Drain the Swamp

Swamp Thing #1

Alec Holland used to be a scientist, and he used to be Swamp Thing, and he used to be dead. And he’s not any of those things anymore. He’s lying low working as a construction worker, unwilling to return to his scientific work with plants and definitely unwilling to become a swamp monster, even though he never actually was the Swamp Thing, even though he’s got the Swamp Thing’s memories cluttering up his skull. And even more bizarre, plants still love him. They grow fast around him, they like to coil themselves around him.

He soon gets a visit from Superman, who asks him if he’s aware of the various species die-offs taking place across the country — Holland is, but notes that isn’t all that uncommon — large numbers of animals die all the time, sometimes for reasons of sickness, sometimes for no apparent reason at all. Superman wants to check to see if Holland is adjusting alright to his return from the grave. And Holland can’t really tell him everything’s all that great. He’s worked on his old bio-restorative formula, but abandoned it. And he’s having weird dreams about plants. And where no one’s aware it’s happening, some sort of monstrous abomination, part alive, part dead, is beginning a rampage.

Verdict: Thumbs down. I know everyone else seemed to love this one, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. It was creepy in places, but tried a little too hard to look like Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing stories. I was bugged by the lack of anything explaining Alec Holland’s current backstory — not all of us paid any attention to how Swamp Thing changed during the “Brightest Day” storyline. And I was really a bit irritated that Swamp Thing himself never appeared in the story ’til the last page. Sorry, but I just didn’t buy all the buzz.

The other interesting thing about this issue is that it’s just about the first place outside of promotional artwork where you can see what Superman’s new costume looks like.

And it’s not good.

Yanick Paquette is one of the best artists DC or anyone else has. You don’t see him drawing stuff that looks bad — pretty much everything he draws looks awesome. And if he can’t make the Man of Steel’s costume look like something other than a bucket of boiling crap, no one else is going to be able to do it either.

Morning Glories #12

We get introduced to a brand new character in this issue — Lara Hodge, the guidance counselor at the Morning Glory Academy. And she’s not happy with the way things are being run. Students are being killed, the head nurse is a sadist, the headmistress is only effective at terrorizing students. Hodge arranges meetings with most of the main cast of students, giving Zoe a gun, giving Jade some pills to help her sleep through her nightmares, and she tries to comfort Casey, who’s still grieving over her dead parents. But is Hodge just another sticky strand in the Academy’s web, or can she really do something to help the students?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lara Hodge is an interesting character, and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of role she’s going to have in the story. Other than that, plenty more intrigue and mystery, and all the things this series does so well.

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