Comic Vine Review

Comments

Swamp Thing #0 - To Monsters Review

4

This issue doesn't just go back to the time before the New 52 'started' five years ago, Snyder takes us back over one hundred years to reveal more about Swamp Thing and Anton Arcane.

The Good

There is more to Anton Arcane that many may have realized. Seeing how far back he goes is almost staggering. When the story shifts to 'six years ago,' seeing Alec Holland before the events that lead to him becoming Swamp Thing is almost eerie. There's also the continue ties to ANIMAL MAN and the Red as Anton narrates about past avatars for both the Red and the Green he's killed.

That's another part that makes this issue stand out, it's Anton that does the narrating. We see things from his perspective. It's his hatred for the Green that led him to discover that Alec Holland was destined to be an avatar. Seeing the events leading up to the moment of the accident that killed Alec is pretty creepy in a different sort of way. What Anton does and almost does should send shivers down your spine.

Kano does a good job with the art. It is a little strange seeing a modern take on Holland's accident. Last year I re-read several of the early Swamp Thing stories, including the first appearance, and seeing it here is like listening to a good cover song. Of course the little revelations is quite the doosey.

The Bad

Maybe it was because you could feel the momentum of the story building up but when we got to the end, it felt like the issue was short. We did have the normal amount of pages and maybe it's just that I wanted more.

Seeing Anton in his true form as well as agents of the Rot never feel creepy enough to me. There's something about the way they're colored and gives a bit of a cartoony look. In his true form, he should be scary as hell. Perhaps some darker colors and more shadows would add a different effect to his appearance.

The Verdict

Why is Anton Arcane a threat to Swamp Thing? This is the issue to illustrate who and what he is. We get to see what he's done in the past as well as the events leading up to the death of Alec Holland. We know he was destined to be the Parliament of Trees greatest avatar but there's been a tiny bit of confusion about the Swamp Thing we had before his return (in the pages of BRIGHTEST DAY). There are answers here that explain the difference in power and meaning of the two Swamp Things. Unfortunately you get pulled into the story and find yourself on the edge of your seat, even if you know where the story is going and then it's over. It could just be that I can't get enough of Scott Snyder's SWAMP THING. The big question is whether or not Alec will learn what happened before his accident and how it will affect the future story lines. As a zero issue, this one hits all the marks. We get to see what happened before issue #1 and what we learn will definitely matter to the series. I'm even more excited for year two of the New 52 now.

13 Comments
Edited by EDfromRED

What a read. Creates that same unease I get when reading many issues of Walking Dead.

That maternity ward scene -Chilling! That stitched together divide on page 9 I think, was a standout image.

Made me viscerally feel the tragic,excruciating pain of Alecs death, and fear the utter evil of the Rot.

Posted by JonesDeini

I too find Arcane's New 52 design HIGHLY underwhelming. I thought it was just me. He's only truly creepy when he's bursting from within his host flesh. My only major issue with this book was the lettering there was what had to a typo toward the end of the issue that took me out of the story. And there was one really GREAT page with an awesome panel layout that was made nigh unreadable (as intended by the artists) due to the lettering approach. The best letters can do their job in a way that you almost fail to notice them, here the art was stepped on by sub par lettering.

Posted by Bigwalt

There has been a lot of heart ripping recently in DC books

Posted by Video_Martian

Interesting...

Posted by GBrutality

wasn't arcane human in the older issues of swamp thing? i'm completely for him being what he is, but i always thought he became that through death somewhat recently or something.

Posted by longbowhunter

I too am somewhat confused by Arcane. I had no idea he was a hundred year old dead guy. Did he hide inside a human skin for a period of time and we were just supposed to think he was human maybe.

Online
Posted by Mutie199

i didnt like this as much as i expected to but it wasn't bad either

Posted by kingjoeg

I like this more than animal man.

Posted by zachkastner

Arcane in Alec's wife's... ...clothing... bothered the hell out of me. He played the part too, fooling even Alec. I think that's what was truly evil. Definitely a five for me, one that made my stomach turn a few times.

Posted by TheSmallvillefan12

Swamp Thing is always a good read.

Posted by SplatOZ

I definitely agree that it ended too quickly, or at the very least it felt that way. It seems a lot of the #0 issues would benefit from at least 25 - 30 pages. Trying to put all this information into just 20 pages will force writers to squeeze lots of story into very little space. I would give this issue 5 stars, because the only problem I have with it is that I wanted more!

Posted by Technicolorville

@kingjoeg:

I also enjoy it more than, "Animal Man".

Posted by YourNeighborhoodComicGeek

Awesome!