A strong start to Swamp Thing for Soule and Kano
This was my favourite series but recently with the end of Rotworld being very disappointing I got annoyed with it and it wasn’t giving me a good story and I was disappointed but last issue was good and was a nice end to Snyder’s run so I hoped the new creative team are good and would put their own spin on the book while still making it a solid book that I would gladly pick up every month.
Swamp Thing is in the Sudan and sees a group of militias fighting each other over an oasis Swamp thing goes to see and destroys the oasis because it upsets the balance of nature. Alec journeys into the Green and then reappears in Metropolis.
As a die-hard Swamp Thing fan that really cares about this character and really got into the character through Scott Snyder’s run I was pleasantly surprised by this issue. I really liked this I do not think Soule has exactly hit his stride with this just yet I think he still has a bit of work to do to improve Swamp Things characterisation but overall I loved this issue Soule has created an intriguing story which is fast paced and it looks to explore pretty well the whole angle of is Swamp Thing really human? Which while explored slightly in Scott Snyder’s run the main focus of that run was the Abby Alec relationship and the balance of nature between the red the rot and the green which is a nice change from what we had. I also like that Soule is going with shorter arcs in this book instead of the long 18 issue Rotworld story that Snyder had (Ok it was split into three acts basically 1-7 8-11 12-18 and the 0 but it was overall one big story)
What I did like was that this was new reader friendly it features a good little and the beginning of the issue which shows Swamp Thing in the desert this is a 5 page intro to the book which lets you get into Swamp Things head and understand what he’s been through while people who have been reading the series will still enjoy it because it’s a new take on the character in this it seems to be focusing on Swamp Thing being human because of his actions question what he is. I praise Soule for doing this it’s what Alan Moore did but it’s a different exploration of it with different actions so it works well and while I’m not mind blown by this exploration so far I’m pleased with this first example. The first scene is great as well presenting an interesting action scene and well it was nice to see Swamp Thing stretch out a little bit to further places and also I like the hints dropped to future points of the story with the so called seeder.
I also liked the exploration of the green in the issue with a beautiful double page spread by Kano which I have to say slows down reading a bit as it is very wordy this issue is fast paced and this slows it down a bit it’s like in Uncanny Avengers where Rick Remender uses Exposition down the sides and this is the same although it’s laid out using a dozen or so boxes and it flows nicely through the panels. It’s also a nice exploration of Alec’s feelings about the Green and how it feels going through it and we get a small amount of catch up on the recent events of his life it is a nice scene it fills in a few gaps about his life but still it slows down the amount of exposition no matter how much it did and how much I enjoyed it.
I did like the appearance of Metropolis and the reasoning behind it I always wanted to see what would happen in a Superman/ Swamp Thing fight and while this doesn’t happen in this fight we get some fairly good set up or it and well the gate-fold cover lied basically because nothing close to what is seen happens Scarecrow and Superman do not even meet but Covers are symbolic and this kind of thing often happens. I do like the scene in the botanical gardens which is the so called people Swamp Thing goes to see it’s an emotional scene in several ways once again putting into question Swamp Things humanity and well the way the scene is acted out it has a raw feeling to it.
When Soule said he was going to tie Swamp Thing to the larger DC U he wasn’t kidding not only do we get a guest appearance from Scarecrow and Swamp Thing (Scarecrows being appearance being central to the progression of the plot in this issue) but there is a reference to JLA #2 I want to see more of Swamp Things involvement in the larger DC U and this kind of thing goes a long way to make Swamp Thing more involved but not forced. The ending of the issue was fantastic I’ve no idea where it will go from here but I can’t wait it was a clever way to end and I want to see what Swamp Thing and Superman do.
I do however have a problem Alec seems to have lost his humanity he feels sorry after he has done things to help the green and plants from humans and animals but I feel there should be a bit more resentment about it just as it’s about to happen it just feels a little like it’s straying off Alec’s character just to move the plot forward but this maybe something that is going on underneath with the Green and Alec is becoming less humane being a plant but I would not want to see this happen as that’s one of the best things about Swamp Thing how even those he’s a plant he’s human inside. I and a lot of people would be cross if something like this happened.
Kano’s art I don’t know what to say he’s always been a favourite of mine and I wished he was on an that I was reading for a while and after his work on Swamp Thing #0 I couldn’t wait to see more and he’s out done himself in this. What I really like is this is how I try to draw personally the style is what I draw like (although I’m really bad) so it obviously appeals to me and how he draws something is fantastic I love that he changes appearance depending on the plants around him from cactus like in the desert to green grassy look in metropolis it was a fantastic touch to the issue and you can tell Kano thought this through when he started on the book. Also the aforementioned two page spread in the Green is incredible and I love how it zooms in on different types of plant life. Kano does a good job all-round with everything no matter the writing (which looks to be pretty good) this book is going to look fantastic.
This was a great start to Soule’s run and I love where he is going with it I still have my worries about the characterisation of Alec but overall this was a great start and the direction is interesting and I’m happy with what Soule is trying to explore in this series and I like how he is trying to bring Swamp Thing into the wider DC U, I will continue to buy this book and I look forward to more from Soule.