broo1232's Swamp Thing #22 - The Whisky Tree, Part 1 of 2 review

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This book is messed up.

Charles Soule is currently the rising star in comics I doubt there’s any doubt with that he’s gone from an image series (27 I think) a few years back to writing Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns, Thunderbolts and the upcoming Superman/Wonder Woman talk about coming out of nowhere. But Charles Soule has done really, really well on Swamp Thing so far creating a run that might be better than what Snyder did in his 18 or so issue run (0 issue and annual as well) but Snyder’s run was a bit drawn out, but Soule’s run has been fast and really interesting so far.

Plot

The seeder arrives in a town and asks people what the Town if it had a mind would want, and they say it would want the old whiskey Brewery, at which point the whiskey tree is created. Swamp Thing arrives to find out what has happened in this town and what the seeder has done, and at which point John Constantine appears.

Review

This is an amazing bit of writing with twists in it great characterisation and an interesting plot this is all you really want from a comic and the arts fantastic as well. That’s what you’d want from a comic right? Well yes I loved this issue it’s the best one yet even beating last issue which was amazing, but this issue is just messed up with one scene in particular, or is just Charles Soule who is messed in the head? I will talk about this particular scene later in the review. When I originally heard about this arc and the premise with the whiskey tree I wasn’t hopeful for what was coming, it sounded a bit farfetched, and my hopes weren’t high, but as you can see from the rating I loved this issue.

The Good

  • · The cover by Guillem March is striking to say the least and it gives a good summary of part of the issue well, a little too well in fact as one bit shown on this cover really does happen.
  • · This is another part of the ongoing arc with the seeder which I'm sure is probably going to go through several stages in the coming months (with an annual in October) but in this issue it's a pretty major step in his story as this arc becomes driven by the Seeder's actions. The seeder is a really interesting villain, but I hope this series doesn't become driven by his actions as that may would wear out soon. In this issue we learn a bit about seeder's motivations. Although they are only briefly mentioned, and we begin to see why he does what he does, and its really interesting, and we kind of feel for him, and understand where he's coming from.
  • · As previously mentioned I wasn't originally a fan of the idea of the whiskey tree it seemed far-fetched, and a little silly for this famously dark book, but Soule proved me wrong. The creation of the whiskey tree makes sense it has a logical reason to it, and how it develops is interesting. Then at first it seems like its a whiskey tree, but then something begins to happen, and the twist stomps you in the face (I mean that literally) you get a feeling from the start that's not all that it seems, but you don't imagine it happening like that.
  • · Constantine in this issue is incredibly well written, and maybe better than all of his other appearances in the New 52, and that’s not to say the other versions of him in other series are bad just I sometimes feel like he’s sarcastic for the sake of being sarcastic, and he’s a clever guy. Yet in this issue he’s amazingly well written clever, sarcastic, and the trickster he always was, and while his meeting with Swamp thing feels slightly coincidental, it can happen, and he does feel relevant to the plot and not thrown in.
  • · Soule seems to be exploring more of Swamp thing’s power set every issue last issue going in to the green to meet with a previous avatar, and the issue before different forms of Swamp thing and in this issue there’s yet another. I won’t spoil how it is done, but Alec goes inside the green to find out what is going on in the town, and it’s pretty interesting and creative. Also I like how Swamp thing continues to change the plant he’s made out of depending on where he is.
  • · The ending is sooo creepy, and frightening but the fact is the last bit of this issue is frightening on so many levels it all goes wrong for Swampy in a lot of ways and the final page has the best one line of dialogue I’ve read in a while I literally shivered when I read it.
  • · I still like the theme on plant or human for Alec it’s not as bigger a focus as in other issues, but it’s still a focus and the line from Constantine about it is very good.
  • · The art’s still good in this issue Kano isn’t as playful with his page layouts as Saiz last issue or Paquette, but I think he’s trying to bring his own feel to the book and he does really well, and the tone he sets for this book is really good it’s bright earlier in the issue, but gets a lot dark and more creepy towards the end. Kano also does a great job with the emotion, and his emotions on characters is really good, and Swamp Thing looks good as well especially how Kano shows how he uses his powers.

The Bad

  • The meeting of Constantine and Swamp Thing feels a little bit coincidental, but hey its Constantine he might have been lying about what he said.
  • I might be being a little squeamish, but that one page is just so graphic its not true it just shocked me when I saw it. I'm being squeamish and considering Swamp Thing's history I should have seen it, but this run so far has been a little lighter on blood and gore than Snyder's run, but I may be wrong.

