Thursday, 5 January 2012
Review: Swamp Thing #5
Swamp Thing #5 By Snyder / Paquette
The cat is finally out of the bag. With this weeks Animal Man #5 finally making reference to Swamp Thing, a crossover that has been hinted at since day one of the D.C reboot seems firmly on the horizon. Both series have been firing on all cylinders since debuting last year, and a meeting of the two seems likely to excite both readers and critics alike.
Swamp Thing is still yet to make reference to Animal Man, but the two titles still share one main element - that is the villainous 'rot', a decaying, malignant that stands as a deathly counterpart to the more benevolent forces of the Green and the Red. This issue sees Alec Holland and his erstwhile companion Abby Arcane finally meeting the Rot headfirst, in the form of Abby's half brother, the eerily youthful William. William, and the decaying forces that he commands, make for brilliantly creepy adversaries, even if they are dispatched quickly by an impressive show of vegetative force from not-quite-Swamp Thing Holland. The pages are beautifully rendered by Yanick Paquette, an artist whose style is not immediately eye catching, but rarely falters in detail and execution. Paquette's layouts are daring too and evocative, and although they don't always come off the issue is rarely anything less than visually impressive.
Synder's script is solid, but feels a little slight. Unlike Animal Man this is not a frenziedly paced romp, and at times this issue feels a little padded - a fact not helped by the bookending scenes, that are not yet straightforward enough to be as compelling as the title's core plot. What they do achieve, is adding a new depth to a story which, to be fair, hardly needed it.
Although it feels very much like a middle chapter, this issue does have its share of surprises, not to mention action. Snyder ably keeps subplots moving along, as well as introducing new ones without the plot ever seeming too overcrowded. An enjoyable, if vaguely unsatisfying installment, in a title that looks set to impress this year.