Saturday, November 12, 2011

Swamp Thing #3

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.


  1. I've been reading these based on your recommendation, and am noticing some thematic similarities to Animal Man from the superficial (Bud is summoned to defend The Red... sorta) to the intricate (the language is similar and those literary devices you mentioned last review are totally in play).

    These two comics may run parallel like Superboy and Teen Titans, though far more subtle and intelligent. You may want to check them out, I have issues 1-3 if you need to borrow them.

  2. @Sergio J. A. Ragno III Yeah, I'll probably check out Animal Man mostly because I never knew he existed until the relaunch. I never read Superboy and I only read one Teen Titans graphic novel that I really disliked so I can't say anything towards that comparison.

  3. @KerryI'll admit it wasn't a comparison that would inspire confidence as much as I want it to be (the Titans used to be really awesome).

    I picked up Animal Man after reading 52, which is something else you really should check out when you have some down time. Libraries tend to carry the trade.