COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Swamp Thing: The Green Kingdom
By The Masked Medic
Man, nights take it out of you and ever since I was promoted, it seems there’s even less time to read my comics during the night. That being said, I did have a chance last week to start a new novel which I finished today. So without further ado, here’s my review for the third novel in the New 52 Swamp Thing series. The first two were pretty average, but then again I wonder if that’s because I didn’t know much about the character. That’s not a problem now!
‘The Green Kingdom’ sees our titular character approached by the Avatar of the Red; Animal Man, aka Buddy Baker. What a name. It appears that both the Red and the Green, ancient energies which are responsible for the animal kingdom and the plant kingdom respectively are being threatened by the expansion of the Rot, the third and final ancient energy, responsible for death and decay. Animal Man and Swamp Thing decide to team up and venture into a portal from where the Rot to find a way to defeat it, leaving their loved ones unprotected. Believing their course of action to be the best one, they travel deeper and deeper, only to discover that this was a trap by Anton Arcane, the Avatar of the Rot. When they finally land, they are separated and Swamp Thing finds himself confronted by Poison Ivy and Deadman. It turns out that both Alec Holland and Buddy Baker were gone for 3 years and Arcane and his demonic undead creatures took over the entire planet. Holland, believing this to be a fake reality struggles to get his head into the game, but once he realizes the chaos that Arcane has unleashed he realizes what needs to be done. He hears that there may be a cure for those afflicted by the Rot, which lies in Gotham. Expecting to find Batman there, he discovers that Barbara Gordon is the only person still alive and she has used the Man-Bat formula on herself in order to create a link with the Red so that the Rot won’t affect her. The two of them work together to create a giant robot that will unleash a combination of the cure along with his own biorestorative serum. But Arcane’s forces won’t give up that easy and when Swamp Thing and Animal Man reunite in this new world again they are confronted by their worst nightmare. Can the two defeat Arcane? And just what will happen to the three Avatars once this is all over?
On the surface, it obviously seems like this is a very confusing novel. And I might be inclined to agree if it were not for the fact that I thought it was actually a really cool concept. Having Swamp Thing and Animal Man team-up was something that I saw happening from the beginning, but seeing them wake up in a world where they had clearly lost was pretty enthralling. I think from a character development point, there was a lot for both Swamp Thing but also Abby Arcane, Holland’s love interest and the initial target Avatar for the Rot. I also liked that in this new world, a lot of the focus in terms of heroes was on those that are less mainstream, such as Batgirl, Frankenstein and Black Orchid. I’d have to say that there were only a few points in terms of criticisms of the novel. It was a little bit long, but also the pacing, in the beginning, was a little off. But those are really minor criticisms.
The artwork was terrifying. I don’t mean that it was bad, I mean that some of those creatures were hideous and that was of course the point. That being said, some of the human characters were also drawn a little odd, and I wasn’t a fan of that. The covers were all good. Overall, this was a decent novel with an interesting end. I’m intrigued to see where it goes from here.
I thought this was a beautiful way to look at the powers bestowed on Swamp Thing
Swampy really stepped up in this novel, and I enjoyed his interactions with Animal Man! What a sick duo!
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★★