|Cover by Victor Ibanez, Yanick Paquette|
Swamp Thing #3 (November 2, 2011)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Victor Ibanez, Yanick Paquette
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: John J. Hill
Remember how I said that Swamp Thing #2 was actually pretty scary?
Well, Swamp Thing #3 upped the ante from scary to straight up disturbing. I am pretty sure that I was making a hardcore cringing face while reading this issue. Things have gotten pretty grim really quickly.
The reader has been introduced to the main villain, though Snyder successfully introduced this character as sympathetic and most likely unaware of his evil powers. Snyder also further established the dichotomy between the Green and the Rot, the two forces at play here in the Swamp Thing universe. Again, we’re dealing with classic narrative tropes: good/bad, light/dark, alive/dead, green/rot. Snyder, however, managed to make this tension feel new and intriguing by placing it within the context of the natural world.
Furthermore, Snyder gave the reader titillating hints at the history between the ambiguous Abigail Arcane and Alec Holland and her tense relationship with the Rot and the Green. She’s definitely the most interesting female character I’ve encountered thus far in the New 52 and I am incredibly excited to see where she goes and how her role expands. So far, Snyder has given her a solid voice and steadfast presence so I am hopeful that he does not disappoint with her.
The art by Ibanez and Paquette is, like I said, extremely disturbing. Though the gruesome moments definitely fit within the context of the comic, I can see how Swamp Thing #3 could potentially upset readers. It doesn’t help that the worst and most grotesque sequences occur with children and even I had to kind of avert my eyes from some of the more distressing panels. Still, I admire Ibanez, Paquette and Snyder’s desire to craft a thoroughly unique and disturbing world. The Swamp Thing series feels like nothing else in the New 52 and that is definitely something to be admired. I sincerely hope that the narrative continues as strongly as it has thus far.