Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Night Fights: Boom - Round 4: Swamp Thing, Robot Fighter!




I'm using tonight's round of Friday Night Fights: Boom!, the bout from Spacebooger where every fight must include an onomatopoeia, to pay tribute to the beautiful art by recently-deceased horror comics master Bernie Wrightson, who passed away this past week.


Tonight's round comes from a comic where Wrightson stepped out of his usual dank horror milieu and tried his hand at a science fiction setting, courtesy of Swamp Thing #6, written by co-creator Len Wein. (This was the second collaboration between the two I'd ever read as a kid.)


Synopsis: Swampy literally falls off a vegetable truck in Vermont and encounters the kindly couple Alec and Linda Holland. Two problems with that: First: Linda Holland is dead, killed in a lab explosion caused by the criminal cartel The Conclave. And second, Swamp Thing is Alec Holland. The pair takes him to their home town of Burgess, a formerly deserted mining town . Judging by the town's name, combined with our story's title "A Clockwork Horror", it's obvious that Wein was a big fan of this 1971 futuristic novel. (So am I, by the way, since reading it during freshman year in college. It's an initially challenging but ultimately very worthwhile read.)


"Alec" and "Linda" take him to Burgess, where Swampy meets town mayor Hans Klochmann, who shares the secret of Burgess: Its' citizens, including "Alec" and "Linda" are all sophisticated androids built by Klochmann himself, the town's sole human resident, using newspaper death notices to fashion his creations names and likenesses, and programming them without humanity's baser emotions.


Unfortunately, Klochmann's idyllic town is discovered by the Conclave, who bring in armed guards and a giant hydraulically-powered robot of their own to attempt to force Klochmann to work exclusively for them. The little old clockmaker refuses, saying he'd rather they kill him first. The Conclave, needing him alive, takes a different approach.




The trauma of seeing "Linda" "die" again pushes the monstrous Holland to seething rage.







RRACK! THRASH!


Eat your heart out, Magnus!


Tonight's fight song depicts another robot-smashing battle courtesy of the Flaming Lips.




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