Premonitory Moore: exclamation or interrogation?
First of all, I must say that I’m not one of those guys who believe in everything; but I’m neither one of those who only accept what is “proved by science”. Said so, I want to share with you an intriguing question concerning a possible “premonition” in one of Alan Moore’s comics. I’m talking about Swamp Thing # 46, with art by Steve Bissette and John Totleben, published by DC Comics on March 1986 (so, its story probably was written 4 to 6 months before that, in 1985).
In the book we find Swamp Thing and John Constantine dealing with the imminent Doomsday (and other facts related to the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover). Although the British magician had promised to “reveal” important information about the Earth elemental, what really justifies the story title -- “Revelations” -- is its apocalyptic scenario. This reference to the last book of the Bible is made obvious at the top of the first page, where we read the quotation: “The third Angel blew his trumpet; and a great star shot from the sky, flaming like a torch... the name of the star was Wormwood -- Revelations, 8:10.”
Well, at that point nothing more than another case of Mr. Moore’s intelligent storytelling. But the case earned a different perspective a couple of years ago. I myself am a comic book writer, and by then I was researching for the plot of a new graphic novel. Once that my story also quotes the Book of Revelations it reminded me of that old Swamp Thing book. So, when I took the comic again, it was like being hit by a lightening! There was, of course, the quotation that ended with the name “Wormwood”.
Let me explain! When I was researching for my own story, I learned that the original biblical name “Wormwood” is in fact translated to many languages, originating the English word, and also other versions like the Russian word which we spell “Chernobyl”. So, bearing ©1985 and published on March 1986, Swamp Thing #46 could be read as a premonition for the nuclear accident in the city of Chernobyl on April 26th 1986.
A concerning about the possible damages caused by the misuse of nuclear energy had played already an important role in Mr. Moore’s stories (see “The Nukeface Papers”). However, a quotation with the word “Wormwood” printed in a comic book published a month before the radioactive accident in Chernobyl is, at least, intriguing. This brings us to the question: would it all be just an amazing coincidence, an incredible synchronicity or, in fact, one (more) premonition of Mr. Moore? Well, here are the facts; now you can take your own conclusions!
(You can read my exclusive interview with Swamp Thing artist Steve Bissette here.)