Swamp Thing Vol 1 – Raise Them Bones (Spoiler free)

23 Nov

Will Swamp Thing wrap his roots around my heart and plant himself on my pull list? Or will this be a case where urgent weed control is required?Collecting SWAMP THING issues #1-7

Right of the bat you’re encountered with confusion and a sense of being on the outside with this book there are lots of references to pre n52 stuff. Alec keeps eluding to strong memories of some woman and a love they shared. Which throughout the book the writer keeps trying to write out using some character tricks which I won’t spoil.  It was a little annoying as a newcomer as I felt I was missing out on some story, which Duuuhh of course I was but I didn’t want to be reminded every other page, especially when I was under the impression that this is supposed to a complete reset unlike Marvel Now’s semi-reset!

Also some of the concepts took a little while to a grasp and I only really understood them on a second reading, which did hugely improve my appreciate of the book by the way. To save you the trouble of reading it through twice, and without giving away any spoilers, here is summary of some of basic concepts that I think will help you to understand what’s going on.

There are three major forces in the world all battling to control life on Earth

  • The Red – force that connects all living creatures
  • The Green – force behind all plant life
  • The Rot – Force of  death and decay

Trust me just knowing that will help immensely!

Despite the rocky start I really did enjoy this book the art work is stunning in places and helps highlight the interesting dichotomy that Snyder has set up between Abigail, whom embodies the Rot, death and decay with Alec who is the champion of the Green, life and restoration. No spoilers here but it nicely played out?

There is no doubt that the writing is very clever and planned meticulously as the story builds over the 7 issues from its slow, but I can now see, deliberate start (on second reading that is). Combined with the unique style of Paquette who I can’t sing his praises enough, is a great pairing. Paquette is perfect choice for this book with the floral borders and trim, his style lends itself ideally this this type of story.

I think I also picked up a nice nod to Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam –  where God breathes life into Adam, the first man. Which is reflected in some important pages where a member of the Green visits Alec to give an important message about his past, present and future. He also highlights his choice to embrace The Green once again. So in effect he breathe life into a new Swamp Thing, well that’s my interpretation and I’m sticking with it!

While writing this review I have flicked back through the book several times and each time I see more, understand more and gain more respect and appreciation for the book, which I feel must be a good sign for its quality. In summary the book was slow moving to begin with and once again I’m glad I had the collected 7 issue volume as if I read the first 3 issues months apart I’m sure I would have given up. But I  did really enjoy it and I’ll definitely pick up the next volume as soon as it hits. Although I don’t I’ll both with the single issues.

Rating: B+

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