Swamp Thing #1 (November – 2011 – DC)

Swam Thing #1

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.

Next Time: The Strange Adventures of H. P. Lovecraft #2


Swamp Thing #19 Cover Reveal

Swamp Thing #19

With Scott Snyder gone from Swamp Thing, issue 19 has a gatefold cover that has just been previewed to reveal two guests in the new issue:  Scarecrow and Superman.

While a cool cover, it makes me cringe a little bit that the instant Snyder is gone, suddenly Swamp Thing is teaming up with the superhero types.

It could be interesting, or it could be shit.  I will reserve judgement for now.

Check out a little more about it at Newsarama.

Bloody Disgusting interview with Scott Snyder

Swamp Thing 18

After an 18 issue run with Swamp Thing Scott Snyder is moving on.  Though I haven’t caught up with the title yet, I know that Snyder is putting together one of the best runs of Swamp Thing that I have read in a long while.

With that said there is a great interview with Snyder up on Bloody Disgusting that if you love Swampy as much as I do you would be doing yourself a favor to read.  He talks about a lot more horrific stuff than just Swamp Thing, making for a really interesting read.

Hop over there and check it out!

Scott Snyder Interview.

Swamp Thing #0 (November – 2012 – DC)

Swamp Thing #0

Swamp Thing #0

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.

Next Time: Morbius: The Living Vampire #1