Monday, January 9, 2012

Swamp Thing #5

Cover by Yanick Paqiette, Nathan Fairbairn

Swamp Thing #5 (January 4, 2012)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Penciller: Yanick Paquette
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Travis Lanham

This has been the first uninteresting and shallow issue in an otherwise standout series. Swamp Thing #4 hinted at a very macabre and intense confrontation between the Green and the Rot and I was really looking forward to it. When I finished this issue, however, I had only one thing to say: “That’s it?”

Don’t get me wrong; this issue featured a pivotal moment for Alec Holland, one that will most likely introduce the traditional Swamp Thing character that I’m sure will make fans very happy. Other than that, however, I was disappointed in the pacing of this issue and the overall handling of what could have been a really exciting conflict.

William, the sinister younger brother of Abigail who is being manipulated by the Rot, surprises Abigail and Alec in a deserted town. He also brings along a gruesome army of re-animated slaughtered animals and once again, the dichotomy between good/bad, life/death, Green/Rot is the central focus of this confrontation. Unfortunately, Snyder kept returning to this theme so much that it felt rather heavy-handed. It was as if he had forgotten that he had made this the main theme in the last three issues, as well. I wanted to see a fight scene between the Green and the Rot, not see characters wax poetically on their differences.

Furthermore, the fight scene was resolved all too quickly and succinctly. The pacing was definitely rushed and the issue suffered for it. With so much buildup, I was very disappointed to see such a rush job of a terribly intriguing and suspenseful storyline. I’m hoping that Snyder has more tricks up his sleeve in the next issue because I don’t want to settle for this storyline ending.

Paquette’s art was fabulous as always, along with Fairbairn’s coloring. I simply wish that they had had a storyline to match


  1. I thought this issue was abrupt too, but I have a good idea why. Animal Man has been dealing with the Rot too, going so far as to mention Alec by name early on and then Swamp Thing itself in the latest issue.

    The two books are directly related and will no doubt intertwine in narrative now. Animal Man probably needed more time because there are more characters to establish (Buddy's family plays a pivotal role), and as a result this team had to drag their feet so Animal Man could catch up.

  2. @Sergio J. A. Ragno III I haven't read Animal Man so I should pick those up sometime. I had never even heard of him until the relaunch. DC favors their environment-themed superheroes I suppose.

  3. I only picked up the Animal Man books after reading 52 and becoming fond of the character. From what I’ve seen the angle is that Animal Man can use the abilities of any animal so if he needs to run fast he can mimic a cheetah, if he needs strength he can mimic a gorilla. In the world of Superman, however, that ends up being fairly unimpressive and the books tend to acknowledge that, though not to a humiliating degree like Aquaman. Instead the stories I’ve read focus on how Animal Man has a family and how they struggle with his super hero life style. That is the direction the relaunch goes in, the Rot is after Animal Man’s family, his daughter in particular, and he isn’t really powerful enough to fight back. The books as a result end up being really intense and really well paced.