Swamp Thing #8 Review

Reviewer: “Loch Ness” Mathan Erhardt
Story Title: Missing Links: Conclusion

Written by: Will Pfeifer
Penciled, Inked, and Cover by: Richard Corben
Colored by: Martin Breccia
Lettered by: Phil Balsman
Editor: Jonathan Vankin
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics

Last issue, Coleman Wadsworth, a cryptozoologist, “discovered” the Swamp Thing. He was sent to find the Swamp Thing by Maximillian Ramhoff, an Internet billionaire. Ramhoff likes to collect things that people don’t believe exist, like Yeti. Any by collect I mean kill and stuff. Thus Ramhoff and his loyal servant Dekker, were on the trail of the Swamp Thing, to add to his collection.

This issue begins with Dekker’s secret origin. He’s really an angel who was cast out of heaven for believing that the tenth element (fire, water, airâ?¦) was the Human Element. The only way to get back into heaven is to prove that the human element exists. As a man, he found that he could observe better as a servant, and he served under many people, including Hitler, Ben Franklin, and Anton Arcane. It was with Arcane that he discovered the possibility of an eleventh element; the Green. Thus he sought out the Swamp Thing as his ticket back to heaven. He hooked up with Ramhoff and the rest is the present.

Also in the swamp is Columbia Cooper, who goes to school with Tefe (Swamp Things daughter), and is a fan of both Ramhoff and Wadsworth. She’s in the swamp trying to get a look at Tefe’s pop, but when she does it’s quite the shock. Of course Swampy is still trying to come to terms with his humanity or lack thereof.

Columbia, Ramhoff, Dekker and Swampy meet up. There Dekker discovers that Swampy has given up his elemental status. Dekker is furious. When Wadsworth stumbles across the scene Dekker kills him out of spite, then disappears. Later Tefe and Columbia stumble across the Coleman’s body and Tefe’s memory of her past begins to return. Swampy hides from his daughter, to keep her away from him until he’s ready to accept his place in the world.

Pfeifer is an amazing writer. If you compare his writing on Aquaman or HERO with this issue you can tell how versatile he is. Every character has a distinct voice and I really believe that they exist outside of this story. The depth he gives to his characters is phenomenal. He should be writing something full time, if not this title.

Corben is a master. What more can you say? His art is classic whatever he’s illustrating. The sequences inside Swampy’s head are very creepy. And his tortured Swamp Thing is truly a sight to behold. I can’t wait for his Solo.