Comics Anonymous

SWAMP THING #2 by Linsay @softlyspokenlas

Issue #2 of Snyder and Paquette’s Swamp Thing is a blinder. With both this book and Animal Man out in the same week I feel like I’m in a Ferrero Rocher advert with Dan DiDio.

Whilst reviewing this comic book, I am sitting in my kitchen with the sniffles, looking out the window as the leaves begin to turn. The colours of Swampy #2 are perfectly timed to match what is happening outside, just like Snyder’s story acts as a microcosm of what DC want to achieve with the reboot. Fairbairn uses just the right combination of leafy greens and browns, both on the cover and inside to make me feel like I am up my local woods. As an individual who loves going up the woods, this is an immensely comforting feeling like no other from a comic book.

The warm fuzzy feeling Fairbairn is giving me should be akin to the one Snyder is giving DC, I’d imagine. He is doing a sterling job of merging the legacy with his own ideas and making the relaunched Swamp Thing a comic book that is accessible to, and enjoyed by, new readers whilst giving plentiful nods to the old hands. Swampy #2 won’t please everyone but it sure pleases me.

Paquette’s cover gives us the skinny on what we can expect inside: a continuation of Alec Holland’s struggle with the Swamp Thing. This issue to starts to flesh out exactly what that struggle constitutes and what is true in the world of the Swamp Thing and Alec Holland. Swampy is one of the few rebooted DC books that doesn’t bother with filler. Snyder and Paquette don’t drag things out, nor rush through them. Each and every panel sets us up to learn more about the truth of the Swamp Thing & Alec Holland whilst the accompanying emotive colouring serves to deepen our own emotional investment in the characters.

Pages one to three show us the human history of the Swamp Thing, who is currently trying to treaty with Holland. The panels are set out as if on a leaf, the borders are its veins. The Swamp Thing’s personal history entwined with The Green from the very beginning and involves his prematurely ended career as an RAF pilot during the Second World War. Sure these panel’s are accompanied by a fair bit of text but Snyder’s style is so fluid you barely notice you’re reading. Its more like the Swamp Thing is touching you, like he touches Alec and the pictures are transferring… Okay, I might be going over the score here but I really do love the way the book is laid out. This for example:

It reminds me of those diagrams you’d read in geography class at school, showing the different layers of earth all the way down to the dinosaur bones. It such a great way to tell the story, and I especially love the little nod to Berne Wrightson. The first two issues have been littered with references like these.

I am really enjoying the development of the bigger picture between Alec and The Green, whilst the ‘small time’ supernatural happenings are gearing up to be a really twisted bit of brilliance. I particularly like how people’s necks are breaking before they come after Holland. Snyder really knows how to come up with some cool stuff I’m going to enjoy.

This book is a definitive buy from me. I’m really enjoying it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to those new to Swampy/ comics or those old Swampy lovers who are fearful of reboots. I’ve actually got no criticisms of this book.

Oh, and remember Bernie Wrightson is appearing at London Super Comic Convention. You can read my interview with the team behind the convention here.

Linsay @softlyspokenlas

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