Kit has taken over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.
Warning: minor spoilers.
“I would rather spend one more minute as a man… than a million years as a plant…” – Swamp Thing
OK, time for me to confess one of my biggest comic book sins: I’ve never read Swamp Thing. It’s considered an absolute classic, one of the best comics inside and outside of the DC Universe. Although it is part of the DC Universe, Vertigo used to publish the comics, and their run on it lead to huge popularity. So, when DC published a new first issue for Swamp Thing this week, how could I say no? Going into this, I know virtually nothing about Swamp Thing, other than he’s a big green, powerful swampy guy.
This comic was written by Len Wein and drawn by Kelley Jones. To kick things off we have a very powerful front cover, Swamp Thing standing against a large moon in the night sky, the comic itself kicks off with an internal monologue from Swamp Thing, showing us where he lives, in Bayou Country swamp. I heard somewhere the human eye can see more shades of green than any other colour, colorist Michelle Madsen appears to make use of this, the colours look fantastic, Swamp Thing is green but looks incredibly detailed with the use of different shades. We get to know swamp thing in these opening panels, we’re treated to a quick fight with a hungry alligator and a quick flashback to show you how he become the thing he is today.
As a new reader, these panels were incredibly useful, it introduced me to Swamp Thing, his fighting style, some of his powers and personality and showed me enough of his backstory to know how he got his powers.
The story moves on from there, we’re treated to a visit from the Phantom Stranger, a mysterious man who Swamp Thing knows and appears to give a warning of something cryptic to come. There’s a few references to Swamp Things relationship with nature and its forces, again, very useful for a first time reader!
From here we’re introduced to the first main plot arc, Swamp Thing saves a man who, with his wife, were trying to find Swamp Thing to help find their son who went missing after a crazy professor experimented on him. He agrees to do so, telling them they may not like what he finds. I won’t say what’s happened, but yeah…. They definitely won’t like what’s happened…
The story introduces other supernatural forces battling against nature, with a literal battle. Again the art looks fantastic, especially on the proper establishing panel for Swamp Thing’s opponent.
Well, I’m hooked. This is a fantastic first issue, and so far it’s living up to the hype. I could imagine a long term reader may be a little bored by the flash back, but it doesn’t take up too much of the comic.
Final Score – 9.5 Brackish Mires out of 10!