Description: There were several phenos of this last year from the original unknown cross. This season I had a yellow and the original green again. I did not get very many seeds from it this year but making available again as it is such a unique pepper. Huge green ripening gnarly pods.
Species: Capsicum Chinense
Seeds: Non Isolated / 10+ Per Pack
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Charles Soule plants new seeds in 'Swamp Thing' legacy
Signing on to guide the further adventures of Swamp Thing, though, was the easiest decision ever for writer Charles Soule.
After 18 issues and a big crossover with Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man penned by Scott Snyder, Soule takes over the reins of DC Comics’ Swamp Thing series with artist Kano (Action Comics) and brings botanist Alec Holland’s monstrous green alter ego to Superman’s Metropolis for a tussle with Batman villain Scarecrow in issue 19 (available Wednesday in comic shop and digitally).
Since his creation in 1971 by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, Swamp Thing has always been a little bit different in terms of DC’s superhero books, and “it’s traditionally been a place where deep, interesting ideas can be introduced right alongside incredible action and it still manages to work,” Soule says.
“Any comics title, especially one that’s been running for 40 years as Swamp Thing has, is a tapestry made up of threads from everything that’s come before. It’s that idea — that this is a title no one phones in — that brings people back.”
Soule follows the likes of Alan Moore, Joshua Dysart, Brian K. Vaughan, Grant Morrison and many others, and the writer plans on continuing having the Green — the life force of all plants — continue to be a huge force as it was in Snyder’s run.
“Swamp Thing’s job is to protect the plant kingdom, whatever that may require,” Soule explains. The Red, which is the animal kingdom, won’t disappear either, “but it won’t be as front and center as it’s been so far. I love what Scott and Jeff did, but the kingdoms will return to their separate tracks — at least for a while.
“That said, the plant and animal kingdoms aren’t the only ones out there, and who’s to say we might not run into an entirely new avatar?”
Until then, Alec Holland is the avatar of the Green, and he now understands that being a superhero of sorts was going to have consequences — meaning his old life was over and a new one would be very different.
“I’m embracing that idea in a big way, and exploring what it would actually mean for a person to give up everything in order to become a walking, talking shrub with immense powers,” Soule says. “Being Swamp Thing is a stunning experience, I’m sure, but that doesn’t mean Alec doesn’t miss kicking back with a beer every once in a while.”
Swamp Thing No. 19 finds the big plant guy on the move, mainly because he feels isolated in the swamp and worries what it’s doing to his psyche. Wanting to be at least in the presence of people again — even though he can’t directly interact with them — he uses his new powers of travel to venture to Metropolis.
Swamp Thing hasn’t been around one of the world’s larger-than-life characters recently, but he recognizes Scarecrow and knows that he’s bad news in the beginning part of a two-part story that helps Alec Holland explore where he is now and the real dangers that come with his powers, according to Soule.
Of course, being a powerful hero of the Green in Metropolis is going to attract the attention of Superman, whom readers saw way back in Snyder’s first issue two years ago.
Soule loves the way the two characters interact, he says. “Supes and Swampy don’t totally trust or understand each other, although they’re each aware of the other’s immense power. Superman has appointed himself the guardian of Metropolis — and in a larger sense, all of humanity — and he doesn’t yet know whether Swamp Thing is a threat.”
However, the writer adds, “he’s the sort of guy who will give Alec Holland the benefit of the doubt, and the events of (issue) 20 will go a long way toward defining the relationship of two of the most powerful figures in the DC Universe going forward. Not necessarily for the better, mind you.”
Soule admits getting to write Superman is “a total blast. Twelve-year-old me was pretty psyched.”
He aims to do very tight story arcs with Swamp Thing, i.e. self-contained issues or, like with issues 19 and 20, a couple that form a larger story. Soule’s sowing seeds for “a bigger game being played in the background” that will all come to a head around October, he says.
Another goal: introduce new characters to Swamp Thing’s supporting cast. “For a character as long-lived as he is, it’s surprising he doesn’t have more pals,” Soule says. “On the other hand, he lives out in the Louisiana swamps, so I suppose that could play a role.”
One of the new characters he’s bringing on board is the formidable and “fab” French killer for hire and an urban legend among her ilk — “like a Loch Ness Monster of assassination,” Soule says.
“The idea is that if you can find Capucine and take her down, you’ll gain immense power — and so she’s been hunted all of her adult life. Of course, the fact that she’s still around speaks to what she’s capable of.
“She also has knowledge of events centuries ago, including the Sanctuary of the Green Leaves, which is related to previous avatars of the Green. Alec Holland’s never heard of it, though, and he’ll be figuring out what it is and how it relates in issue 21.
“Capucine is portrayed as an urban legend of sorts among killers for hire, like a Loch Ness Monster of assassination. The idea is that if you can find Capucine and take her down, you’ll gain immense power — and so she’s been hunted all of her adult life. Of course, the fact that she’s still around speaks to what she’s capable of. She is formidable, in a way that I think will feel refreshing and new. I’ve seen the character designs, too, and she looks awesome.”
In addition to Capucine’s “awesome” character designs, Kano’s artwork features a great level of detail, especially in the plant-related material, and innovative story beats. “You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll probably frame half the pages,” Soule says.
As for the writer, he brings to Swamp Thing the same desire to surprise the reader with out-of-nowhere left turns, a signature of his work in the Image Comics supernatural music series 27 and the upcoming Archaia mathematics-based thriller Strange Attractors.
“Most comics readers today have read thousands upon thousands of comics stories — I know I have. It’s hard to find something that doesn’t feel familiar. What I’m really trying to do with Swamp Thing is bring that sense of surprise back,” Soule says.
“If I do it right, you’ll never know how an issue is going to get from A to B — or if it will get to B at all.”
His comic 27 mined Soule’s love for music, and Swamp Thing‘s horror history as a place where creepy things can happen taps into his being “a fan of scary business for ages,” he says.
Making something frightening in comic, though, isn’t easy with the lack of sound effects, music and moving pictures, so finding ways to make Swamp Thing scary is a challenge he’s enjoying.
Yet, he adds, “Swamp Thing isn’t just a horror book by any means — it’s also a book about superhero action and philosophy and humor. This is a title that’s open to just about anything.”