There's nothing better than a "lost story" adding new elements to characters. It's a tricky execution that can result in a trite story or, if we're lucky, a wonderful new development. Long time fans of SWAMP THING know there is a lot of history between Alec Holland and Abby Arcane. In reading this new series, I've actually felt a little saddened for newer readers not being fully aware at the level of history they shared. This issue sets out to show some of that connection as well as giving long time readers a moment in time they never knew existed.
Being a flashback, it gives the perfect opportunity for a second collaboration between Scott Snyder and Becky Cloonan. She does a remarkable job in depicting a story set in the past, before Holland became Swamp Thing.
Of course Snyder is also joined by another collaborator, Scott Tuft. The story gives us the first meeting between Alec and Anton Arcane, who readers should know has been causing major problems in the current Rotworld story. Cloonan's visuals are amazing. The first time you see Abby, you know why Alec fell for her. The page where they shake hands is absolutely brilliant. The banter the two have is priceless. This is before all the changes and adventures. It's innocent, playful and something that should be cherished in a memory. Then how come Alec or Abby don't recall this moment? That's the twist. You'll have to read to find out what the whole story is and its connection to Rotworld.
Nothing bad here. Even though it was oversized, I wish it could have been a longer story.
Think you know everything about Alec Holland and Abby Arcane? Think again. Scott Snyder, Scott Tuft and Becky Cloonan give us a great "lost story" that makes sense and is fascinating to read. Knowing how deeply their past is rooted is what makes them and the 'universe' they reside in that much better. We may be in the midst of the Rotworld story but this has a clear connection yet also stands alone as a great annual-type story. Annuals should be able to stand on their own and seeing this story from the past was a great choice to be featured here. Cloonan does an amazing job bringing the the characters to life and leaves you craving for more.