broo1232's Swamp Thing #23 - The Whisky Tree, Part 2 of 2 review

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The effects of drinking Devil whiskey.

I love this book I could write thousand word blog posts, about how much I like this book, and Swamp thing in general, but less about me gushing over my love of Swamp thing. Last issue was really good, and a great beginning to this arc, and I wanted more from this great run on Swamp thing, and this arc.


Swamp thing is trapped in a cage falling to bits while Constantine under the influence of the devil whiskey is trying to get loads of people to take it, and wants to control the whole country with him as King John.


This was another great issue not as good as last issue, but close, and it was only one or two things that dropped the rating. What made the last issue so good for me was how downright dark, and creepy it was, with atmospheric artwork, and a really interesting plot, and tension built up really well throughout the issue, and this has some of that, and something more in it as well, but ultimately it felt it wrapped up a little too quickly for villains month. However this does have a great ending which left me really, really excited for the next issue (it was a little confusing).

The Good

  • · The cover is a little tight, but it’s the little details on this cover that make it look good like the flowers with faces, and the detail on Swamp thing, but it’s not the best cover in this series although still really good.
  • · The creepiness and horror continues in this issue, and on a whole new level, as Constantine begins to try to force people to drink the whiskey, and has plans to take it all across the country, to become Emperor John. Its creepy enough in the village with them hunting down people with the crazed eyes, and dragging them into the village to drink it, but Constantine just makes it all the more creepy with his brutality, and a scene where he threatens someone because he used the word King when it wasn’t about him, even though it was a phrase is particularly frightening. Also Constantine’s sense of brutality is pretty shocking, but I suppose it’s just Constantine if he was a proper bad guy, and allowed to let loose which makes it all the more interesting.
  • · There is a pretty creepy scene with Constantine, and Swamp thing where Constantine is monologing to helpless Swamp Thing it’s creepy, but the best part is the new use of Swamp things powers which is clever, and original, and also pretty awesome as well as adding a bit of tension to the story.
  • · There are some really powerful moments in this issue especially in the later part of the issue when spoiler Swamp thing thinks he’s about to die as he’s cut off from the green, but what happens is undeniably fantastic showing Swamp thing’s reluctance to kill humans even though he knows it brings the green pleasure, and for some odd reason makes him happy as well. This has been a theme in this run, but what makes this all the more interesting is the running commentary by the green through this scene, and Alec’s thought process, and the final moment is pretty touching. Also the end of this scene is I believe a nod to the run by Alan Moore, and now one of my favourite moments from this series it’s sooo good to see this happen once in a while, and the context is different, and from my memory it’s not exactly the same, (also goes back to one of my favourite moments from Snyder’s run)
  • · The ending is good in some ways, but bad in others (more on that in a minute), but first off the ending is shocking, and gives you little clues about Seeder, and his power set , but then Charles Soule drops the proverbial bomb, on clues as to who Seeder is, and it’s a great ending.
  • · The art is once again really good, and Kano does a fantastic job of adding atmosphere, and detail to this book, and the detail paid to Swamp thing is amazing, and the atmosphere in this book is amazingly creepy without being covered in shadows, it’s just the facial expressions on characters that is the creepy part. Also the display of Swamp thing’s powers is impressive, and Kano handled that perfectly both of the powers shown in this issue. David Lapham does the end, and his style meshes pretty well with Kano’s even though Kano’s is probably more shadowy, but Lapham does a great job as well.

The Bad

  • · The ending is quick what is explored is interesting the conflicting ideologies of the green, and Alec are interesting, but it happens pretty quickly after that, and it ended a bit predictably, but the ending, ending is still fantastic.
  • · The way the big twist is displayed is interesting, and once you realise what it is your stunned, but I couldn’t work out what the words said (it’s written in trees), and had to get someone else’s opinion on it as well, but it still is a great twist.
  • · There are a few occasions where the faces look odd, and the mouths look a bit contorted.
  • · I have to wait a month for the next part of the story, but I think Anton Arcane will keep me happy (in a sick minded, and twisted way)

The verdict

This is a great issue, and this series, run, and issue is not to be missed as it is probably the of the dark books on the stands (In my opinion) as it is consistently good, and well written , with great art, and an interesting story as well, and the ending will just keep you on the edge of your seat (once you’ve found out what it says), but this isn’t the best issue of the series, but I feel it’s pretty close.

4 stars

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