Thursday, January 20, 2011

Animated World of DC Comics: Swamp Thing (1991)

With a live-action series airing on USA at the time, and 2 feature films making the rounds on cable, you'd think Swamp Thing already had enough exposure. DIC, Kenner Toys (now part of Hasbro), & Fox didn't think so, and so we had a 5-week miniseries served up in April & May of 1991. Scarface2478 uploaded the opening theme, derived from the Troggs' classic, "Wild Thing", to YouTube:

For the first time, someone other than Dick Durock "played" Swamp Thing, and that would be voice actor Len Carlson. I guess it was either a case of DIC not being able to afford to pay Durock, or he was too busy with the live-action series. The common link between the two shows and the movies was that all were produced by Michael Uslan & Ben Melniker, who also were the producers of Tim Burton's brilliant "Batman" in 1989.

Writers Mark McCorkle & Bob Schooley are better known now for creating Kim Possible, but they were also the principal writers for this series. After Fox gave up, DIC turned Swamp Thing over to NBC, which incorporated the series into Chip & Pepper's Cartoon Madness later that year. For old school fans, this was a little refreshing, considering how writer Alan Moore had all but completely rebooted Swamp Thing in the comics, pulling him away from Len Wein & Berni Wrightson's original concept, although as you can see, Swamp Thing does have some of the elemental characteristics that Moore gave him while fighting ancient enemy Anton Arcane's henchmen. The live action Swamp Thing, which bowed a year earlier, had a longer shelf life, and is probably better remembered by fans. Besides, when was the last time someone traded for a Swamp Thing action figure?

Rating: B.

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