The late Len Wein, co-creator of Swamp Thing, was working on the first issue of a new series for the character when he passed away earlier this year. Now, that story, with art by Kelley Jones, will appear in the just announced Swamp Thing Winter Special #1, which will include both the original script, and the art by Jones.
“[Wein’s] major plan was pretty much a straight horror title. He kept stressing that angle to me — that bringing up a lot of those DC horror characters was what would make the book more unique,” Kelley told Entertainment Weekly. “His main thing was to stress that Alec was turned into Swamp Thing. He really wanted to stress that again. He felt that there was a lot of story potential in that.”
Kelley's pencils were completed before Wein's passing, so the writer did have his hands in the final story.
Batman writer Tom King will also contribute a 40-page story to the one-shot, drawn by artist Jason Fabok.
“This is not a story about hope. This is a story about anxiety,” King said of his Swamp Thing story. “This is like when you go to the movies to see IT. You’re not going for the romance and the laughs and the friendship. You’re going to get close to the darkness so that when you come out you can smile at the light. So, that’s what I want them to get from it. I want them to be cold enough that when they put it down, their house feels warm and it feels like a relief.” What this is ultimately about is staying true to Len Wein,” continued King, with Fabok adding, “We want to honor Bernie Wrightson and Len Wein, who we lost recently, with this story. We want them to be proud of the work that we’ve done on this story. We want to present a classic Swamp Thing tale that people are going to love, and we also want to introduce the character to maybe a new generation of readers who’ve never seen Swamp Thing.”
SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1
Written by LEN WEIN and TOM KING
Art by KELLEY JONES and JASON FABOK
Tom King and Jason Fabok pay tribute to the legendary creators of Swamp Thing, writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, as they join forces for an earth-shattering Swamp Thing passion project!
In this new, square-bound one-shot, Swamp Thing is out of his element as he shepherds a lost boy through a blinding blizzard and other hazards of a strange, frozen tundra. In this touching and harrowing tale of survival, the pair must navigate countless threats throughout a bewildering terrain—with a bloodthirsty snow monster hot on their heels. But how long can they rely on each other? Separated from the Green and stripped of his powers in this dead world, Swamp Thing struggles to fight for their lives and deliver the boy to safety. Disoriented and decaying, Swamp Thing’s fading understanding of his surroundings forces the duo to confront their desperation and uncover the true identity of the snow monster that hunts them.
In addition, this special features the final Swamp Thing story from the monster’s co-creator, Len Wein. Originally intended as the start of a new series, it is presented here both in its original script form and with art by Kelley Jones.