Today, Shelby and Scott are discussing Swamp Thing 27, originally released January 8th, 2014.
Shelby: In Robert Jordan’s series Wheel of Time, children often play a game called Snakes and Foxes. The player has to get their game piece from the center of the board to the edge, and back to the center without getting “killed” by a snake or a fox. They are represented by separate pieces that the player has to roll for and move at the same time he moves his own. It’s only played by children because once they get to a certain age, they realize the game is structured such that the only way to win is to cheat; if you follow the rules of the game, there’s no way to defeat the snakes and the foxes. In Swamp Thing 27, Alec finds himself in a similar pickle; he played the Parliament’s game by their rules, and he lost. Instead of quitting the game because it’s pointless, though, he decides it’s time to cheat.
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Swamp Thing 26, originally released December 4th, 2013.
Drew: I always get awkward when meeting new people: between my own anxiety over making a good impression and trying to size them up myself, genuine interactions often get squeezed out. These problems are only exacerbated when it comes to meeting new coworkers, where there are actual stakes that you get along, and the specter of “professionalism” adds pressure to the situation. I should mention here that I have a great relationship with my coworkers, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel super awkward on my first day, and probably postured more than necessary to make them like me. Jason Woodrue faces similar awkwardness as the new Avatar of the Green, and works way too hard to impress his new bosses. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Mikyzptlk are discussing Swamp Thing 25, originally released November 6th, 2013.
Scott: Realistically, there are only so many emotional peaks and valleys you can hit in a single, 20-page comic book. A hero can only claim victory and suffer defeat so many times over the course of one battle. Right? Apparently Charles Soule never got the memo. Swamp Thing 25 is a true roller coaster ride, a microcosm of what the series has been like under Soule’s watch. He’s adept at painting himself into a corner with dramatic twists and turns, and then walking right through the wet paint like a total badass. Frankly, he has no time to wait around. If this issue proves anything, it’s that Soule is a man with a plan, and that plan involves shaking things up for good. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Mikyzptlk are discussing Swamp Thing Annual 2, originally released October 30th, 2013.
Scott: One of my favorite pop culture cliches is the hero preparing for the ‘big fight”. You’ve seen the Rocky-inspired montages, with the running up the stairs and the drinking raw eggs and “Eye of the Tiger” blaring. It works every time. In Swamp Thing Annual 2, we get Charles Soule’s version of the pre-fight montage. It fits right into the ongoing storyline, which I love. It’s basically just the next two issues in one, which should come as great news to anyone who was dreading the thought of waiting another month to find out what’s going on with Alec’s impending duel with Seeder. Soule doesn’t exactly have Alec donning a headband and heading to a meat locker, instead focusing on Alec’s mental preparation. With the help of a few wise advisors- one of whom you might be shocked to see- Alec’s pre-fight journey may not have you pumping your fists, but it’s still pretty darn uplifting. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Mikyzptlk are discussing Swamp Thing 24, originally released October 2nd, 2013.
Scott: Taking over a title from Scott Snyder can’t be easy, at least not as easy as Charles Soule is making it look. Soule has filled in admirably as the new writer of Swamp Thing, and the title is as much of a must-read now as it ever was under Snyder. Much of the allure has been generated by the mysterious villain Seeder, whose identity is finally revealed in Swamp Thing 24. Regardless of how you feel about the reveal, there’s no denying that it involves a remarkable callback to Snyder’s run- it’s a moment for which neither writer can take full credit. Could the reason the transition from Snyder to Soule has gone so smoothly be because they were planning this moment together, all along? Either way, the attention to detail ought to be enough to blow you away. Continue reading →
Today, Scott and Drew are discussing Swamp Thing 21, originally released June 5th, 2013.
Scott: Most Superheroes are afforded the luxury, and often the burden, of maintaining a semblance of normal human life — an alter ego. Swamp Thing is not. Alec Holland is Swamp Thing all the time — he doesn’t have a day job. In that sense, Swamp Thing isn’t about a man keeping his two identities distinct, but a man forced to allow his two identities to merge. Because of this, his character is constantly evolving, transitioning from something familiar to something unknown. He has spent his entire life as Alec Holland, but there’s an entire history of the Green that he knows very little about. In Swamp Thing 21, Charles Soule makes it clear that he is more interested in exploring the unknown. Continue reading →
Shelby: I’m going to be honest with you all: I’m at a loss, here. I’m not sure where to begin. Swamp Thing has been one of my favorite titles since I picked it up around issue 6. Scott Snyder’s Alec Holland is a conflicted man, trying to find his place in the world, but ultimately following his heart. Yanick Paquette’s art is horrifyingly beautiful, so beautiful I was inspired to permanently ink it into my skin. Add a couple star-crossed lovers, disgusting zombie creatures, and the destruction of the DC universe, and you’ve got something pretty special on your hands. This issue marks the end of Rotworld, the end of Snyder and Paquette’s work on the title, and the fates of Abby and Alec; it’s no wonder I’m feeling a little bittersweet about this write-up. Continue reading →