Review: Swamp Thing #4
In the desert, something is building a kingdom. It is not built with brick or mortar, or by the hands of man. It is built with pain and flesh. Disease and sinew are it's bonding agent, and it is growing bigger by the day. In the desert, where few things can survive the brutal conditions, a kingdom of Rot will flourish!
Scott Snyder gives us the tale of Alec Holland, the reluctant Avatar of the Green, and his journey to stop the Rot from destroying every living thing. It is a tale of self discovery, but what happens when you don't like the things you uncover about yourself? What if you refuse the destiny that you were born to fulfill? How many people will suffer because of your reluctance, and what if it doesn't even matter? No one can overcome the terrible burden set before you, can they?
This book, along with Jeff Lemire's Animal Man, are proof that great books are still being created by the genre today. Swamp Thing is a well crafted tale that is infused with both nostalgic looks to previous incarnations of the book, as well as astoundingly fresh ideas that make it the highest caliber of tales on the shelves today! It is visceral and fluid, evolving itself with each new page, overwhelming the senses with grotesque and terrible sequences. But then, turning in on itself and showing the underlying beauty of life that resides within each living thing. Then ripping the floor boards out from beneath you yet again, as you are assaulted by the very horrors that nature can inflict upon itself! It is thunderous and wonderful! And it is refreshing to have a tale completely catch you off guard by both prose and it's diabolical artistic team!
But, the best part about this book has been the creation of the William Arcane character. There is something completely disturbing about a small boy, walking through Texas, wearing a gas mask and dragging an oxygen tank. What's even worse, is the fact he can feel any dead cell within your body and manipulate it into "blooming" inside of you! He is a veritable farmer for the Rot, and since he has spent most of his life in seclusion, he is devoid of any emotional ties to his own humanity! Snyder has crafted not only a horrendously terrific new character, but he has helped me birth some absurd nightmares from it as well! And to believe, these astoundingly vicious creations all come from the mind of one of the nicest creators I have had the pleasure to meet!
Hands down, Swamp Thing needs to be in your pull list every month! And once you get it there, you won't believe how you've ever lived without it before!