Review by: JNewcomb

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.4
Users who pulled this comic:
Art and cover by YANICK PAQUETTE

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

So it’s happening. DC is relaunching. Fans are buzzing and the reviews are flooding comic sites all over the internet. We here hope to review each and every one of the 52 new books. Most of these will appear in Review Capsules on fridays so mark your calendar for those. Let’s open though, with a full review of Swamp Thing #1 by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette. Snyder has garnered much praise for his indie and DC work alike. In interviews he is obviously enthusiastic at writing this book. Paquette comes in to complete the team. That’s the reason I tried this. It has a superstar creative team. Did they deliver?

Swamp Thing #1 does much to establish where the main character is at the moment. Alec Holland has “come back to life” with memories of being the Swamp Thing but is decidedly no longer “that monster”. This is relayed to the reader via a conversation Holland has with Superman – which might appeared contrived if handled by a lesser writer but was an acceptable conceit under Snyder’s pen. You see, animals have been dying en masse the world over . We witness this in the first scene of the book which is markedly the strongest one. Superman pays Alec a visit regarding these catastrophes. Holland insists he can’t help and educates Superman on the violent nature of plant biology. That dialog and scene is very well written and drawn in and of itself. But despite containing some interesting concepts, they grind the second act of the book down to a near-vegetative pace so that as part of the whole it doesn’t seem to fit. This may have been intentional but it left me restless nonetheless. Eventually, we are satisfactorily given a “trigger event” for the story. Some fossils regain life and insects cause some archeologists to kill themselves via involuntary neck break. Meanwhile, Alec wakes from a sleep and discovers his past isn’t quite behind yet.

It’s a book which starts strong and ends interestingly. It establishes a mood, some themes and metaphors and a mysterious plot. I felt the script was competently put together but was not nearly as compelling as Paquette’s artwork. His characters look like real people with distinguishing features. And they “act” very convincingly. He draws finely detailed backgrounds as well. His panel compositions are clever but not flashy. Yanick is the type of artist who precisely services the story and modifies his approach to pages according to their content. I can say the same for the coloring.

Swamp Thing #1 is smart but falls short of hooking me. In part because it dwells on the themes too heavily and overtly in the second act. This caused me to tune out a bit so that the admitedly intriguing finale had less impact on me. When I put this down my reaction was puzzlement and interest but not enthusiasm and excitement. Blame my relative unfamiliarity with the character but I’m uncertain if this will be enough to keep me reading. I just might come back for Paquette though.

Story: 3 - Good
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. This review was originally published at stashmycomics.com/blog

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