The final Swamp Thing story by the late legend Len Wein is set to be published by DC Comics in a special square-bound one-shot early next year.
Wein, who co-created the character with artist Bernie Wrightson in 1971 and wrote the first 13 issues of his solo series (he would later edit the great Alan Moore's work on the character), passed away last month after decades of influence and enthusiasm in the comics industry. The new Swamp Thing story was originally intended to kick off a new Swamp Thing series from Wein, pitched as a sequel to his 2016 Swamp Thing miniseries. Now it will be presented, both in Wein's original script and as a fully illustrated story with art by Kelley Jones, as a back-up in Swamp Thing Winter Special #1.
“[Wein’s] major plan was pretty much a straight horror title. He kept stressing that angle to me — that bringing up a lot of those DC horror characters was what would make the book more unique,” Jones told EW. “His main thing was to stress that Alec was turned into Swamp Thing. He really wanted to stress that again. He felt that there was a lot of story potential in that.”
The lead story in the special will be written by Tom King (Batman) and drawn by Jason Fabok (Batman Eternal). The story is intended to serve as tribute to both Wein and Wrightson (who also passed earlier this year), and follows Swamp Thing trying to guide a lost boy through a winter landscape despite decaying and being cut off from the Green. The solicitation copy alone makes it sound moving.
“What this is ultimately about is staying true to Len Wein,” King said, with Fabok adding, “We want to honor Bernie Wrightson and Len Wein, who we lost recently, with this story. We want them to be proud of the work that we’ve done on this story. We want to present a classic Swamp Thing tale that people are going to love, and we also want to introduce the character to maybe a new generation of readers who’ve never seen Swamp Thing.”
Check out the official synopsis for the special below and head over to EW to get a peek at Fabok's cover for the special and some uncolored preview pages from Jones and Fabok. Swamp Thing Winter Special #1 arrives January 31, 2018.
Tom King and Jason Fabok pay tribute to the legendary creators of Swamp Thing, writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, as they join forces for an earth-shattering Swamp Thing passion project!
In this new, squarebound one-shot, Swamp Thing is out of his element as he shepherds a lost boy through a blinding blizzard and other hazards of a strange, frozen tundra. In this touching and harrowing tale of survival, the pair must navigate countless threats throughout a bewildering terrain—with a bloodthirsty snow monster hot on their heels. But how long can they rely on each other? Separated from the Green and stripped of his powers in this dead world, Swamp Thing struggles to fight for their lives and deliver the boy to safety. Disoriented and decaying, Swamp Thing’s fading understanding of his surroundings forces the duo to confront their desperation and uncover the true identity of the snow monster that hunts them.
In addition, this special features the final Swamp Thing story from the monster’s co-creator, Len Wein. Originally intended as the start of a new series, it is presented here both in its original script form and with art by Kelley Jones.