BRING ON THE PAIN
Dr. Alec Holland is bleeding out as he begs the Parliament of Trees to grant him the power to become Swamp Thing again and save the world from The Rot. The Parliament of Trees aren't too happy with Holland, and they see him as a failure to The Green and a lost chance to finally rid the world of The Rot. But Holland isn't willing to give up so easily. As hordes of undead humans with backwards heads fight to reach his dying body, he brings up an argument with the Parliament that shakes them right down to their roots.
Written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Yanick Paquette, this issue of Swamp Thing made me so giddy that I couldn't wait to jump online and write the review. If there was a book that DC needed more than any other in their stable after the relaunch, it was this one. Snyder hasn't just improved on the Swamp Thing mythos, he's made Holland a character you want to root for and the ability to control plants an incredible and desirable superpower. This chapter in the story brings a new sense of danger, philosophy, and depth to it's characters in a way that only Snyder can pull off.
Paquette's artwork, especially the giant spread pages with the elaborate borders, are a sight to behold. If I had to pick the most beautiful book overall every month between all of the major publishers, this book would win the award every time. If it sounds like I'm gushing it's because I am. His characterizations and environments are so filled with life that I can actually hear the plants growing through Holland's skin.
People are always asking me what my favorite ongoing comic book series are, and Swamp Thing is always one of my top choices. It earns the mention every month and hasn't let me down since I first picked it up this past September. It really goes to show you that any character can be taken out of obscurity and can be thrown out onto the main stage. Even though it has the DC logo at the top, it still retains all of the complexity and maturity of a Vertigo title while adding that DC grand feeling of a world of heroes, horror, and in Holland's case, honor. This gets a 5/5 without a moment's hesitation.