"You Have Lost! You've Lost!"
Whew, Arcane's getting around a bit isn't he? It's interesting to see the parallels of the origins of Alec Holland / Swamp Thing featured here, as well as Buddy Baker in the Animal Man #0. I don't want to spoil the core idea running through both these books, but its cool to see how Arcane's actions has forced the Red and the Green in a difficult situation.
I also enjoyed seeing a character from the wonderful Animal Man Annual, I was hoping he'd return in some aspect and he did briefly!
Kano takes up art duties and fulfils them well. He manages to capture both facial expressions well as well as the excess of horror and murder in this issue. One of my personal highlights is when Arcane's true form is revealed, and as he rips himself out of his human disguise, his fingers stabbing through the child's hand which he was wearing. It's grotesque, but I simply love stuff like this!
I admit my knowledge of Arcane isn't that great, so when was introduced in Swamp Thing as Abigail's uncle it made me assume he was of the generation before her. Hence when he's prowling around in the late 19th century, I was a bit confused! I came to the conclusion that he must be much older and sustains his life through the Rot. I imagine a bit of research is required!
Also, whilst I am a staunch fan of the most recent Swamp Thing run, I had a friend read this issue as well and whilst he enjoyed the didn't grasp most of the concepts and plot lines running through it. That is to say, from his opinion I think one really has to of read #1 - 12 to fully get the enjoyment out of this issue. Of course, not an issue for me but to others it could be.
Despite this really being Arcane's story more than Swamp Things, I'm glad to have his origin remain intact by given a new angle in the New 52. Recommended for Swamp Thing readers!