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26 of 52: Swamp Thing #1

by on September 13, 2011

Swamp Thing is a very very curious character which has a very interesting publishing history. Started as a horror comic in the 70s, brought back as a movie character in the 80s, which eventually was taken over by some schlub named Alan Moore… An all Alan Moore did was redefine American comics as we know it through that title.

But as comic books go, Swamp Thing has been a bit of a mess. Since Alan Moore left the book, it has been passed between several solid writers without really gaining true traction with any specific series. But I liked the buzz I was hearing about the book, and decided to give it a try.

Swamp Thing #1: Raise Dem Bones
Writer: Scott Snyder | Artist: Yanick Paquette

The origin of Swamp Thing is that of Alec Holland, a scientist who was working on a bio-restorative formula that can create a forest anywhere on earth. He was attacked and ran into the swamp covered in the chemicals, where her merged with the plants in the swamp and became the monster, Swamp Thing.

Eventually, it came to be known that Swamp Thing is a plant elemental that maintains the memories of Alec Holland, but is not in fact him. Recently, Swamp Thing was brought back into the DC Universe during Brightest Day.

Synopsis

Across the world, animals are dying: Pigeons in Metropolis, Bats in Gotham, Fish in the Ocean.

In Louisiana Alec Holland has taken a sabbatical from being a botanist to help build houses. He can sense plant material all around him. He is confronted by Superman who wants to see if he knows about it, and to see how he is doing since he came back.

In Northwest Arizona, an excavated mastodon skeleton is consumed by a tornado. Three archaeologists are examining the site where the Mastodon was stolen, when a creature attacks them turning them into slaves.

Alec awakens from a dream to plants growing in his motel room. He takes out the bio-restorative formula and prepares to destroy it, when he is greeted by someone.

Analysis

It is nice to see comic books returning to their roots with the new DC Universe. During the Golden Age, comic books were filled with every genre imaginable: Horror, Western, War, Superhero, Science Fiction. In recent years, Horror comics have been totally pushed towards the Rated R age group, rather than found in all ages titles. So to see this comic, that merges horror and superheroes into a well told story, it’s really quite marvelous.

I loved loved LOVED the talk that Alec gives about the plant world being very violent, even though it happens very slowly. That is a very interesting perspective, and one I would love to see explored in this comic.

This comic was very slow and methodical. It took for granted that you knew who Swamp Thing is, but I don’t think the origin is impenetrable as is.

The artwork was fine, didn’t notice any real flaws, but didn’t shine either.

Questions

  1. Did something happen in the last year (based on Superman’s comments), or is this just referring to the events from Blackest Night/Brightest Day?
  2. Alec Holland has feelings for Swamp Thing’s wife, Abby. Are Abby and Tefe going to be a part of this story?

Verdict

This is a very good comic book. Not only was a good story, but it gave me the sense of suspense that I need from a monthly comic book. I mean every comic book I’ve read has a basic cliffhanger, but this was the best one that makes me want to purchase the next issue.

A (Enthusiastic)

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From → Comic Books, DCnU

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