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For SWAMP THING 0, writer Scott Snyder has chosen to focus on Anton Arcane in his role as a champion of The Rot, extending his story back into the past in Canada, and also inserting him into Swamp Thing’s origin story. I thought the former idea worked, but didn’t like the latter one. This kind of reworking of a character origin, adding new elements and shedding a different light on events we think we know all about, can be successful if the original story is weak or sketchy, but I’ve always thought Swampy’s origin was already quite effective. This new version adds complications and horror but misses the emotional impact of the original.

The art by Kano (one name only) is quite excellent, drawing inspiration from the regular series artists, but very strong on its own. The layouts, figure work and storytelling are all terrific. I’ll keep an eye out for more work from Kano.

With WORLD’S FINEST 0, writer Paul Levitz has chosen to tell the Earth 2 tale of the characters in their original heroic personas of Robin and Supergirl, how they met there early in each of their careers and how they became friends and worked together. It’s well written and a great read, with lots of charm, wit and emotional warmth, aided by the fine art of Kevin Maguire, one of the regular artists on the series. Paul knows how to write to Kevin’s strengths, and we the readers and art fans benefit. A win all around!

SWAMP THING 0 is mildly recommended, mostly for the art. WORLD’S FINEST 0 is highly recommended on all counts.

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