I love getting requests from readers and wwayne has really helped me out in that department. Animal Man from DC’s New 52 was the first request I received and I enjoyed every page of the first volume. So, when I found out that Swamp Thing and Animal Man were connected, I had to pick up Swamp Thing as well. When I think of swamp monsters, Scooby Doo is what comes to mind. I say this because the thought of big, green monsters that dwell in swamps is neither new nor is it specific to DC. These creatures are scary and the thought of encountering one is associated with fear. Be it a masked man with revenge on his mind, or a genetically mutated monster, we do not think of swamp monsters as heroes. However, you should leave those thoughts at the door when you read Swamp Thing.
Humans as a whole value life on different levels. The murder of humans is a high crime that people are demonized for committing and are often jailed as a result of doing so. Killing animals is a different story because most of society believes that it is fine to raise animals for the sole purpose of dying in order to become food, fabrics, and sport. However, there are laws that prevent animals from being treated cruelly and people who believe it is wrong to eat animals. Then there is the way that we treat plants. Even vegans eat plants and people don’t think twice chopping up flowers for decoration. Efforts exist in order to prevent deforestation, but they are fueled by the selfish endeavor to keep the environment safe for human life. Humans beg for their lives and animals cry out in pain, but plants have no voice. When one is not confronted with the hesitation inducing sounds of fear, taking away life is just something that happens. The problem is that plants are still alive. What if plants could fight back? What is plants were far more deadly than we could imagine? What if we needed their help in order to save the world? Alec Holland is the man who must be the voice of the plants. The problem with becoming a hero is that one often loses the ability to live a normal life, but at least most of those heroes get to keep their humanity. Alec is a man who was once taken over by a monster and doesn’t want that to happen again. However, the only way to save the world is by letting the beast take hold once again and this time there is no going back.
Swamp Thing introduces us to the warring sides of nature. The rot is the force that is hell-bent on taking away life on the Earth and is the obvious enemy force. There are people who have a strong tie to the rot and at this point in time it is the members of the Arcane family. Abigail Arcane is our female lead and the one who is destined to be the warrior queen of the rot. However, her connection to Alec while he was a monster was able to help keep her on the side of good. The green is the force that controls plant life on the Earth. Technically on the side of good and they must use the power of Dr. Alec Holland in order to stop the rot. Alec is a botanist that was doing groundbreaking research. Unfortunately, Dr. Holland died in a lab experiment and was restructured by the parliament of the green. There is a gap in time between his two lives where Alec was the Swamp Thing and the memories from those days flood his mind. Although he must renounce his humanity, Alec must become the warrior king of the green to save the world. We are also introduced to the red as the third natural force that anyone who is familiar with the new Animal Man series should know about. The red and the green, although both of them are on the side of life, are somewhat at arms in a rivalry over supremacy. I look forward to seeing the interactions between the warriors of these three ancient forces.
Once again DC has brought to me a great story. I am really liking these lesser known DC heroes and the fact that Swamp Thing has a connection to Animal Man is making this all the more enjoyable. The art has a very dark feel to it which is appropriate because the story has that same feel. The faint of heart may wish to avoid this one because the death that the rot brings about can be a little disturbing, but I was able to enjoy it. The connection to life itself on such a grand scale is very interesting and I like the fact that this is a story that mentions the Justice League, but doesn’t need to have it as a focus. We are introduced to the tragedies of war and what comes along with the line of thinking that says one can avoid battle.
If you have read Animal Man, you should definitely read Swamp Thing. If you haven’t read either one, then you should read both. Swamp Thing introduces us to a very entertaining ancient struggle that is a must know for any comic fan. The connection to nature and its gritty style make for a very entertaining story. Also, the fact that it has a direct connection to another great story makes it even better in my opinion. You can pick up the first volume and/or the single issues from your local comic book provider. I really hope that everyone can support DC during this New 52 endeavor because it is very much worth your time to become a part of it. If you don’t know where to start, this series is not a bad way to go. I would like to thank our readers for their continued interaction on the site and would like to welcome more recommendations and requests.