Mikyzptlk: After the surprising events of Swamp Thing 27, Swampy and his amazing friends are entering a new era. Charles Soule is clearly excited to begin the next chapter of his story, but before he can really dig in, he takes some time flesh out the mysterious character of Capucine. The results are fine, but this issue feels a bit like Soule is stepping on his own toes. Hopefully this is just a case of needing to take a few steps back, before being able to move forward again.
Alec Holland is Swamp Thing once again, and he’s ready to be the Avatar that the Green and the world needs. There’s only one problem: the return of the former Avatars known as Wolf, Brother Jonah, and the Lady Weeds. The former Avatars are initially shocked to be human again, but they quickly decide that they want to experience the brave new world they have found themselves in. Swampy acquiesces and takes the group to Mardi Gras. The fun is cut short, as Swampy returns the group to his home in order to find Capucine. He finds her in hiding, and after he convinces her that he is truly Swamp Thing, she finally tells him her origin story. Given the gift of one thousand years of life, Capucine protected her home and royalty for many years before striking out on her own. So why is she seeking sanctuary today? It turns out that when she dies, her body will belong to this guy.
Okay, now it really makes sense why Capucine wants the protection of Swamp Thing. I’ve been curious as to why a bad ass such as Capucine was in need of anyone’s help, but the revelations as to why have proven to be unexpected, and a bit twisted. It turns out that she gained amazing powers and a prolonged life at the expense of her freedom after her death. Basically, Capucine knows that she doesn’t need anyone’s protection in life. Instead, she wants Swamp Thing to protect her body after she passes away.
Capucine’s story has been a long time coming, and I’m certainly glad to finally learn more about this character. I’m looking forward to seeing where her story goes and I’m also excited to see the inevitable confrontation between Swamp Thing and Etrigan. I hope it’s clear by now that I truly enjoyed learning the backstory of Capucine. The only problem is that Soule seemed to get in the way of himself a bit here, as the characters he begins this issue with prove to be so interesting that I didn’t want to stop reading about them.
I’m referring, of course, to the former Avatars. Wolf, Brother Jonah, and especially the Lady Weeds have found themselves in a very unexpected place. Not only are they alive again, but they have been returned to their human bodies. Swamp Thing was fully prepared to drop this trio off, but, fortunately, they did not let him get away with it. Instead, we got this:
You said it, Wolf. Oh yeah, that healthy fellow there is Wolf. I’ll let you figure out who Lady Weeds and Brother Jonah are on your own. These characters aren’t exactly new to Swamp Thing, and yet they totally are in this context. I had a lot of fun watching these ancient Avatars explore the modern world with simultaneously old and fresh eyes. Wolf is obviously ready to enjoy himself, while Jonah seems to be quietly taking in his new state of being. The Lady, on the other hand, is by far the most interesting. Just take a look at the way she is (re)introduced.
Need I say more? Okay, I will. Lady Weeds obviously has a…unique way of looking at things. Some might even say that she has more than one screw loose. I’m really into the darkness of this character, but I’m also curious as to why she is this way and who she really is underneath it all. The same can be said of the other former Avatars as well, and while I’ll be looking forward to learning more about them, it seems like a much safer option to keep a closer eye on the Lady.
So Shelby, my complaint about this issue was essentially that Soule is giving me way too much entertainment. In the end, things could certainly be worse. What were your feelings about this issue? Oh! And what about artist Javi Pina’s Mardi Gras Swamp Thing? Was that fun or what?
Shelby: I love Mardi Gras Swamp Thing. Since losing his human body, the artists on this book have drawn Alec in fauna appropriate to his natural setting, and Pina is no different. As fun as Mardi Gras Swamp Thing is, it’s the Salt Flats Swamp Thing that really impresses.
He looks like he’s made out of sere grasses and a joshua tree; it’s perfect vegetation for the edge of the salt flats. And how smart was it for Capucine to go there to hide from the Green? I’m actually quite impressed with both the women in this book. Capucine is competent, strong, and a total badass. I love her story of being raised a warrior since childhood, though I am dying to know what became of her brother and the other. In a lot of ways, she’s very much like Alec in his position as Avatar of the Green. They were both chosen for their roles without really understanding what they were getting into, they were both warriors trained to protect, they both have lost control of their forms after their death. Alec lived on without his body and (until recently anyway) even more under the thumbs of the Parliament than before, and Capucine risks losing her body to a demon once she finally falls. It’s a nice parallel between these two, and it makes Alec’s agreeing to protect her even more touching than it already is.
As much as I enjoy finally really meeting Capucine, though, it’s the Lady Weeds that I’m most excited for. I was initially disappointed she was back in regular lady form, since I enjoyed Jesus Saiz’s design of her as an avatar so much, but there’s no beating an entrance like we’ve got here. Mik, I’m glad you included that image, I think it was my favorite panel in the book. It firmly cements Lady Weeds as someone who’s not altogether stable, as if we needed further proof of that (She created the potato famine! On purpose!). Instantly, that image evoked thoughts of Eve in the garden with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Except here, instead of being tricked by the clever snake, our Eve has slain it with her bare hands. It’s a really powerful idea, of this woman not as victim of the trickster serpent, but master of it. She’s more powerful, in a very primal way. It adds a lot of depth to her character. Wolf is fine as long as he has food, drink, and maybe a lady or two; Brother Jonah certainly seems the pious, zen type; but the Lady Weeds is the wild card. I honestly have no idea what direction she’s going to take, and that makes for very exciting story-telling. For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to Comixology and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?