Written by SCOTT SNYDER/ Art by YANICK PAQUETTE
Colors by NATHAN FAIRBAIRN / Letters by JOHN J. HILL
With the release of the new 52, DC has put a major emphasis on the supernatural characters of their universe. As part of the Dark family of books in the reboot, Swamp Thing sets a high standard for the books to come. The fusion of Scott Snyder’s storytelling with Yanick Paquette’s art should lead to an impressive series.
Swamp Thing has been reintroduced into the DCU after his appearance in Brightest Day and Snyder is moving to make him a major player. Snyder focuses on Alec Holland throughout the issue through introspective captioning which helps us to understand the rich history of the character. This introspective approach for the first issue was interesting because instead of doing flashbacks or jumping into a whole new story, Snyder has written a great moment of clarity for that character to reflect on his past.
The horror elements in this issue are engaging and they play to Snyder’s decompressed storytelling style. A good example of this would be Snyder’s time on Detective Comics. Each of those short arcs could be read by themselves but in the end we see how they all were intertwined and made for a rich and fulfilling story. The Green, the living embodiment of plant life on earth, is tied to Swamp Thing (if you’ve read Brightest Day, you’ve seen the Green’s fury first hand) and Snyder’s teasing of the subject should lead to some interesting story arcs. There is very little information given as to what is going on with the abnormal events in this supernatural world but enough is teased that should pique the curiosity of those reading it.
Paquette’s art adds to the mystery in the world of Swamp Thing by making it seem so alive. His style makes it seem like the backgrounds are moving as the characters play their parts in the scene. This is due to his attention to detail and use of shadows giving the scenes a realistic look, one page that comes to mind is after Alex Holland wakes up from his nightmare. The room that he wakes up to is drawn in a beautiful but eerie way which embodies the theme of this title. The only thing that Paquette could use some work on are his mainstream superhero faces. Over the course of 3 pages, Superman’s chin was about 4 different sizes.
Lemire and Paquette provide a strong starting point for the Dark line which seems to be the sleeper line of the DC relaunch. Each book in the line has an overarching plotline and they are on a crash course, like the Red in Animal Man and the Green in this title, which will lead to some explosive story lines. If you love horror and masterful storytelling, pick this book up.
WRITING: 5 / ART: 4.5 / OVERALL: 4.75