Monday, October 10, 2011

Swamp Thing #2

You'd have to think that writing Swamp Thing would be very intimidating, since you'd be forced to follow in Alan Moore's footsteps.

His run on the series was a high water mark in the history of horror in comic books, and it's hard to imagine anyone working at the level again.

But Scott Snyder is giving it a good shot in this "New 52" version. This first story arc is obviously setting up the "new" Swamp Thing, and so far it's very well crafted.

He's building on the mythology as laid out by Moore, using the Brightest Day events (which resurrected Alec Holland) as a starting point.

Moore's series began with a shock - that the Swamp Thing wasn't a man (Holland) who had been changed into a plant, but was actually a plant who thought it had been a man.

Now we're back to the man again, and he's faced with a new horror and the possibility that he may have to become the Swamp Thing again.

There's some nice bits of business here (including a tip of the hat to the original "Swamp Thing", The Heap), some shocks and surprises. So far, so good.

The art more than holds up its end of the story, as Yanick Paquette turns in lush, flowing art (ably assisted by Nathan Fairbarn's colors) - sometimes it's dreamlike, sometimes horrific (deliberately so, I should add), but always compelling.

It's too soon to tell if the story will end up being as good as Moore's work - that's a lot to ask. But so far, the creative team is in the right neighborhood, and that's a rare accomplishment.

Here's hoping for more of the same.

Grade: A-


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