Art by: Kelley Jones and Michelle Madsen
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 25, 2015
I really enjoyed the New 52 runs of Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder and Charles Soule. So much so that I went back and read the very beginnings of the character created by Len Wein. While it was a little dated (it was done in the early 70's!), I enjoyed Wein's writing and the art by Bernie Wrightson was great. Of course, I also read Alan Moore's iconic run as well as some others (Millar, Vaughan...), but the original has stuck with me. So, when I heard that Wein would return to his character for this Convergence issue, I couldn't wait. The wait is now over and I can tell you, if you are a fan heading back to the bog for some old school fun, you'll be disappointed...but not for the reason you might expect.
From the opening pages, I fell in love with this issue. Len Wein gives every reader, new and old, a great (re)introduction to Swamp Thing. The two page backups be damned, this is how I wish every Convergence tie-in started. It is old school awesomeness and any doubts that Wein could go back home to the bog again and/or connect with today's readers goes right out the window immediately.
Fans will smile as Abigail Arcane shows up as a major player and the smiles continue with the great dialogue between her and the monster that thought itself Alec Holland. The two of them head off to Gotham City for a reason just as good, if not better, than most of these tie-ins and of course, get stuck under the Dome. The rest of the issue deals mainly with Abigail working to keep Swamp Thing alive. I never knew a comic book could rely so much on fertilizer. It's pretty low key, but Wein makes you fall in love with the characters and I really think it will pay off in next month's finale.
It wouldn't be a true Convergence tie-in with Telos' speech and the Dome coming down and while I've seen it a hundred times already, I laughed at this one. When Telos states he's "tended to your every need", Swamp Thing calls him on it. Thank You! Telos has done shit and it's about time that someone stood up to his lies.
With the Dome down, Swamp Thing regains his connection to the Green and it's just in time. A Red Rain flying vampire horde shows up and attacks him and Abigail. I'm not a huge Red Rain fan, but this is one of the few tie-ins with a suspenseful cliffhanger.
I loved Len Wein's writing. He shows that he can still channel his creation and the dialogue between Swamp Thing and Abigail is outstanding. However, I have a few problems with this issue. First off is that it's a Convergence tie-in. I want DC to bring back the Swamp Thing monthly with Wein at the helm. Only getting Wein's Swamp Thing in this Event doesn't feel like enough. I do have some other issues, but they are only minor and I understand why they shoved them in...like the Green and too much Red Rain. Overall, however, I loved this retro trip down memory lane.
I also really enjoyed Kelley Jones art. That and Michelle Madsen's color were the perfect compliment to the story and made me feel like I grabbed this off the spinner rack at my local grocery store.
Bits and Pieces:
Len Wein gets to return to his creation and gives readers a mossy monstrosity of a story. My only real problem is I wish this was a full out monthly and not just a two issue event tie-in. Wein navigates the confines of the event (and even more recent continuity) to give readers a personal tale that is all about his characters. Kelley Jones' art is great in it's retro feel and even if I don't care too much about the story's villains, I want to see more of the main characters.