Skip to content

Swamp Thing Reading Order

  • by

There is more than one Swamp Thing, the swamp monster/Elemental of the DC Universe (not Marvel’s Man Thing). The first one was created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson in House of Secrets #92 (July 1971) in a stand-alone horror story.

At first, the Swamp Thing was an anthropomorphic mound of vegetable matter fighting to protect his swamp home, but he eventually broadens his scope to protect the environment in general, and humanity from various supernatural or terrorist threats, becoming a DC Superhero in his own way. 

During the 1970s, Swamp Thing had his first ongoing series, but it didn’t last. When he became the star of a Wes Craven movie in 1982, a second series was launched. It was almost canceled before Alan Moore became the main writer and made it a real creative success, rewriting the mythology of the character and expanding his powers and reach.

Since then, more writers worked on the titles and Swamp Thing even started fighting alongside other DC heroes.

Swamp Thing Comics Reading Order

Navigate the Green:

  1. The Bronze Age Swamp Thing
  2. Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing
  3. Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing
  4. Nancy A. Collins’s Swamp Thing
  5. Grant Morrison and Mark Millar’s Swamp Thing
  6. Brian K. Vaughan’s Swamp Thing
  7. Andy Diggle and Joshua Dysart’s Swamp Thing
  8. Swamp Thing during the New 52 Era
  9. Swamp Thing during the Rebirth era
  10. Ram V’s Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing Reading Order

The Bronze Age Swamp Thing

…or what came before Alan Moore’s run. Deep in the bayous of Louisiana, far from civilization’s grasp, a shadowed creature seen only in fleeting glimpses roils the black waters…a twisted, vegetative mockery of a man…a Swamp Thing!

Len Wein was the writer for the first 13 issues of the original Swamp Thing series. After he left, David Michelinie and Gerry Conway came on board to finish up the series. As for the art, Bernie Wrightson drew the first 10 issues, then Nestor Redondo and Fred Carrillo.

Then came The Saga of the Swamp Thing which was mostly written by Martin Pasko (except issues 14-15 by Dan Mishkin). The main artist was Tom Yeates before Stephen R. Bissette and John Totleben took over.

Swamp Thing the Bronze Age Omnibus 1

Those stories were also collected in the following:

  • Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Vol. 1
    Collects the original short story “Swamp Thing” from The House of Secrets #92 and Swamp Thing #1-13, featuring all of Wein and Wrightson’s original run on the series and including art by Nestor Redondo, Michael Wm. Kaluta and Luis Dominguez.
  • Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Vol. 2
    Collects Swamp Thing #14-24, Challengers of the Unknown #81-87, DC Comics Presents #8 and The Brave and the Bold #122 and #176. 
  • Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Vol. 3
    Collects The Saga of the Swamp Thing #6-19 and Saga of the Swamp Thing Annual #1.

Swamp Thing Reading Order

Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing

Then unknown writer Alan Moore was brought in to remake the series as he wished. The Saga Of The Swamp Thing became a real horror book revolving around a true monster. A new mythology surrounding the creation of Swamp Thing was introduced and an elemental community also known as “the Green” became a key point in the development of the character. Also, as the story progressed, it became more esoteric.

During that era, Alan Moore created the character John Constantine. To know more about him, his appearances in the Saga of Swamp Thing and his own series “Hellblazer”, I redirect you to the John Constantine Reading Order.

Also available in one big box set.

Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing

When Alan Moore left, Rick Veitch who was already working on the title (he co-wrote and penciled) took over. He followed Moore’s lead, providing quite similar stories.

As of summer 2024, DC Comics launched a new collection for Rick Veitch’s stories:

The Previous Collection of Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing stories:

During DC Comics’ Invasion! crossover event, the Swamp Thing was thrown into the past. He then traveled through time in a attempt to come back to the present. This was Veitch last storyline, from Swamp Thing (vol. 2) #80 to #87.

