Review: Swamp Thing #7 by Scott Snyder & Yanick Paquette

Swamp Thing #7

Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Yanick Paquette
Colored by: Nathan Fairbairn
Lettering by: Travis Lanham

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

I wasn’t even scheduled to review Swamp Thing this week (sorry Animal Man, looks like you have to wait until next month), but after reading it, I just had no choice. I had so much I wanted to say about this terrific issue.

Summary (contains spoilers): There are just some comics that don’t lend themselves all that well to a summary. Describing the story of this issue doesn’t do it anywhere near the justice it deserves.

Last issue, it seemed like the Rot had won. Alec’s refusal to become Swamp Thing again had left the Green vulnerable to the point that even if they wanted to create a champion, it was too late to do so.

This issue begins with agents of The Rot trying to get at Alec, who the Green has enveloped in a cocoon as pretty much their last dying act.  Not to save him, but to make him suffer as the Green is destroyed.  The entire issue is just an exploration of what is going through Alec’s mind as he talks to the Green about his refusal to become Swamp Thing.  The Green says it is because Alec is scared. Alec challenge them saying that they are weak, and need humans to be able to survive.

In the end, Alec decides to let himself get turned into Swamp Thing. The Green says this is impossible, until Alec reveals that he still has one last canister of Bio-Restorative formula that the Green can use to transform him. Alec admits that the only reason he is allowing this to happen is that we wants to resuce Abigail from the Rot.

He emerges from the cocoon a more powerful Swamp Thing, ready to bring war to The Rot

Review: Looking back at the first seven issues of Swamp Thing, the story has a truly inevitable quality to it. The only way this issue could possibly end was that Alec would have to get over himself and become Swamp Thing. But until he actually makes that decision, the reader is literally hanging on every word and image wanting to see how this is all going to play out. I love when a comic can make me completely shut down my logic and just go with the flow.

The crazy part is that part of me thinks “Hey wait…it took us seven issues to get here…this should piss me off…” I am always complaining about decompressed story telling, and taking until issue 7 for the hero to even “become the hero” should seem like the definition of that. But every issue has been so brilliantly put together, that it never felt like Swamp Thing was dragging it’s feet. Instead, it was always felt like it was building up to something huge and important. And this issue brought it all to a head brilliantly.

I wonder if Scott Snyder ever gets tired of hearing about how much a genius he is? Between Batman and Swamp Thing, he has taken two very different pieces of the DC Universe and made them both into brilliant comics. So many writers specialize in one style and genre, but Snyder seems to be great at both of these very different books.

I love the hints throughout this book that even if the Red and Green might have to work together to stop the Rot, they don’t consider each other allies. This was a really cool twist, and I hope that will provide some great conflict between Animal Man and Swamp Thing when they finally catch up to each other.

Like I whined in my Teen Titans review a few weeks ago, I did sort of think we got ripped off at not being able to see Swamp Thing’s new look. There is no chance in hell that Swamp Thing #8 won’t be the first book I read on April 4. No joke, I have this date circled on my calander on my Tablet. The teases were just killer!

I try to spread out my images for each review, but this sequence was so brilliant it would have been a crime not to include it. Yanick Paquette’s art on this book is above and beyond anything I would have expected to see on Swamp Thing. I always thought of Swamp Thing as a C-List character with niche appeal. Those kinds of books usually get up-and-comer or journeymen artists. While I enjoy a lot of their work, I don’t always think the artists selected for those books are a good fit for the character or title.

But DC Relaunch has been doing an excellent job of matching artists with the right projects, and Yanick Paquette is definitely the right man for this book. The amount of details that go into each image, including all the terrific borders really makes this book stand out. This issue had to be sheer chaos to draw, and Paquette more than met that challenge!

Like I said before, Swamp Thing is a character that I never thought could really appeal to me, but Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette have proven me WAY WRONG. In their hands, Swamp Thing has turned into a must read comic. I usually end reviews for comics I enjoy by saying highly recommended. But, this issue is more than that. Anyone who doesn’t read Swamp Thing issue 7 should not be allowed to call themselves a comic book fan! It is just that damn good!

Final Score: 9.5 – Swamp Thing (along with its sister book Animal Man) are pretty much the poster children for why DC Comics Relaunch was such a good idea.  Terrific characters given high concept books with brilliant creative teams that are reshaping the way people think of DC Comics specifically and superhero comics in general.

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