And Then I Read: SWAMP THING 2

SwampThing2Image © DC comics.

With this comic I begin reading and reviewing monthly DC Comics on my iPad. DC has replaced their long-standing system of mailing out complimentary copies of their entire line to freelancers (the ones who do a certain amount of work for the company) with digital subscriptions through Comixology. I’m fine with the new plan, I’m actually happy not to be getting all those printed comics and having to store or dispose of them. Reading comics on my iPad is a little less convenient than picking up a printed issue, but not that much. The images are about 75% of the printed comic at full page size, but you can zoom in quite a bit as needed. The quality of the images is not as good as printed comics, the ink lines are a little blurry if you look closely, but in general it works well for me.

Len Wein and Kelley Jones on SWAMP THING was such a hit when they did it for the Convergence crossover event, they’ve been given this miniseries to do more. The Swamp  Thing is in his swamp in Louisiana with no supporting cast thus far. He has some— or perhaps all—of the powers of recent series, but is less involved in the wider mythology of “the Green,” and instead is focused on a husband and wife, the Wormwoods, who have come to him for help with their son, who appears to have become a zombie, and is involved in a killing spree. After pulling himself together from their initial battle, Swamp Thing goes to The Shade (from STARMAN) for advice on how to deal with Lazlo Wormwood and the black magic that has animated him. The Shade has some answers, and most of the issue involves Swampy battling Lazlo and trying to use his new information.

So far the writing on this series is classic Len Wein, enjoyable but not new or remarkable. Where the book really shines is in Kelley Jones’ artwork. Kelley’s surrealist approach to the character and the story begins at Bernie Wrightson (the original Swamp Thing artist), but proceeds into the horrific exaggeration and surrealism that Kelley does so well. I think it’s a perfect style for this book. These days when reading comics I rarely stop and study the art, but I have to with Kelley because the details are so fascinating. His storytelling is excellent in an over-the-top melodramatic way that makes every page more exciting, too. I love looking at it.

An interesting reveal is on the last page, we’ll see  where we go next.


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