If Swamp Thing Annual #4 written by Stephen Bissette has not been collected yet, the Annual #5 by Neil Gaiman can be found in Neil Gaiman’s Midnight Days.

Saga of the Swamp Thing John Constantine Reading OrdeWhen Rick Veitch left after a widely publicized creative dispute with DC about the use of Jesus as a character, Doug Wheeler took over and had to conclude his predecessor’s story before starting his own. 

Wheeler wrapped up the time travel arc Veitgh had started and oversaw the birth of Abby and the Swamp Thing’s daughter Tefé Holland who, with issue #90, became the main focus of Wheeler’s work.

Doug Wheeler wrote Swamp Thing #88 to #109, and they are not collected yet, but you can find them in Digital format:

Swamp Thing Reading Order

Nancy A. Collins’s Swamp Thing

In order to revive interest in the series, DC gave Swamp Thing to Nancy A. Collins who restored the pre-Moore tone of the series, bringing back Swamp Thing and Abby in southern Louisiana. Of course, Tefé is still present, a new Elemental is introduced (babysitter Lady Jane), and old enemies were resurrected.

Swamp Thing #129 was the first issue to carry the Vertigo logo on the cover as the imprint was officially launch during this run.

Swamp Thing Annual #7 was part of the Vertigo crossover event “Books of Magic: Children’s Crusade,” and Swamp Thing #139 was half of a two-part crossover with the Black Orchid series (issue #5) written by Dick Foreman.

Swamp Thing Reading Order

Grant Morrison and Mark Millar’s Swamp Thing

After Collins left, Grant Morrison took over for a very short period. He wrote a four-part storyline (issues #140-143), then unknown Mark Millar became the main writer, taking the second Swamp Thing series to its end.

Morrison had to deal with a new status quo before Millar launched Swamp Thing into a Herculean adventure as he had to overcome rival elemental forces to become the greatest champion of the five main Elemental Parliaments.

The Previous Collection of Mark Millar’s Swamp Thing stories:

Following the end of his series, Swamp Thing was absent for a time but finally made short appearances in the DC Universe, like during The Final Night event. In 1997, the Swamp Thing appeared in Peter David’s Aquaman (vol. 5) #32-33 and attended the funeral for the ghost of Jim Corrigan in John Ostrander’s The Spectre (vol. 3) #62.

After that, Aaron Hayley became an Earth Elemental in Roots an OGN by Jon J. Muth. It was not really connected to Swamp Thing despite the title. A year later, the Swamp Thing teamed up with other Vertigo heroes in the one-shot special Totems

Swamp Thing Reading Order

Brian K. Vaughan’s Swamp Thing

The third Swamp Thing series was launched in 2000 and was written by Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Roger Petersen and Giuseppe Camuncoli. It focused on a young Tefé Holland who needed to deal with who and what she was.

Andy Diggle and Joshua Dysart’s Swamp Thing

The fourth Swamp Thing series written by Andy Diggle (then Will Pfeifer) began in 2004 and followed the Swamp Thing as he became once more a plant-based Earth elemental who just wanted to live an “eventless” life in the Louisiana swamps. Also, Tefé was still here but was rendered powerless and mortal.

The two issues (#7-8) written by Will Pfeifer are not collected yet but are available in digital format.

Joshua Dysart became the main writer. The story dealt with the Holland Mind, a rogue consciousness trying to influence the Swamp Thing. This led to a restoration of a previous status quo.

Swamp Thing #21-29 by Joshua Dysart are not collected yet but are available in digital format.

Saga of the Swamp Thing John Constantine Reading OrdeAfter that, Swamp Thing made multiple appearances in other series, most notably during the Brightest Day storyline. He was in Brightest Day #23-24, then in the Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing miniseries (not collected yet).

