Saturday, September 28, 2013

Swamp Thing #23.1 Arcane Review

Extremely Rotten

I will admit it right off the bat, I haven't read much of Swamp Thing.  I know, I know.  It's usually the best reviewed book of it's week and it has a loyal following.  I just never connected with the character. Please forgive me.  However, after going back-and-forth deciding whether to read Swamp Thing #23.1 I gave it a go.  Fortunately, it was so good that i decided to review it.

Swamp Thing #23.1 shows us a miserable Arcane toiling in his own private Hell.  A place where there is no permanent death because there is no rot.  A fitting Hell for the former Avatar of the Rot.  After a hilarious attempt at killing a bunny rabbit, he gets a visit from his niece Abigail, the current Avatar.  She asks her Uncle, Arcane, to tell the story of her Mother.  In exchange for a taste of the Rot, he agrees and intertwines his own origin story with the twisted tale of Abigail's Mother.  The story is horrific, full of half truths and a surprise ending.

When Abigail leaves Arcane in disgust declaring he will never taste the Rot again, he quickly springs into action in an attempt to escape his prison.  What he does and how it plays out is disgusting and hilarious. Anton Arcane is a despicably horrible man and Soule does not try to steer clear of it.  In fact, while a lot of Villain's Month issues try to make you feel sorry for it's subjects, this issue makes you despise him more.  Charles Soule, you are a genius.

Jesus Saiz also does a great job here.  The book has a Gothic, horror look that fits just right.  The character work is also outstanding.

Regular series writer, Charles Soule, does a great job giving us two origin stories and a rebirth. Swamp Thing #23.1 is not only my favorite Villain's Month issue, but has made me a Charles Soule fan as well. Believe the hype, he is that good.  Swamp Thing has entered my pull list as long as he is at the helm.



  1. Short but sweet review lol. Where's the awesome images for my phone.

    1. this was back in the dark ages my friend...2 months into the site!

    2. I figured that was the case, had to start somewhere. Was confused by Anton, Sethe, Abby, Decay, The Rot, etc... Re-read volumes 1&2 again and I think I got it now. But I do need to re-read Brightest Day for how Alec or not-Alec fits in.