I grew up with Swamp Thing. Reading Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing when I was way too young, and the crappy ass movie in heavy rotation on HBO when I would spend weekends with my dad. So to see the series rebooted gives me a little tingle. It is the kind of thing that I have high hopes and low expectations for, just like remakes of my favorite movies. The #0 origin issue is pretty par for the course but gives me hope that this will be a pretty decent title (I’m aware that the title is at issue #16 but I’m starting from the beginning and catching up, don’t want to miss any little bit of swampy goodness).
The title seems to be in very capable hands with Scott Snyder as writer. Though the start of the title is simply put an origin story of the latest of the Swamp Things, it is done with a gruesome aplomb. The story starts in the harshest of winter environments with a woman trying to track down Swamp Thing, “The Green Man who brought spring with him wherever he went.” Upon finding him (a Swamp Thing that is so reminiscent of Hindu Yogis) another creature tears itself out of the woman. Arcane is there to destroy the Avatar of Green, and with that Swamp Thing down he is on a mission to defeat the final Avatar of the Green.
Alec Holland is a scientist working on a way to make arid climates arable and he has succeeded just in time for Arcane to discover that he is to be the next Swamp Thing. Using one of Holland’s collaborators as a host his first attempt at murdering Holland is foiled by Holland’s wife, so Arcane possesses her body and goes on the prowl. The rest as they say is history, there is an explosion and a mixture of chemical and the spirit of the swamp creates a new creature.
The art provided in this issue by Kano, who has done art for Immortal Iron Fist, and Marvel Zombies, has a bright style that revels in the color palate that Swamp Thing is so good for. Reds and greens are vibrant and lush, thanks to Matthew Wilson the colorer. Panel breaks alternate between curling vines, open wounds, and black rock like borders, making each page full of things to look at. Kano also has no fear of playing with the style of the page, some of them are at off angles or swirl into the middle of the look of this is spot on for Swamp Thing. It isn’t the organic hyper detail of the Bernie Wrrighton days, instead it is a vibrant and alive looking reality that is full of the kind of bright red blood and dark green rot that you would expect from something like Tales From the Crypt. It is a great look for the title.
I’m interested in catching up with this title, and I hope that it has a good long run like Saga of the Swamp Thing did.