselves after the beer. Soon after, the fictional beer was advertised as a joke on WEBN radio in Cincinnati. In 1972, a Cincinnati brewery labeled some of its cans with the a "WEBN Tree-Frog Beer" label. The Frog became the symbol of the station, to this day.

8:1 The frame above the door is triangular.

9:2 The can says Libby's Libby's Libby's on the label label label.

9:3 You can see a pyramid on the dollar bill in Abby's hand

9:4 The "A" in Abby's signature is a kind of triangle.

9:4 A picture of triangles hangs on the wall.

9:6 "ABC Cabs?" A, B and C being traditional marks for the three points of a triangle.
The "4318 Finley" address was shown in issue 51, page 10.

10:1 Three cards, one of which is a queen (lady)

10:4 A triangle on a cup in Abby's hand.

10:5 The relationship of 3 people isn't pretty.

10:9 Triangles in the broken glass

12-13:4 The castoff bodies ST has grown appear to be (left to right):
Alec Holland?, Chester, Batman, Indiana Jones, unknown, Bruce Springsteen? (if it was Elvis, he'd have long sideburns), Superman, unknown
There are three people in each frame.

12-13:7 "Mundum's Bar & Grill" may be a reference to "Munden's Bar" which was a backup feature in John Ostrander's series GRIMJACK by First Comics (1984-1988). "Mundum" is latin for "world".

12-13:10 They're making a pyramid of glasses.

14-15:last Translation of the song: "DEUX HOMME ET UNE FILLE" = "Two men and one girl..."

"CEST UN AGONIE DE VIE" = "It is the anguish of life"

"CES FRERES DECHIRER MA COUER" = "These brothers tear my heart"

"CE SOIR JE ROCK N' ROLL" = "This night, I rock n' roll"

"MAIS DANS LE MATIN JE SERA PARTI" = "But in the morning I will have left"
(I'm guessing that they misspelled some words here. "Mois" should be "Mais", and "Marin" should be "Matin".)

16:1 Hotel sign is in the shape of a triangle (reads "Triad motel"), as well as a neighboring house roof.

16:5 "The Evil Dead" (1981) is a cult favorite horror film.

17:5 John is quoting Bob Dylan's song It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding). We saw John's new tattoo on page 19 of last issue.

19:5 What flowers is he talking about? Did the artist forget to draw them?

20:2 "stop grinning"=sad clown painting

24:6 Constantine solves the puzzle symbolizing the resolving of their emotional triangle.

COMMENT: Thanks to Petar Stojakovic for spotting several hidden triangles.

COMMENT: SWAMP THING ANNUAL #4 guest-starring Batman, was published just before this issue.

COMMENT: In late 2006, DC Comics collected issues 77-81 and ANNUAL #3 in the trade book "Swamp Thing: Infernal Triangles". SWAMP THING ANNUAL #4 is not reprinted in any trade paperbacks yet.

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