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Monday, May 23, 2011

"The Man Who Wanted Forever"

Well folks, we're still here, so I guess the world didn't end after all. I personally thinks it's sad when doomsday prophesies like this one are trotted out to further scare people into accepting a religion that wouldn't normally follow, or to even cause such an unneeded panic in the first place! The world's bad enough and grim enough as it is without some religious fanatics causing undue stress and worry for the rest of us "Sinners." I hope the people/sheep that fell for this crock of shit feel realllll stupid! And then to make matters worse, I find out that last Thursday or Friday, some woman sacrificed/killed her son in order to prevent the end of the world from coming or as an offering to save her soul or some such nonsense. This is truly a crazy and dangerous world we live in folks; truth really is stranger than fiction at times!

Let's see, watched the season finales of The Simpsons, American Dad, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy. The simpsons one was fine, as was ADad. Bob's burgers was good, while I was disappointed about the Family Guy one. They did their final chapter of their Star Wars tribute they've been doing, called "It's a Trap!" More like "It' Sucks!" The only thing that was slightly interesting was the Seth Green jokes, and then later Seth McFarlene gets his too. I know it's not cool to piss on the creative work of others, but it seems to me that over the last couple of FG seasons, Seth's been "phoning it in", and that shit needs to stop. If you're running out of good ideas for the show, and after what, almost 10 seasons who wouldn't, then you should end the show on top. This wouldn't happen though, because Seth's getting paid damn good money not to, so there it is. It could be just me, but most of the season finales of these shows just aren't that good! Oh well.....

Due to the positive reviews I've been getting regarding my Swamp Thing comic reviews, I'm posting another one. Enjoy:

Swamp Thing Vol.1 #2(Dec-Jan 1972-73) "The Man who Wanted Forever" By Len Wein and Berni Wrightson.

This issue marks the 1st App. of Anton Arcane, who under Alan Moore was really written as an evil sonofabitch! Incest, devil-worship/witchcraft and more were just some of the numerous crimes Arcane committed. Here, he's just getting started, as Lein reveals how this guy wants power badly no matter the cost!

The issue starts off almost parallel to the first issue, as Swamp Thing/Alec's shown hiding out amongst the Louisiana swamp while watching his and his wife's killers being loaded up into a meat-wagon/Ambulance.
While watching them, he flashes back to how it all started, which was covered last issue. He remembers being confronted by his soon-be-killers, being blown up, emerging from the swamps as a new creature, and finally the small measure of revenge he obtained by killing his killers. He's too wrapped up in thinking how his life went wrong to notice a pack of weird and grotesque creatures slowly ganging up on him. Then a weird talking brain/hand hybrid creature shouts out orders: "Swiftly my Un-Men, capture him swiftly! The master will not tolerate your failure!" Yes folks, this is also the 1st appearance of the Un-Men!

ST/Alec just wants to be left alone, and struggles to fight them off! Then one of the Un-Men, Ophidian, a snake-like creature slithers into action and hypnotizes ST/Alec to go to sleep. ST/Alec passes out, leaving himself open to the UN-Men's tender mercies. Meanwhile, Lt. Cable, who's not that far away, hears some commotion. He looks up to discover a large plane flying overhead with ST/Alec chained up underneath the plane. He vows to follow ST, who he mistakenly believes killed Alec and Linda Holland.  We follow ST's journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the European countryside, where ST's taken to a huge, but strange-looking, creepy castle over-looking a small European town. He's then chained up crucifixion-style on some slabs of wood and marched up into the the very heart of the ominous-looking castle.  Then, just as they all approach the castle's gates, ST wakes up! "Chained...they had me chained! The scenery is different but the situation is the same!" He begins to fight with the Un-men again, noting a nearby window and thinking to leap out of it. Before he can, a voice shouts "Now, now my pets...you shouldn't be so rough with your new playmate!" The voice belongs to an old man who introduces himself as simply Arcane! Arcane offers his hand to ST, and ST takes it, as they both go inside the castle. It is here, that Arcane explains how he sought ST out because Arcane's discovered the secret to immortality, but his body's too old and frail to use it. ST's body, on the other hand, seems perfect enough to withstand the ritual needed to obtain the immortality. He then takes ST/Alec on a tour of his castle home, which acts as home/confinement to his numerous experiments that all look like Frankenstein rejects. he explains to ST/Alec how they all came about: "Using my gathered knowledge, I sought to build myself a new, more enduring form, synthetically! My Un-men are the result of my first experimentations, crude, but totally dedicated to me!"  He then goes on to explain to ST/Alec how he found him using an ancient mystical mirror. I need one of those for the house myself.

Arcasne continues on about how he knows of ST/Alec's condition and how it all happened, including the death of his wife Linda. He then says the magic words to ST/Alec with this proposition: "How would you like to be human once again, Doctor Alec Holland?" Arcane goes off on how he can fix ST/Alec and make him human again, all the while ST/Alec's simply staring real hard out the window. Arcane continues to prod him, "What's wrong with you man? Don't you want to be human? Don't you care?", all to which ST/Alec responds with a heart-felt "I, care!"  Arcane then proceeds to give ST/Alec a physical, exploring his plant-like body with a boyish glee. Arcane then says "I would say your body is exactly what I've been looking for!" in a way you just know is not going to end well at all for ST/Alec, and off we go! The scene jumps back to Lt.Cable who's just gotten other government agencies to look for ST. Unbeknownest to hm, the big boss of the Conclave from last issue is secretly listening in on Cable via the dog's microphone also from last issue. He too wants to find Swamp Thing, if only to get revenge on him for killing his men.

Back to Arcane and Swampy, as Anton Arcane shows ST just how he's going to restore ST to normal again. He'll use the mystic Soul Jar to do it, along with an incantation that will basically cause Arcane to get the ST body, while reverting Alec Holland to his normal body once again. Arcane tells ST/Alec to want it while he chants, and after a brief period of pain, Alec Holland awakens to his normal body again. He's initially shocked off course, but deals with it quickly enough. Arcane, now in ST's body talks easily to Alec, something that Alec himself had much difficulty doing. Arcane assures Alec that everything's fine now, and Alec takes off for some time to himself.  Alec thinks to himself how incredible this all is to be free of being a monster, and then pines for his lost wife Linda. After all that, he goes off wandering the castle looking for some drinks, when he overhears Arcane's true reason for trading bodies w/Alec; He ultimately wants to destroy the quiet village underneath his castle and amass even more power for himself, and with his new body he figures he's unstoppable. And he might be just that! Alec runs off towards the soul jar, but it's guarded by a giant 4-armed monster. The monster snatches up Holland, trying to break his back, when Holland strangles the monster out using his nylon robe. With the monster defeated, Alec gets ready to smash the jar, when Arcane runs in to stop him. "Holland, don't! For God's sake man, you'll ruin everything." Arcane pleads. To which Holland replies "Yes, Arcane...for God's sake", and smashes he soul jar. Holland reverts back to Swamp Thing, and Arcane back to his old body. Arcane's not finished yet though, as he orders his creatures to attack ST, while he runs off. ST fights through them to get to Arcane, forcing Arcane to jump out one of his castle windows. The Un-Men all stop, and then after thinking for awhile on what they should do, they simply do what they've always done, and follow their master out the window. ST/Alec's left to ponder what just happened, and then walks off for home. But he doesn't see a very Frankenstein-looking creature watching him!

Next issue: The Patchwork Man!

So what'd you guys think? Not bad huh? And yes we know Arcane's not really dead yet, but ST doesn't! I don't have the next issue, so I can't review that one, but I do have more in this early series. Maybe I'll get to them later. I'm out of here.

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