Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Swamp Thing #36 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Charles Soule
Art By: Jesus Saiz, Matt Hollingsworth
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 5, 2014

Avatar Wanted: Must Be Good With Machines and Have At Least One Year Experience

Last issue........ Not including the Annual because that doesn't really apply here, we saw Swamp Thing come across a new consciousness that is in it's beginning faze of joining the kingdom as "The Machines".  So yeah, we've got a robot coming to Swamp Thing and telling our hero that avatars aren't efficient enough to take care of their entire kingdom and even brings up the point that while Swamp Thing has an entire world of plants to deal with, he's still constantly fighting monsters, so yeah, I gotta give this argument to the Machine, Calculus.  Swamp Thing tells Calculus that he isn't interested and then consults Brother Jonah about how he should proceed.  We find out that whenever a new consciousness emerges it pretty much always means extinction, you know due to the wars that ensue due to the arrogance of youth.  So Brother Jonah tells Swamp Thing that he better kill them quick.  Even though Swamp Thing located their home base, he decided to let them live and see what happens, but that's a bad decision, because while he's having this wait and see attitude, Calculus and a bunch of other robots show up at The Grove and they intend to destroy it and Swamp Thing.  Let's see if our avatar of the Green can survive an onslaught of the Terminator variety.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our story begins with what I've been saying my entire life......... You can't trust machines, well robots and cyborgs.... Sorry Vic Stone, but I have my beliefs and you can't change them.  A bunch of kill bots enter "The Grove" and start burning it to holy hell.  It's at this point where we learn that the Swamp Thing Annual the other week took place before this, because we see Capucine trying to help Brother Jonah fight off the fire that has entered the Green.  It looks like the robots are trying to see off "The Grove" from Swamp Thing, but before they can, our hero returns and shows them that nature beats machine nurture every time............ That's a thing right?  Swamp Thing rips the head off Calculus and tells him never to return or he'll destroy them and now that he's beaten, Calculus seem legitimately sincere when he says that he won't bother Swamp Thing again, but like I said; you can't trust machines.

After bringing life back to "The Grove", Swamp Thing tells Capucine and Jonah that he's going to seal them off again because he can't guarantee that he'll be there in case the machines attack again and then heads off to Jabba's Palace......... Wait, it's just the entrance to "The Rot's" domain.  Swamp Thing is here to see Abby, the avatar of The Rot and his lady love and even though we find out that Abby knows Anton has escaped The Rot's prison and will at some point make his return, the reason we're really here is that Swamp Thing wants to give her a heads up on the machine situation...... Well that and he loves to twist that knife deep in his heart.  For those of you who don't know Abby and Alec love each other but since Abby belongs to the Rot, they can never touch.  It's like a Lady Hawk situation and for those of you who got that reference.... Yeah, there's probably about two of you out there.... For the rest of you it's kind of like Rogue and Gambit from the X-Men back in the 90's.  All looky, no touchy.  

So while this machine problem is going on, Swamp Thing is getting some odd fetish thing going on, where Abby and him create versions of themselves to make out and then decompose while they watch.  That's good use of your time there avatar of The Green.  Elsewhere Calculus is back discussing his failure with the higher ups of The Machine order, all named Calculus, but denoted by letters of the alphabet.  After a bit of machine deliberation, Calculus suggests that they actually get their own avatar and see how it works out for them.  It's a good thing that there's a even higher up than the alphabet Calculi, named Omega Calculus because if it hadn't spoken up and agreed to look for an avatar, I think that the regular Calculus might have been deleted out right for his suggestion.  

In the end, The Machines go through a long list of candidates of possible avatars.  Cyborg, Cyborg Superman, Metallo, The Metal Men, but in the end they figure that they don't need a strictly machine based option.  It's not out of the realm of possibility that they could simply choose someone and build their technology around them, especially if that person has something to gain by getting that kind of power and we leave this issue by seeing Lady Weeds all paralyzed up and angry looking.  So it looks like the machines have found their perfect candidate to tech up and go after Swamp Thing.

That's it for this month's Swamp Thing and even though our hero didn't really do much other than quickly kick some machine ass and then wallow in "I want to touch my girlfriend" pity, I really dug this issue.  Now I very briefly discussed how the machines were going about their choice of avatar, but to get the full effect of how cool it was, you really should pick up this issue because I really don't do it any justice.  Even though Capucine is thrown in all willy nilly, it does serve a good purpose to simply show us that this takes place after the Swamp Thing Annual and it was actually pretty cool knowing that the Green accepted her and that she'll be a main stay of the book for now on......... Or at least until Charles Soule leaves the book.  Make sure you're back here next month as we continue the technological terror that is The Machine story arc.  See you then.

Bits and Pieces:

Even though I made fun of Swamp Thing's relationship with Abby, it served a purpose for us to see the emotions shared between those two as a contrast against the cold calculating machine intelligence.  Hopefully we can take from this that love will set us free in the end and our hero won't get his ass scorched from a robot with Terminator envy.  This is just another fun installment to Swamp Thing and I'm digging the ideas that Charles Soule is laying down here.  The story's great, the art is great, really you can't go wrong with picking up Swamp Thing and getting involved in The Green.  Go check it out and get your nature on.


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