The Review 52: Swamp Thing 1
When I was younger, I saw a movie called Man-Thing. Then a couple of years later I started to get into comic books and found out about Swamp Thing. That is when I realized that originality in superhero comic books was dead.
Swamp Thing 1 takes place some time after the Brightest Day Aftermath mini-series. Alec Holland, the mind that was bounded to the Green (a sentient life force of all the plants on the planet) and the morality of the Swamp Thing, is trying to get on with his life. He is tormented by the memories of the things he did while attached to the Green and just trying to move on. But he is having some trouble doing it. Since he spent so much time learning about botany he can’t forget any of it. A few pages in a co-worker at the construction site Alec was working at thanks him for helping him with his bum knee and asking him how he knew what to do. You also see some plants trying to climb up his leg, implying that he is still connected to the Green.
At the very beginning, we see that something is happening around the world. Birds falling dead from the sky in Metropolis, bats dying in the Batcave and hundreds of fish dying in Aquaman’s ocean. Around this point we also get a quick look at the first villain of this series. I won’t say too much about it but that villain definitely puts this series in “The Dark” series of The New 52.
The art style is very interesting in this issue. While it is following Holland at the construction site, the color palette is really bright and colorful. The construction equipment is really bright, all the plants are really colorful and Superman even shows up at one point. Meanwhile when the story focuses on the villain, everything is muted and dark. Near the end everything gets a red background and filter, making it look really messed up. Even the borders between the panels are different. Following Holland the borders are just plain black lines, but following the villain the borders get less defined and bleed into the panels. They look like a swarm of insects.
Where things get more interesting for me is with the Holland stuff. With the bright art style the dialogue Scott Snyder wrote kind sticks out in a good way. While talking with Superman, Holland starts describing how violent the plant world is. He describes plants being crushed to death and a vine strangling the life out of a poplar tree’s child right next to it. It sounds really morbid and kind of sick, and putting that on top of the bright colors of these panels it sounds and looks really cool.
I was never into Swamp Thing. Mainly because I could really get into comics. Now that I have I cannot wait to see where this series goes. With a really art style, an interesting villain and some pretty good dialogue and story from Scott Snyder, I am going to be keeping a close eye on this series.
Final Score: 5/5