Review: Swamp Thing #1 (DC)

Swamp Thing #1 (2011)Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Yanick Paquette
Colors: Nathan Fairbairn
Letters: John J. Hill
Cover: Yanick Paquette, Nathan Fairbairn
Editor: Chris Conroy, Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Date: November 2011
Cover Price: $2.99

Title:Raise Dem Bones

Scott Snyder is no stranger to horror stories; he’s won an Eisner and a Harvey Award for his work on DC’s American Vampire and his current work also includes Image’s Severed miniseries. So it seems fitting that he’d be chosen to take on a character who was first introduced in the horror anthology title House of Secrets.

Created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, the character was conceived as Alec Holland mutating into Swamp Thing after being dowsed by an experimental formula and being burned alive. When Alan Moore reinvented Swamp Thing in the 1980’s, he explained that Swamp Thing was an elemental entity that absorbed Holland’s memories and personality upon death. Therefore removing all human aspects from the creature and, in essence, making him an elemental god as it were.

In the latest incarnation by Scott Snyder, we have Alec Holland – alive and human. Well, at least for now.

After Batman, Superman, and Aquaman witness strange mass animal deaths, Superman seeks out Alec Holland to find out if he knows the cause. While Holland talks to Superman we learn that Holland died and became Swamp Thing over a year ago in the reboot timeline. He retained the memories of when he was transformed but is hesitant to talk about it.

Snyder’s vagueness in the storyline is a mystery that’s sure to be unraveled over the course of the arc. There are several things that are hinted at, but nothing is really completely evident in the story. The writing is paced well enough that we’re teased to want more, instead of being baited until the next issue. The pacing and mystery is something that Snyder does very well.

Along with the compelling story, the artwork by Yanick Paquette is absolutely stunning for this series. The art, the page layouts, the dynamics are all top notch work! His style on Swamp Thing is a perfect complement to Snyder’s script. I can’t say enough about Paquette’s work on this book. Also, as a nod to those who came before him, you’ll notice some familiar names and a date in the background art.

Along with Batgirl and the Batman and Superman line of books, Swamp Thing is one of the most anticipated books of the New 52 reboot. I can definitely see why that is. There’s enough story that makes the reader want to continue reading, yet it doesn’t give everything away in the first issue. Actually, it doesn’t give much away at all.

Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing is one of those books that might have a slow burn, but eventually the explosion will catch you by surprise.

– The Comic Book Critic

Comic Book Critic Rating: 8.0

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