Here we are, folks. The final issue of Swamp Thing, for now at least. It’s been one hell of a ride from beginning to end, with both Scott Snyder and Charles Soule. Soule is ending the book on a big note, judging by the fact it is a bigger issue than usual. How will it end? Is it good?
Swamp Thing #40 (DC Comics)
This is it. The end of it all. Swamp Thing revives the former Avatars of the Green and is ready to fight back against the Machine Queen, Avatar of the Grey, and Anton Arcane. This battle will be huge and not everyone will be coming back, since the Green is really hurt after Anton’s direct attack against it. Who will be left standing and what will become of all of the characters?
For the final issue of the series, I’m honestly surprised by this. It’s good and is pretty satisfying for the most part, but sadly feels a bit rushed though. It’s odd to me, since the past few issues have been pretty well built up and some parts of the comic here are satisfying, but some points are just not that great or feel strange. This issue touches on all of the remaining plot points, subplots, and character bits that have been going on in Soule’s run (it even sets a few things up for the Futures End issue, which could be seen more as the definite ending to series), so nothing feels left out in the end. It’s just that perhaps the issue could have had a couple more pages to smooth out some areas to make them feel better or more fulfilling, like the end with the Avatar of the Grey or that monstrosity the Machine Queen made.
Probably the strangest part of the story that feels like it added nothing to the experience and should have been left out is where the comic abruptly gets very meta. When Swamp Thing runs for cover from the Machine Kingdom, he takes cover inside of a book (paper being plant based and all of that) and ends up running into the Creativity/Story Kingdom and their Avatar. At least, that’s what I think is happening here. It’s a scene, that could have potential and be interesting to explore if there was more time. These are characters who seem to extend beyond this reality and seem to know this is a comic. However, it feels shoehorned into the comic and honestly adds nothing to the experience. Swamp Thing learns nothing from them and it’s never really addressed afterwards. It’s just puzzling and pointless in the grand scheme of things.
The writing is solid regardless of some of the issues it has. The pacing is quick here, and the dialogue is good and reads pretty well, while the narration is oddly fitting. The characterization is decent and fits most of the characters here. The ending, as in the final page, was fitting, but felt rather abrupt. It felt like there was just a bit more left to go and then it just suddenly ended. No final words, narration or such. Just end.
The artwork is brought to us by Jesus Saiz and he does a great job here like you would expect. The layouts are well put together and easy to follow, while the brief bits of action look good. The character designs are varied and creative looking, while each individual Swamp Things are very distinct from one another and a lot of detail is put into them. Saiz and also Javier Pina do inking duties here, but it’s never really noticeable so there’s no point where the artwork ends up feeling different for some reason. Finally, the coloring by June Chung looks wonderful and is quite luscious, especially during the double page spreads. Just a great looking book and I’m honestly going to miss seeing this level of quality each and every month.
Is It Good?
Swamp Thing #40 is a solid conclusion to series. While a rushed a bit, the story does wrap up every single dangling plotline and thread in the series and ends in a satisfying way. The writing is still solid and the artwork is just lovely looking. Overall, I highly recommend Swamp Thing as a whole, including both this run by Charles Soule and also the earlier run by Scott Snyder. It’s all highly worth your time reading and checking out.