Review by: TheNextChampion

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Avg Rating: 4.4
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Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Francesco Francavilla
Cover by Yanick Paquette

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

This has been one frustrating read for me for the last nine months. Scott Snyder, as we all know, is one hell of a writer and by no means is this series terrible. If it was then why would I stick with it for so long? The problem with this series is that, sometimes, the pacing of the writing can be a bit bad. Mainly though the problem has been the art and it has been tiring to look at. Yanick Paquette is one hell of a talent but it is clear as day he cannot do layouts in this style to save his life. So come to a huge surprise, and then joyful occasion, that Paquette is not the artist of this issue….but Franceso Francavilla.

First off, I loved this issue from a structure stand point. I don’t know much about Anton Arcane apart from Alan Moore’s run but it is easy to tell he is the right kind of villain for Snyder. He’s sadistic, he’s cruel, and he is just one vicious man (thing?….sorry for that horrible pun) But then you realize that entire narration is only a flashback for what was to come at the end of this issue. It’s a nice use of time in this issue and I don’t see Snyder going to that form of writing often. Apart from that we get some nice flashback into Abigail’s life (and of course it’s horrible) and Snyder does set some nice things up for Swamp Thing and the Parliament of Trees for the future. But this issue is all about Arcane and I’m sure this is going to get even more disturbing to read as the arc goes forward.

So let’s go into Francavilla’s art shall we? All I have to ask is this: WHY HASN’T HE BEEN THE ARTIST FOR THIS SERIES SINCE DAY ONE!? Seriously you guys….seriously. This is one hell of a gorgeous looking issue. Francavilla is the perfect artist for this character and for this series. He can easily get right into the horror vibe with his creepy designs and unique color schemes. Fantastic use of red’s, green’s, and oranges’s in this issue. The colors just go bursting into your eye sockets and they keep you wanting more from each page. The layouts are actually intelligible here! I know where to go next into each panel and when Francavilla does get a bit creative with the layouts it doesn’t take away from the story. This is how this series should look from each issue. And it pains me so god damn much that this is a one time deal by Francavilla. Why!? Why can’t he stay for at least this arc!? Why must you torment me so!?

That painful fact aside, with Francvilla a one and done deal, this is one hell of an issue. This is one creepy issue with a reintroduction to an important villain in Swamp Thing’s history. He fits right into Snyder’s style of writing and I can just tell he is going to LOVE writing for this guy. Add in some of the best art EVER (the caps doesn’t make it hyperbole) by Francavilla and a miracle happens with me. Finally….FINALLY, this series gets a POTW nod for me and god damn it this issue deserves it. This is a great issue to get into this series and maybe if more people buy this issue we’ll get more Francavilla in the near future. I hope so….If you’re reading this Mr. Snyder I beg you to find a way to get that man back as artist.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. Amen! Great review. The story-telling stepped up a notch, and the art was amazing. The red bayou sunset, and how the panels were all red looking through Swampy’s eyes were awesome, Abigail looked great. Excellent issue. More Francavilla please.

  2. No sarcasm, I love reading your reviews, TNC. Sometimes, they seem straight out of my own head – other times, exact polar opposites. I had no love for this issue, but it’s damn cool to see someone else be so pumped about the same material. Makes me love comics all the more. What a great medium. Cheers, buddy.

  3. Nice job. Totally agree. This and Animal Man are totally killing it and I cannot wait for the crossover. I am consistently anticipating this issue month after month.

  4. Yep, nailed it! I’m loving this book for the exact same reason some of the nay-sayers are poo poo-ing it. The book I look forward to the most along with Animal Man and Batman. Thanks for the great review!

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