Sunday, April 16, 2006

Nestor Redondo's Swamp Thing

Nestor Redondo's Swamp Thing
Artwork from Redondo's first issue of Swamp Thing, issue #11, August, 1974, DC Comics

Len Wein and the legendary Berni Wrightson have just finished a spectacular 10-issue run of Swamp Thing, in a series many today still believe to be some of the finest comics ever created. To continue in their footsteps with the eleventh issue onwards was almost unthinkable, and fans were ready to hate it, sight unseen.

It is certain that whoever it was that followed, it would have been very daunting, to say the very least. But the man who did take on the job, Nestor Redondo, was himself a 25-plus-year veteran of Philippine comics, and already a legend himself in his home country with memorable stints as the creating artist of Darna, Gagamba, Palos and numerous other stories and characters. He created some of the best comic art the Philippines has ever produced with his adaptation of Quo Vadis.

Here are some of the reader reactions in subsequent issues of Swamp Thing after Nestor Redondo's debut:

"The only complaint I can aim towards Nestor's premier outing is that his art is too bright. It lacked the murky, dank mood which I usually associate with our slimy protagonist. But again, that is what I'm used to."

"As to the artwork- Nestor Redondo is no Berni Wrightson, but then again, who is? Nestor's work on this feature is absolutely superb."

"Last issue, when you introduced Nestor Redondo, you told us that a change of style was always good. What change? When I compare Nestor's work to that of Berni, I come up with no difference. Their styles are practically the same, although I find Nestor just slightly better."

"Nestor Redondo's work is strong, sold, and pain-stakingly detailed enough to ensure my continued support of the Swamp Thing."

"Nestor Redondo is a rising star in this Golden Age of extraordinary artists."

"What can I possibly do but echo the acclamation devoted to Nestor Redondo's superlative artwork."