Review: Swamp Thing #32
Charles Soule has been doing a great job after taking over Scott Snyder on Swamp Thing. #32 is a prime example, as it’s a very fun issue that doesn’t shy away from the zanier side of Swamp Thing’s history.
Soule builds off what Jeff Parker started in Aquaman #31 quite well. This is more of an informal crossover than a real one, as you wouldn’t have needed to read Aquaman #31 to understand what is going on here (a plus for people who can’t afford every title). The plot, much like many of the arcs in Soule’s run, is a stroke of genius. A small thing like allowing algae to build in the sea would cause catastrophic ripples in the ecosystem. Soule’s ability to build off previous plot points demonstrates how great of a writer he can be. Soule’s characterization of Aquaman is spot on. I don’t think I’ve seen him write the King of the Seas yet. The only thing that keeps this issue from getting a perfect score is the ending. We all know that Lady Weeds’ actions won’t do anything to Swamp Thing, so why make it a cliffhanger? She even mentions it in her final lines of dialogue. I’m sure #33 will have some witty form of dialogue to open the issue up or create some new plot thread for Swamp Thing, but it just feels like a weak ending to an otherwise very fun comic.
Soule has had quite a few plot threads dangling around but continues to find a way to give each enough time every issue. Swamp Thing can be a weird character from time to time. Soule knows this and utilizes these parts well in #32. Yes, I’m talking about Swamp Thing being eaten by manatees. While Snyder’s run was great in its own ways, I almost prefer Soule’s run because he doesn’t shy away from the humor aspects. Alec Holland is still inside Swamp Thing, and humans love a laugh every now and then. One of the things that I have loved about this series has been the serialized nature that Soule has developed across the past year’s worth of issues. It’s rare to see serialized comic from the big two in a day where each trade needs to be a six issue arc.
Jesus Saiz does a great job on artwork. He retains the intricate panel structure that has become a staple of this series while also making it his own. I liked the inclusion of seaweed for breaking up the panels instead of the traditional plants. A slight variation that helped bring me into the issue. A great amount of detail is required for a character like Swamp Thing and Saiz doesn’t disappoint. Facial expressions seem a little stiff compared to more recent artists on the title, but that’s nitpicking in an otherwise beautiful looking issue. It’s worth noting that DC has done a great job with this title and selecting artists that have similar styles. I’ve noticed a very consistent style of artwork ever since Soule took over as writer last year.
Swamp Thing #32 gets 4.5/5.
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