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The DCU Swamp Thing Reboot Has To Adapt The Classic Alan Moore Comics Run, Right?

Whatever you may have expected from Peter Safran and James Gunn's big DCU reboot, their new announcements about the future of the DC Universe certainly included a few surprises (per Jenna Busch of /film). Among said surprises is an upcoming movie adaptation of "Swamp Thing," DC's resident protector of the Green. 

Like most seasoned comics characters, the plant elemental's had his spoon in plenty of soups over the years – including a handful of live action adaptations. Wes Craven's 1982 "Swamp Thing" movie had a bit of a horror tang, as does the short-lived 2019 DC Universe show of the same name. The history of Swamp Thing can get dark, and Safran and Gunn specifically aim to carry on the tradition while still keeping the character connected to the DCU at large. "This is a film that will investigate the dark origins of Swamp Thing," Safran said. 

So, what we're looking at is a dark "Swamp Thing" movie that still connects to other corners of the DCU. Knowing this, there's surely just one well the reboot can draw from: Alan Moore's classic "The Saga of the Swamp Thing" run. Here's why. 

Moore's take on Swamp Thing is just about the darkest there is, yet maintains connections to every corner of DC Comics

Certain elements of Moore's run featured in the 2019 show, which introduced a versions of Jason "The Floronic Man" Woodrue — whom Moore introduced as Swamp Thing's villainous counterpart — and explored the true nature of the titular character, as well as his-slash-its relationship with Abby Arcane. The series also uses Moore's groundbreaking version of Swamp Thing's origin story — that he isn't Alec Holland, but a genuinely inhuman elemental being that merely retains some of Holland's memories, and shapes itself as a rough approximation of a humanoid. 

However, Moore's run is much more than the Floronic Man storyline. His "The Saga of the Swamp Thing" era is a treasure trove of gloomy storylines, pockmarked with appearances by both Batman-level superstars and ultra-obscure, reimagined characters. The comic also introduced us to a certain trenchcoat-rocking trickster magician called John Constantine, and to key elements of Swamp Thing lore like the Parliament of Trees. In other word, it's a perfect way to establish the most interesting version of Swamp Thing in the DCU, while still retaining the potential to bring in just as many other comics characters as necessary.  

Moore's Swamp Thing is less about traditional superhero stuff and more about psychological eco-horror, so it's not the easiest batch of comic book stories to draw inspiration from. Still, after things like Netflix's "Sandman," the discussion about some comics being unfilmable is definitely losing steam, so Moore's take on Swamp Thing is definitely doable in live-action format — and since no other creator has been more instrumental to the character's modern-day interpretation, it's hard to see the DCU movie drawing inspiration from his work. 

Expect Moore himself to like the end result just as much as he's enjoyed all the previous adaptations of his work, though. After all, he even had harsh words for HBO's Emmy-winning "Watchmen."