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China Miéville’s Swamp Thing would’ve been ‘epic,’ ‘pretty political’

china mieville

China Mieville

Acclaimed “weird fiction” author China Miéville has confirmed the cancellation of his planned Swamp Thing reboot for Vertigo, the apparent result of an editorial decree to return the character to the DC Universe.

“My feelings at the moment can doubtless be intuited,” Miéville wrote in an email to the Roots of the Swamp Thing fansite, “though I have nothing but gratitude and respect for the people I worked directly with at DC, who were consummately professional and helpful.”

Created in 1971 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, Swamp Thing starred in his own comic from 1972 to 1976. The title was relaunched in 1982 as The Saga of the Swamp Thing, which rose to critical acclaim in the hands of the (then) relatively unknown writer Alan Moore. The series moved under the Vertigo banner with the imprint’s founding in 1993, and it’s remained there ever since. Swamp Thing hasn’t been published since 2006, when the fourth volume was canceled.

Miéville, who’s known for such award-winning novels as Perdido Street Station, Iron Council and The City & The City, told the fansite he had planned “an ‘epic’ arc, in terms of scale and stakes,” for his Swamp Thing series. That 15- to 18-issue arc would’ve been “pretty political,” but not “entirely straightforwardly traditional ‘green’ politics.”

“It was conceived of, at least in part, as a respectful argument with some of Alan Moore’s formulations,” he wrote. He provides more “vague” details in his response to the fansite.

There’s no indication yet as to what creators might relaunch Swamp Thing under the DCU bullet. It’s likely any announcements will be held until Comic-Con International in July.

Miéville’s latest novel Kraken will be published this month by Del Rey.

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Comments

11 Comments

Medieval Mike

June 4, 2010 at 10:00 am

Dammit! “The City and the City” was terrific, and if Mieville could pull off the central conceit of that book (which I will not reveal; read it) I expect he could have done wonders with Swamp Thing.

Four words of consolation: China Miéville’s Man-Thing.

(Or some less porny iteration, thereof.)

Bryant: I would cry. And for all of you who have never read Man-Thing, do so. Greatest series of the 70s, by far. (one prob though – Manny can’t speak, so it would require some heavy rewriting on Mieville’s part).

Bryant and Peter beat me to it. This is a strange decision on DC’s part and probably an unintended glitch resulting from their strange corporate structure, but bracketing the decision to let the DCU have Vertigo characters (which I don’t understand but don’t know enough about to tell if it’s a good or bad decision – leaning toward bad), China Miéville is a major writer. You don’t do him like that. He’s starting to receive highbrow literary attention outside of the niche of genre fiction (perhaps because of his academic Marxism – Marxists do not forgive or forget, either). Marvel should pay Paul Pope a fortune to draw Man-Thing with him, stick a MAX label on it and use this as an opportunity to break the Vertigo hegemony once and for all.

Why can’t there be a Vertigo Swamp Thing and a DC Swamp Thing like Marvel has a 616 Punisher and a MAX Punisher?

Because that’s kind of silly. Honestly, Punisher MAX, Punisher, Ultimate Punisher, 1602 Punisher… oh man.

I guess it works sometimes, but honestly, I’d rather just have on really good book to follow than a bunch of ok ones that are really confusing to explain to new fans.

Really, I hope Mieville’s work can still be used in some way and in the long run this turns out ok, but really I’m just glad swampy and the others can play again. They’ve been kept inside too long.

Does anyone remember months (maybe a year ago) when Didio stated that Swamp Thing wouldn’t be coming to DC. Something about Solomon Grundy being a perfect replacement for him in the DCU (right around the time the SG mini was coming out).

Now fans can debate the following question:
Which would have been more amazing: Neil Gaiman’s writing Swamp Thing, or China Miéville writing Swamp Thing?

DC is shooting themselves in the back-list. DC published Neil Gaiman before he became a rock star, and have numerous titles to sell now that he’s won the Nebula and Newbery Awards.

Miéville, a lauded science fiction author, will grow in stature.

Now… why can’t Vertigo (or DC) just publish an original Swamp Thing graphic novel series?

Perdido Street Station was a pretty good book. I hope this doesn’t sour him on writing comics in the future.

Curse you, DiDio!

They can have Mieville write Hellblazer after Peter Milligan as compensation. They owe him big time!

i was sadened to be informed last week of the devolping relationship that gaiman is in..
i hope he continues to write killer books once married.
perdido street station was insanly well written, such intermate details, oh love love love.

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