With the way things are looking, Swamp Thing could be called Swamp Man pretty soon — since he’s just a man these days. Oh yeah, the guy who has Swamp Thing’s powers wants to take over the world. No big deal.
Swamp Thing #5 (DC Comics)
The official DC Comics summary reads:
Alec Holland journeys to Nanda Parbat to seek a way to fix the chaos he has unleashed by wishing for his humanity back. But will it be too little, too late? With a guest appearance by Deadman!
Why does this book matter?
Len Wein on writing and Kelley Jones on art means we’re in for classic (yet bizarre) comic goodness. These guys have been around the block and we’re in good hands. Crack this open and you’re assured from script to art you’re getting something unique.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This story is epic in so many ways which ramps up the stakes, but also makes for a story that feels like a movie. So often comics hold back or only tell a smaller story to keep the character close to status quo, but this one turns it up to 11 as we see Swamp Thing (Matt Cable has control of the green now) get his vines on the Eiffel tower and the Pentagon. He means business and so does this script as it slams you right off the bat with some major destruction. Meanwhile Alec Holland is basically going on a spirit quest as he tries to figure out how to get the Swamp Thing powers back. Not only does he get sucked into the Earth for a Parliament of Trees meeting, but meets some DC Comics supernatural heavy hitters. I’ll let you read this to be as surprised as I was.
Wein continues to slowly reveal more of Darcy Fox, the new sheriff in town who just so happens to be related to Lucius Fox. You’ll like this character: she’s punky, unafraid and willing to risk her own life to stop the bad guys.
Anyone wondering how Swamp Thing could have all of humanity at his mercy just needs to know Wein addresses it with a solid scene from A.R.G.U.S. It allows him to check in on the Metal Men (another book he’s writing) and the Suicide Squad too (with a fun chuckle as well).
I’m not going to lie to you though, the main reason to buy this book is for the art. Jones once again infuses every panel with the macabre even when Swamp Thing isn’t on the page. Alec’s journey takes him to some weird places and even when a scene isn’t necessarily supernatural Jones casts Alec’s face in odd shadow; it creates a weirdness that almost bends reality and imbues a scene with an uneasiness that’s fun to uncover. The supernatural heroes that pop up are fantastic too and much of the pages in this issue make me wish for a Justice League Dark movie already. Read this book Guillermo del Toro and you’ll want to come back and do it too!
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s safe to say Alec’s journey is more of a fun check in type tale than one that has him doing or saying much of importance. The same goes for Swamp Thing who basically sits around making threats. It’s a minor thing, especially with so much great art, but by the end of the issue there does seem to be a bit of decompression in this issue.
Is It Good?
The epic meter is about to break as this issue raises the stakes, delivers a hero’s journey type tale, and reminds us how cool the supernatural side of DC Comics can be.