Michael: Poor Alec. First he and Buddy lose an entire year of fighting — and hence, the fight itself — but Alec must forge ahead, beset by mistrust from allies, misinformation, and an intuition that fails him more often than not. He doesn’t quite grasp his powers, he can’t be sure what the Parliament of Trees really knows, and a justifiably cocky Arcane has fortified himself. The only consistent truth for Alec is Abigail’s essential good and his powerful sense that she’s still alive — and even that is in jeopardy. Continue reading →
Scott: This Rotworld stuff can be pretty depressing. I can only take so much of hearing about how everyone everywhere is dead and there’s nothing anyone can do to make things better. So it’s nice that Swamp Thing Annual #1 was able to take a step back and tell a story that, while still wholly depressing in its own right, feels like a breather from the current state of Rotworld despair. Continue reading →
Shelby: Zero month gave us a little reprise from the events of Rotworld. Sure, we learned more about Anton Arcane’s horrifying history, making him that much more of a serious threat. But it was easy to forget that the last time we saw Alec, he was in a completely dead world, one which he assumed was an alternate version of the reality he knew. I’ll be honest, I assumed it was an alternate reality as well; the single panel reveal at the end of 12 didn’t really sink in. But now, we are fully immersed in Rotworld, and let me tell you: things are way worse than we thought.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Swamp Thing 11 originally released July 11th, 2012 (but mistakenly released a week early on Comixology.com)
Patrick: There’s a pivotal moment near the climax of Swamp Thing and Arcane’s fight where Alec realizes what he’s up against. He stares, deadpan, at his injured enemy and puts the pieces together: “every wound… becomes a mouth.” The Rot is consumption: and nothing can quash its appetite. That’s us — you, me, the comics industry, the entertainment industry, consumers. We relentlessly chew up narratives, characters, histories… christ, DC Comics alone puts over 60 titles on the sacrificial alter on a monthly basis. They reboot the line, they run cross-over events, they revive Watchmen, they do line-wide zero issues. But it’s basically never enough, the consumers always want more. And so the war between the Green, the Red and the Rot goes on forever, a conflict insatiable. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Shelby are discussing Swamp Thing 10, originally released June 6th, 2012.
Drew: Maintaining a sense of tension in an ongoing story is an unenviable balancing act. If a writer plays things too subtly, the tension is lost, but if it’s laid on too thickly, it looses all meaning. After building to what seemed like a sure climax in issues 8 and 9, Scott Snyder brings things down to a simmer for the introduction of Anton Arcane, but a simmer that seems more primed to burst than anything in the previous four issues. That a quiet conversation in a swamp can feel more dangerous than whole armies of the undead is a testament to Snyder’s writing, which continues to feel somehow both inevitable and innovative. Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Swamp Thing 8, originally released April 4th, 2012.
Drew: Swamp Thing is all about details. Plot-wise, this issue may be even lighter than the previous one — Swamp Thing brings the fight to Sethe’s doorstep, prompting Sethe to play his ace in the whole: a Rot-ified Abby Arcane — but the creative team continues to emphasize and elucidate themes in ways that are both exciting and rewarding. Both the narration and the art are packed with subtle detail that amplify, refract, and subvert the story in surprising ways. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Swamp Thing 7, originally released March 7th, 2012.
Patrick: Alec Holland dies after taking a chainsaw through the torso. Spoiler, I guess. No, I didn’t just ruin a twist or anything – in fact, Alec suffers this wound at the end of the previous issue. As is so frequently the case for characters in superhero comics, the drama continues to play out past the point of death, into the cerebral nether-space between living and dying. It allows Alec to decide that he needs to embrace his destiny and become the Swamp Thing. It’s a regular stop for heroes nearing the end of the Heroes’ Journey (capital H, capital J), but Scott Snyder manages something subtly different, emotionally unique to this very specifically reluctant hero. Continue reading →