Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Swamp Thing #4

Cover by Yanick Paquette, Nathan Fairbairn

Swamp Thing #4 (December 7, 2011)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Marco Rudy
Colorist: David Baron
Inker: Sean Parsons, Michael Lacombe
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Swamp Thing #4 is mostly concerned with exposition: a brisk history of the Green, the Parliament of Trees and previous Swamp Thing incarnations was the focal point of this issue. And I loved every second of it.

Rather than feeling like dull filler, Swamp Thing #4 was still very gripping and disturbing. Again, I adore the eerie and mythological atmosphere so I’m content learning more about this universe than just having action scene after action scene.

Of course, Swamp Thing #4 did feature a thoroughly unsettling and frankly scary opening scene featuring our villain, the younger brother of Abigail Arcane, William. Introduced in the last issue, William is proving himself to a thoroughly frightening villain. After he’s spent his entire young life in a hermetically sealed chamber due to his chlorophyll allergy, he escaped the hospital he lived in. Now the Rot is speaking to him and he is unleashing his malevolent powers as he travels.

Snyder has crafted a thoroughly engaging conflict and a villain with truly unique powers. Arcane’s ability to siphon all that is dead around him to the surface provides the reader with some majorly gag-inducing moments, which I’m sure Rudy loved penciling. His art, always enjoyable, has become truly beautiful in this issue. The creepy parts were really creepy and the sequences featuring the Parliament of Trees and the Green were lovely. Rudy and Baron really emphasized the contrast between the Green and the Rot in eye-catching and beautiful ways.

Alec Holland, our main protagonist, is still struggling with his role in the Green and defies the Parliament of Trees. This does not bode well especially since it appears that his compatriot, Abigail Arcane, is not all that she appears to be either. I have to admit, however, that I can’t decide whether or not Alec is endearing or kind of annoying. He’s dances dangerously close to the woe-is-me line but Snyder always manages to pull him back just in time. I worry that he could become a whiny hero so I am hoping that now that he seems to have a plan, he reins that in.

Other than that, I cannot stress how much I am enjoying this series enough and if the hint in the last panel says anything, the next issue will be even more exciting and gruesome.

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