So here’s the other end of our Swamp Thing parallel. Like “Metagaming,” “The Anatomy Lesson” begins with a plutocrat CEO, General Sunderland, explaining things to an impressively educated confederate, Jason Woodrue, as they walk together to a secret part of the CEO’s office building, which serves to hold the main character(s) in seeming death and actual suspended animation. And yet, even though the CEO appears victorious and in control, nagging questions still need answering.

After this point, the pacing of the larger superstories– Moore’s run on Swamp Thing and our run on Guilded Age– will diverge sharply. In both, the CEO’s confederate will come to see his bullying side and have a hand in his demise, but HR’s demise won’t happen until the climax of Guilded Age, whereas Sunderland won’t even survive another twenty pages.

In both, the hero or heroes will discover their nature and use that knowledge to unlock incredible powers. But by the end of “The Anatomy Lesson,” Swamp Thing will know everything Sunderland and Woodrue have discovered. Our heroes, though, will remain clueless about what “Metagaming” reveals to the reader almost to the end. And while the Swamp Thing will embrace that larger self-concept over Alan Moore’s run, evolving from a moss-covered linebacker with oaken muscles to basically the god of plants, our heroes will largely reject the idea that they have a dual nature and continue their mortal lives. Moore wanted Swamp Thing’s world to keep growing ever outward; we were trying to argue for the solidity and importance of the world our heroes already occupied.

Finally, Sunderland has little patience for the details of what he and Woodrue discover, an ignorance that dooms him in more ways than one. Even Woodrue is only interested in the Swamp Thing as a path to learn more about himself. But HR is all about the details, and that makes him the kind of adversary who can go the distance.