Picking up right where “Animal Man” leaves off, this month’s “Swamp Thing” moves the story along at a breakneck pace. Horrible adventures await both inside and outside the Rot. Can Team Red and Green beat the odds, or should you just bet it all on Black?
Written by Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Marco Rudy
– Prelude to “ROTWORLD”!
– Continued from this month’s Animal Man #12!
– ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING – together at last!
Seeing that “Animal Man” and “Swamp Thing” are the closest things to horror books DC has outside of the Vertigo line, a smart reader can probably answer the question above. That doesn’t make this month’s “Swamp Thing” any less worth reading. Let us get one thing out of the way first though — have you read this month’s “Animal Man” #12 ? No? Ok, do that right now. Back? Great, let’s get going.
Scott Snyder has always been the reason for picking up this book. If you are a fan of smart horror and haven’t read “American Vampire” or Snyder’s pre-relaunch work on “Dectective Comics”, then you just don’t like nice things (or smart horror). This issue has that Snyder touch, and a little more, feeling slightly like drug trip from Hades.
Some writers trip up when adding ‘guest stars’. Kind of like a hip-hop track featuring a guest artist, the guest star becomes the main focus, hogging the dialogue and carrying the story. This happens in Marvel books a lot, and it can be irritating if you are a reader picking up the book for the character whose name is in the title of the book. That doesn’t happen here. Snyder balances the story very well between both Animal Man and Swamp Thing, as well as the passel of supporting character’s back in the swamp. Jumping back and forth between scenes gives the book a nice pace- we don’t find out too much too quickly, and it creeps towards a twist ending like a horror book should.
Character-wise, it is obvious Snyder and Lemire have been sharing notes, because because there is no massive change in characterization. Other than some strangeness with Maxine’s powers, nothing is out of place. Also, watching the Baker women and Abigail Arcane kick ass all on their own is already in the running for favorite scene of the month. Ellen Baker with a shotgun? Sexiest DC woman ever. Power Girl and Wonder Woman don’t even come close.
On art duties, I’m beginning to believe Marco Rudy is some kind of wonderful pencil chameleon. Everytime he fills in for Yanick Paquette, it takes me a couple pages to figure it out. Now, coming hot off the heels of Steve Pughe’s “Animal Man” #12, the same magic occurs. Consistent is an understatement for this man’s art. It really makes this whole ‘Rotworld Prologue’ thing feel like one smooth, continuous story, and not a crossover between two books. The only complaint is that Rudy’s Swamp Thing is not as intricatly and beautifully detailed as Paquette’s. Also, it is incredibly admirable that Rudy can draw some gorgeous women, without exaggerating their sexual characteristics. Seriously, after the carnage is done, take a look at Ellen and Abigal, and you can see why Buddy and Alec/Swampy fell for them.
That’s really it, guys. “Swamp Thing” #12 continues this trend of Snyder/Lemire excellence, and ties the year off with the beginning of a new story that looks just as weird and intense as everything that has come before it. A great anniversary issue and kick-off to whats to come.
Final Verdict: 8.0 – Buy it. Only reason I can’t rate this higher is that it doesn’t stand just on its own. Best read with “Animal Man”