Alec Holland wants nothing to do with The Green, or Swamp Thing. He died and for a while he was the Swamp Thing, but now that he has his humanity back he wants nothing to do with any of it. So when Superman shows up at his new job (he has moved from botany into construction just to get away from plants), he is none to excited to help out. He knows all about the birds falling out of the air dead, and the fish holocaust, and the cattle die off. He still wants nothing to do with it.
Meanwhile at an archaeological dig a red tornado digs up the bones of a mastodon, which formulate a new creature that comes to attack the people that had been working at the dig. Flies swarm into their ears and they twist their own heads backwards. Doesn’t seem like a very pleasant way to go.
Skip to the bedroom of Alec Holland. In a dream he is reliving his death, only to awaken to a room full of foliage. Plants are crawling across the floor and filling the room. He is about to give them the formula that he has created, in his time as a botanist, that accelerates the growth of plants, when Swamp Thing arrives to stop him.
That’s right Scott Snyder waits until the final page of this title reboot to reveal Swamp Thing. Like all things that Scott Snyder works on everything from dialogue to exposition are spot on. Even long passages of conversation between Holland and Superman feel natural instead of long. That coupled with some truly beautiful, and horrific, artwork from Yanick Paquette makes this one of the best New 52 first issues that I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
Swamp Thing is so important to so many people that love horror comics. The directions that Alan Moore took the title showed a lot of people that an ongoing series could not only be exciting issue to issue but could also go into deep themes and ideas over the long haul of the title. Birthed from Swamp Thing was Hellblazer which did much the same, and continues into Constantine (another New 52 title I’m really enjoying). To see this treated with the seriousness and respect it deserves is nice because some of these New 52 sure don’t.