Swamp Thing Reading Order

Swamp Thing during the New 52 Era

Before going into more detail, the complete Swamp Thing series from the New 52 era has been collected in one big volume:

  • Swamp Thing: The New 52 Omnibus
    Collects Swamp Thing #0-40, 23.1; Swamp Thing Annual #1-3; Swamp Thing: Futures End #1; Animal Man #12, 17; and Aquaman #31.

Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing

At the beginning of the New 52 era, not only Scott Snyder wrote Batman, but he also took charge of the Swamp Thing series. It’s the volume 5. Following the events of ‘Brightest Day,’ Alec Holland has his life back…but the “Green” has plans for it. A monstrous evil is rising in the desert, and it’ll take a monster of another kind to defend life as we know it! Also, we’ve got a full reading order of the New 52 era, if you want to know where this books take place.

Also collected in:

Charles Soule’s Swamp Thing

Once Scott Snyder left the title, after his rotworld crossover, Charles Soule became the main writer on the series until its conclusion with issue #40. Swamp Thing has once again had to fight with Jason Woodrue–in this new 52 continuity, he was known as the Seeder–who wanted to become the Avatar of the Green.

Justice League Dark - Justice League Dark - Swamp Thing Reading OrderWe are at the point where Swamp Thing joined The Justice League Dark (see full reading order of the series here). It happened during the Forever Evil crossover event, starting with Justice League Dark #25.

This is not the end of the New 52, just the beginning of the end. Convergence was a 2015 event. For more information, go to the full reading order of the event. Also, Swamp Thing appeared in Convergence #3 & 5, and in Swamp Thing #1-2 collected in:

  • Convergence: Crisis Book Two
    Collects The Flash #1-2, Wonder Woman #1-2, Justice League Of America #1-2, Swamp Thing #1-2 And The New Teen Titans #1-2.

Len Wein returns to the bayou with master of graphic horror Kelley Jones for a 6-issue miniseries (also called volume 6).

Swamp Thing Reading Order

Swamp Thing during the Rebirth era

Another relaunch. After a cameo in DC Universe: Rebirth #1, Swamp Thing didn’t make his comeback in his own series, but in Hellblazer. After that, he made some guest appearances.

Then came one-shots and the Wallmart exclusive series Swamp Thing Giant that are collected in:

  • Swamp Thing: Tales from the Bayou
    Collects Swamp Thing Winter Special #1, Young Monsters in Love #1, Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1, Swamp Thing Halloween Horror Giant #1, and Swamp Thing Giant #1-7.

Justice League Dark - Justice League Dark - Swamp Thing Reading Order

Following the events of Dark Nights: Metal, and the subsequent Justice League: No Justice one-shot, Swamp Thing joined the newly formed Justice League Dark. You’ll find more about if in the dedicated reading order.

For the DC Digital First collection, Mark Russell wrote a new Swamp Thing series called Swamp Thing: New Roots. Most of the stories were published first in the 100-Page Giants (aka Swamp Thing Giant vol. 2), which were a timed exclusive for Walmart stores.

  • Swamp Thing: New Roots
    Collects Swamp Thing Giant Direct Market Edition #1-4, Swamp Thing Giant (Wal-Mart Edition) #5, Swamp Thing: New Roots #6, and Swamp Thing: New Roots #9.

Swamp Thing Reading Order

Ram V’s Swamp Thing

After the Dark Nights: Death Metal event, came Future State and a new relaunch of the DC Universe. This time, Swamp Thing didn’t have to wait to make his comeback. He got a 2-issue Future State miniseries, then a series written by Ram V and penciled by Mike Perkins that introduced a new character named Levi Kamei who became the new Avatar of the Green. 

As part of the Black Label imprint (out of continuity stories), writer Jeff Lemire and artist Doug Mahnke brought Swamp Thing into a future where humanity is almost finished. The Parliaments of the Green, the Red, and the Rot decide to start a new life cycle and create a monster to clean what is still alive. What could possibly stop them?

Last Updated on June 12, 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *