Review: Swamp Thing #18

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ST_Cv18With the “Rotworld” officially over, it is time for Scott Snyder to end his run on Swamp Thing.  It’s fitting that Snyder goes out with a bang.

While Animal Man #18 acted as a “Rotworld” epilogue, Swamp Thing #18 is more about Snyder capping off his year and a half run.  Buddy Baker is nowhere to be seen, which is a good thing.  It gives Holland more time with Abigail.  Their relationship has always been a weird one, but Snyder writes it in a sweet way.  They are doomed lovers, and they make the best of their situation.  Their scenes don’t go on forever, and are too the point.  Snyder could have spent more time on the affects of Hollands time in “Rotworld,” as he has seen some rather messed up things.  In fact, I’m fairly certain we will never see any mention of that universe again.  It is a sad fact about universe hopping stories.  While we knew none of the heroes would remain that way, some type of lasting effect could have been written in.  Like what happened to Buddy Baker in Animal Man #18.  The fight with Arcane is written well, with Snyder knowing how to write to Paquette’s strengths.

Snyder does tie up every lose end that his story has created.  I felt completely satisfied at the end of the issue.  Snyder’s run on Swamp Thing has been one of the most consistently great books that DC has put out.  I remember being skeptical when picking up the first issue, as I had never read a Swamp Thing book before.  I had read a lot about Alan Moore’s run on the title, and he made a quick appearance in Brightest Day, but nothing regularly.  A year and a half later, I can firmly say that Swamp Thing will have a spot in my pull list for the months to come.  Charles Soule has rather large shoes to fill.  Good luck to him.

Yanick Paquette has been the heart of this Swamp Thing run.  His intricate, detailed panel design has put this book on the short list of best looking books on the stands.  Paquette’s creates a comic that looks and flows like a plant.  The panel work never becomes confusing, as the reader’s eyes are always lead from one panel to the next.  What astounded me was how effortlessly Paquette jumped from jaw dropping horror to incredibly sweet.  It’s something that isn’t seen much in modern comics.  Paquette has always been great at humanizing Swamp Thing.  His face is cluttered with leaves, but the reader can still see his subtle facial cues and understand how he feels.

Swamp Thing fans should be happy that Swampy was brought into the new 52 in style.  Snyder and Paquette’s run will be considered a classic when all is said and done.

Swamp Thing #18 gets 4.5/5.

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