Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Swamp Thing #35 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Charles Soule
Art By: Jesus Saiz
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 1, 2014

Machines Are Awful People

It seems that Jim has a little too much on his plate this week as far as reviews are concerned.  So for this issue of Swamp Thing you'll be getting little old spoilerific me at the helm as we get all Swampy with it.  In Swamp Thing: Futures End we saw that the machines had become a kingdom at some point in that timeline's past and for this issue we'll actually get to see that beginning........ kind of.  Anyway it's all very convenient in a good way, so let's see what the first interactions are like  between our current avatar of the Green and the never trust worthy, machines.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our story begins with a strange origin for the way the machines gained sentience.  I don't really know how to explain it to you, besides for saying that it just did and after that it happened again and again and now that it has, it wants to talk with the avatar of the Green.  Now I'll give the machines one thing.  For being a new life form, they sure do dress pretty snappy.  Look at Calculus, an agent of the the Machines cracking wise with Swamp Thing here and looking sharp while doing it.

I don't know about any of you out there in interwebs land, but when I read his dialogue I seriously hear Eric Idle as Wreck-Gar the main Junkion in the original animated Transformers movie and if that reference is too obscure, allow me to make it worse.  It's either Wreck-Gar or Max Headroom that he sounds like to me and congratulations for the three people out there that still know what a Max Headroom is.  In case none of you know what I'm talking about, it seems that the agent from the Machines simply learned how to talk by watching TV.  

Anyway the agent of the Machine; Calculus says that he thinks avatars are pointless and not efficient enough to manage a entire kingdom and offers Swamp Thing the opportunity to sub contract out to them as a way to make things run smoother since Swamp Thing seems to spend a lot of his time fighting monsters and such.  As you can imagine, Swamp Thing tells the agent of the Machines where he can stick his offer and the two part ways.

To get a little perspective on the situation, Swamp Thing goes back to "The Grove" to ask the former avatar of the Green; Jonas what he thinks he should do about this new kingdom.  We get a little history about how when a new kingdom rises it always leads to war between it and the kingdom that came before it.  You know it's like you're the old kingdom at the office and the new kingdom is a upstart and wants to step on your toes a bit.  So since the new guy's a dick hole you gotta fight it out for supremacy and eventually things settle down and you go about your days simply ignoring one another.  Does that give you a decent picture on how this works?  If so then good, now add extinction to what happens during the war we just talked about and you have a perfect understanding about what happens when a new kingdom rises.  We get a strange picture to help tell the story with a bunch of Triceratops going against a bunch of T-Rexs' and I guess early plant eaters somehow were a part of the Green and T-Rex's were a part of the Red and we all know what happened to the dinosaurs.  Aliens took'em right?  So Jonas simply tells Swamp Thing that he better just kill them before they become stronger and end things before all the extinction starts.

In the end Swamp Thing reaches out into the Green and finds that the Machines have created their fortress in the Arctic and even though it was a good choice for a stronghold, you know with there being no life around, Swamp Thing is still able to take control of plants under the ice and is about to rip the structure down when he decides that things don't have to go down that way and he'll let them go until they force his hand.  Too bad that the Machines were ready for a grand assault and sent out some agents of the Machines to "The Grove" to take out Swamp Thing.

That's it for this month and while I'm not a normal reader of Swamp Thing I am interested to see how our avatar hero will go up against such a threat. It's the modern age old tale of Nature vs Machine Nurture and I can get behind that.  Especially if the art continues to be so good, but I hear that Jesus Saiz is leaving the book and I hope that this story line doesn't suffer because of the future artist.

Bits and Pieces:

While I normally don't review this title, I did enjoy it a lot.  We've got a really good looking story here thanks to the pencils of Jesus Saiz and I dig this take on the Machines becoming a new kingdom to which Swamp Thing will undoubtedly have a lot of problems with.  Just a cool opening to this ongoing tale and I loved the style of speech that the agent of the Machines has.  It was something that made me laugh with every sentence.  Go check it out and get a dose of the Green you need.


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