The Verdict

Let it be said that this is a phenomenal bit of writing and great art as well, and this even tops the fantastic previous issue, but that page just shocked me so much, but still this maybe the best characterisation of Constantine in a while, and this really does have so many good points to it. This is a highly recommended series and this really is a run to watch out for as its already rivalling other books on the stands at the minute in terms of quality, but still its graphic.

5 stars

22 Comments
Edited by johnkmccubbin91

Brilliant review. I loved this issue, though I only rated it a 4 as I felt it was a bit slower than the issues I rated 5. I also didn't like the changed Constantine, as although I understand why he's like that it just felt wrong. I did however love the rest of the weirdness though, and look forward to the next issue.

Posted by broo1232

@johnkmccubbin91: Thanks. I can understand it was a bit slow, but its the part of a two part arc, and there has to be a bit of setup at first. I think it was to early to judge how he was as it was only for a page or two.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@broo1232: Fair enough, but it just seemed to odd though. If there were still half points I'd give it 4.5 though.

Posted by broo1232

@johnkmccubbin91: I get what you mean. Yeah I was bordering a 4 at points but its more like a 4.75 than a 4.5.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@broo1232: Fair enough, he has however been a good replacement for Snyder.

Posted by broo1232

@johnkmccubbin91: I would say last issue was better than most of Snyder's issues not all, but some of them, and Soule has captured the Alan Moore tone of Swamp Thing better than Snyder.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@broo1232: I wouldn't say most (though I've not read Vol. 2) but it is better than some. He has that, but Snyder's story was more centred around him and Abby, and now she's gone the only way to make a good Swamp Thing story is by getting a bit weird.

Posted by broo1232

@johnkmccubbin91: I wouldn't say that as Abby's coming back to the series (Anton Arcane villains issue) as the series in the past with Snyder has had a bit of weird in it while a bit more on the horror, but this issue was definitely horror, but I think Soule's done better than with 21 only than the Rotworld conclusion issues 11-12 (there really good but not as good) and probably issue 9 as that's a bit anticlimatic after all the build up. Soule's stuff probably won't beat the rest as 7 14 and 18 are my favourites of the series (also 10) but Soule's done better than a few of Snyder's issues not most, but some although he may have matched Snyder on a few issues.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@broo1232: Is she, or is that just one issue? Fair point. His stuff is better than the start and end of Rotworld. It isn't better than the first volume, and the last issue of Snyder's run, but some are on par with the rest that I've read. I do however agree on the more horror from Snyder, though I feel we've had more weird from Soule's.

Posted by broo1232

@johnkmccubbin91: She's on the cover and in the solicit, but its probably only for an issue. No it isn't and 18 is still great as well (7 remains my all time favourite) I think this issue was horror or this arc will be more horror (although still weird) but I think Soule has captured the Alan Moore type of Swamp thing vibe better horror with a bit of weird in it as well.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@broo1232: Fair enough. My favourite was 18 as I really loved the emotion, but 7 was still awesome, and very close behind. You're right about it having more of an Alan Moore feel.

Posted by broo1232

@johnkmccubbin91: What made 7 great for me was the page layouts as although Paquette did a great job with 18 the creepy layouts I think were better in 7 also the splash page of Swamp things face. Snyder did something different with it, but Soule bringing the Alan moore feel with his own spin.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@broo1232: Fair point, though the emotion in 18 still appeals to me, but it's a thin line between the two, and if I read all the issues together I may change my mind.

Posted by broo1232
Posted by johnkmccubbin91
Posted by tomlikesfries

Great review, dude! Too bad you don't write them as much as before nowadays. I personally think that Swamp Thing has gotten a lot better ever since Snyder left the title. Soule has truly been knocking it out of the park.

Posted by broo1232

@tomlikesfries: Thanks :) I try to get them out, but using the new style it takes getting used too, and eventually I should be able to get them done quicker, but I've had other stuff on recently and also haven't been able to get the comics sometimes. I agree with you for this and last issue, but I still think issue 7 of Swamp Thing was my all time favourite, but I love what Soule is doing, and he's the only reason I'm trying Superman/Wonder Woman (also Tony Daniel)

Posted by tomlikesfries

@broo1232: I didn't even know about Superman/Wonder Woman! I'll have to try that out.

But I understand. And this new format is much better! Keep up the good job!

Edited by broo1232

@tomlikesfries: Glad I could help :) Really excited for it.

I'm working on more just recently have been busy.

I will.

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

@broo1232: @tomlikesfries: Just thought I'd through my hat in to this by saying that I also am really looking forward to Superman/Wonder Woman, especially with Soule, and Daniels on it.

Posted by broo1232
Posted by johnkmccubbin91

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