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Scott Snyder has officially made Swamp Thing the greatest series it can be for this new generation. The older series is still missed, but the story and other horrific elements of this issue make it the best issue in this new series. The only complaints are the alienation older readers may get from reading it, an alienation even I feel. But I cannot deny that this series has quickly become great and sets-up the next issue wonderfully.
Alec Holland comes face to face with the creature’s lover, Abigail Holland, only to have her start shooting. With his green thumb Alec fends her off only to discover she needs his help saving a young boy who has the power to destroy the world.
The story is what carries this issue, but the pacing still remains a problem. After three issues there has not been much progress. At first, the introduction of a new character called William seems pulled out of left field. The pacing was so slow in the last two issues, but this one increases the pace at the hospital where we meet young William. But this quick pace in the hospital, which is by far the best part of the comic, takes time away from Alec and Abigail slowing their development even more. The issue highlight William, not our title character and that will become a problem if Alec is not further developed for new readers who still have barely any connection to him at all.
Having this horror story in the New 52 is a unique addition to the re-launch. The story idea that the Green are rivaled by the rot is a missed opportunity, however. In Animal Man there has been talk of the Green and the Red, which is where Animal Man and his daughter get their powers. This series could be a great excuse to combine the two but instead of the Red, the Rot is brought up. The concept is still great while simplistic, but hopefully the Red will be worked into the story as well possibly leading to an interesting crossover between the two series.
The characters go from a range of non-existent to great. It is still very hard to root for Alec unless you are a long time fan since the story has not given him a chance to show too much of his character. Swamp Thing has also failed to show up yet again. His reveal is getting a lot of build up. Hopefully the wait is worth it.
Abigail’s character is enjoyable to watch with some great dialogue, but the excuse for her complete personality change is too simplistic for longtime fans who will be upset with her changes.
The newest addition to the Swamp Thing saga is William, a young boy who is allergic to chlorophyll. This means he can not breath the air and has to stay in a bubble. This boy is the best character in the series with an innocent personality that, by the end of the issue, quickly changes and leads to a great twist.
Yanick Paquette’s art still provides the same horrific and beautiful imagery from the second issue, particularly two pages of Abigail flashing back to her history with the Rot and her time with Swamp Thing expertly merging the beautiful and disturbing imagery Swamp Thing has to offer. The art is made better by the colors which add to the horrific and beautiful scenery. But again, longtime fans will still have the nostalgic yearning for the art from the 80s’ series, but Paquette still does a wonderful job in this issue.
Longtime fans can still enjoy this book for it’s great story and artwork, but the changes with the characters may be disappointing to longtime fans. This is definitely a Swamp Thing geared more towards the new generation, which is still getting a great book – just not as great as the original. But when has the new version ever outdone the original? Scott Snyder is still doing an excellent job and this issue of Swamp Thing is a must have for new readers trying to get into the Green and horror fans and can still pique the interest of longtime fans willing to overlook the new Abigail.