Friday, September 16, 2011

Swamp Thing #1

Swamp Thing is a character who's had an insane level of talent working on him. Alan More, Grant Morrison, Brian K. Vaughan and Mark Millar have all taken a turn at the character, crafting what is supposed to be top-notch work. But I haven't read any of it. So, armed only with vague memories of a shitty live-action TV series featuring the character, I charged into Swamp Thing#1.

DC wisely made sure they got a writer with actual ability to handle the revived series. Scott Snyder, who's telling a hell of a story over in "American Vampire" and just wrapped up a solid run on Detective Comics, is the man behind the keyboard here. He presents Swamp Thing's human alter-ego, Dr. Alec Holland, as a man who has completely stepped away from his old life. He's rejected his past as Swamp Thing and taken a construction job to step away from his career as a biologist. Honestly, this is the big fault of the issue. The titular (hehe, titular) character only appears in his mossy glory on the last page. There's something to be said for keeping the audiences wanting/waiting, but for a first issue that's supposed to grab us, it doesn't work. The other flaw, though a small one, that I found, was Holland's opening narration, where he talks about how his father's career as a florist brought to mind his time as Swamp Thing. Now, maybe it's my fault for hating my own dad, but this is weaksauce writing. First off, it seems like every superhero either has daddy issues OR completely idolizes his/her dad. Superman's always talking about Jor-El, Batman's forever recounting how many lives his father saved as a doctor, Nightcrawler's dad was The Devil and sired him in an attempt to have a teleporting mutant baby who could transport him out of hell (true story, read Chuck Austen's X-Men run and then vomit blood for 8 days!). It's a played out dramatic device. Also, Swamp Thing's dad was a florist? Coincidental. Almost coincidental as Flash villain Captain Cold having a grandfather who drove an ice truck.

Piping in on pencils (and inks, but I wanted the alliteration) is the uber-talented Yanick Paquette. Paquette's art is srsly just the best, you guys. I love his art, you love his art, people who haven't even seen his art love his art. Keep up the good work, you beautiful French-Canadian man, you. Also, I posted that picture of Emma Frost because Paquette drew it and she's hotter than a moldy old monster.

Buying the next issue: No, but only because I really don't care about Swamp Thing at all. It was quality work though.

New Reader Friendly: Definitely.

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