[Comic Review] Swamp Thing #0 and Swamp Thing, Volume 1, Raise Them Bones

Swamp Thing (1982)Return of Swamp Thing (1989)

If there was any single title from DC Comics‘ “New 52” lineup I was excited about, it was Swamp Thing. When I was younger, Swamp Thing was not a series I was into. In fact, I never once picked up a single Swamp Thing comic. My attention was directed towards other characters and other happenings.

However, that does not mean that Swamp Thing doesn’t have a piece of my heart. As stupid as that sounds, if there was one things I remember about this particular character was the movies growing up. Swamp Thing (1982) and, more particularly, The Return of Swamp Thing (1989) were movies I remember well. The latter more specifically.

Unlike the 1982 movie, the second was more campy…and a lot less serious. Bad acting, bad make-up and horrid props. However, what I remember most was how, visually, the colors in the movie seems to pop in contrast. So, when I found out that DC was going to put out a new version to add to the series, I was simply giddy with excitement.

Swamp Thing #0With the release of both the #0’s DC put out, and the fact that I knew that the first trade for the series was out, I decided to pick up both and read them in order.

With Swamp Thing #0, we get to see some of the backstory to both the Swamp Thing and Arcane. The story is good enough, as Scott Snyder keeps up with the general feel of his previous releases. The art also appeals to my liking.

We get a glimpse of Arcane and of swamp things past. Deceit. Death. Slaughter. And baby killing. All that gives flavor to understanding Arcane and how far the creature is willing to go to destroy both Avatars of the Red and Green.

We also get a glimpse of how Alec Holland came to be. In a sick and twisted turn of events, I have to say that I thoroughly loved this issue! Although I’ve only read a handful of the #0’s, this is by far the one I’ve enjoyed the most overall. It’s a great addition to the Swamp Thing line, and a great way to delve into a series that already been established (well, as established as one of the New 52 can be).

Rating: 8/10 Gingered Digits.

Swamp Thing, Volume 1: Raise Them BonesI couldn’t be happier to see this trade on the shelves of my local comic shop. Although a few of the “New 52” lineup has caught my eye, this was one that I knew I just had to get. With eagerness, I gingerly (no pun intended!) eyed up the artwork of Yanick Paquette that filled the cover.

We start off, of course, with a threat on the existance of life on earth. Other superheroes in DC’s comics witness the coming of the Rot. Superman. Batman. Even Aquaman gets a spot in one of the opening panels. And, this is where our reading adventure begins.

We are introduced to Alec Holland. One that has no recollection of who or what he is. Or rather, a glimmer of what he once was. We soon find out that this version of Alec is essentially a clone created by the Green after the previous Swamp Thing, the first Alec Holland, had met its demise. Sounds cliche? Maybe. But trust me, it’s not, nor does it take away from the overall story. And what better way to bring this line up to day with keeping a character previous fans can feel a connection with, yet still able to move on and allow for some creative maneuvering?

Page after amazing page, it doesn’t seem to get old. Coming from a virgin to the Swamp Thing legacy (other than, of course, the movies mentioned earlier) the way Snyder leaves a lot of the characters past hanging also gives me the same frustration Alec would feel. I understand just enough to follow along, but at the same time, there’s still enough vagueness there to make me want to know more.

Also, what I found appealing most about what would have been the first several issues of this line, is that Alec Holland is still human (or rather, human again). He’s not a superhero for yet. He’s just Joe Schmo with a past. It’s not even till the end his true colors shine through (and yes, that was pun intended).

This is ideal. I love Snyder and team’s concept. I love the direction they are going. This makes me want to invest in the floppies just to see what happens next. And, considering the fact that I feel some of my favorite superheroes got a bad shake in DC’s revamping process (Blue Beetle, anyone?), the Swamp Thing is one that I feel is getting a chance and the opportunity the character deserves.

Rating: 10/10 Gingered Digits.

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