Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Swamp Thing #3 Review


The Green Is A Busy Place

Written By: Ram V
Art By: Mike Perkins
Colors By: Mike Spicer
Letters By: Aditya Bidikar
Cover Art By: Kyle Hotz, Dan Brown
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 4, 2021

Levi Kamei aka Swamp Thing submits to medical tests to find out why he's having nightmares and blackouts. During the exam, his mind and the mind of his tester/girlfriend, Jennifer, are brought into The Green to learn what's happening to Levi. There, they meet a cavalcade of green-based characters including Poison Ivy, the Floronic Man, and the previous Swamp Thing, Alec Holland, to help Levi understand what comes next.

Was It Good?

It was better than the previous issue. Not great, but better.

This issue is bizarre in the sense that visiting The Green on a metaphysical level feels similar to Alice visiting Wonderland. There are familiar characters and settings, but their distorted versions of the ones we already know.

The most frustrating part is the lack of information about how Levi became the Swamp Thing in the first place. It would have served better if we had seen what happened with his brother much sooner, then let the story unfold with understanding about the consequences of that event. As it stands, we know next to nothing about Levi's predicament, and we won't get so much as a flashback until issue #4. That's too long to wait to decide if you care about what happened to a character and Ram V is asking for too much patience.

On the plus side, the art in this issue is very good. Lots of green colors and pop stimulate the reading experience. And the designs for characters (some old and some new) look great.

What's It About?


Jennifer gets Levi to a lab to run some tests to understand if there's a physical cause for his blackouts and nightmares. During his run-through in an MRI, Levi starts "sprouting." When Jennifer enters the MRI room to help him, she's doused with spores and passes out.

Levi wakes up in The Green in Swamp Thing form. He can sense Jennifer is there, too, but she's nowhere in sight.

I mentioned it above, but I'll underscore the art throughout the rest of the book while everyone is in The Green is gorgeous. It's teeming with rich, vibrant plant life, and it looks like you would expect The Green to look.

As Levi wanders around calling Jennifer's name, he bumps into Poison Ivy. She appears to be hanging out, and she offers to take Levi someplace safe because there are dangers in The Green. When Levi explains he's looking for Jennifer, Ivy worries Jennifer might run into somebody with a nasty temper, the Wodewos.

It's tough to describe the Wodewos, but imagine a 70-foot tall, plant-based troll with elephant tusks. There is a mythical creature from English folklore called a "wodewose" but this is a very different take.

Unfortunately, Jennifer is there and she's running from getting trampled by the Wodewos. Before she's stomped, she receives a helping hand from the Floronic Man who guides her to a safe hiding place. The Floronic Man listens to Jennifer's story and offers to help her get home, but the look on his face says he's not entirely trustworthy.

Meanwhile, Ivy takes Levi to what looks like a throne in a secluded glen and the queenly figure sitting on the throne is... also Ivy. What appears to be happening is Ivy is split into two personas; one representing her more human side and the other representing her more evil plant side. It's reminiscent of the Alice in Wonderland relationship between the Red Queen and the Mad Hatter. They're both mad but one is violent crazy and the other is silly crazy.

Silly Ivy wants to hold on to humanity and the things she loves. Angry Ivy sees all humanity as useless and wishes to wipe it all out for the harm it's done to The Green. The two Ivy's start to fight with Levi getting caught in the middle of Angry Ivy's attacks. Before Levi gets out of control with rage, a stranger arrives to break up the fight and settle everyone down. It's Alec Holland in human form.

Alec escorts Levi away for a heart-to-heart talk about the nature of The Green, Levi's place in it, and a contagion that threatens it all.

Bits and Pieces:

Swamp Thing #3 gives you more information about The Green and how the DC plant characters interact with it, but sadly, you get almost no information about Levi or why you should care about him. The art is excellent and there are some interesting moments in this book, but I wish some of those moments had something to do with the main character.


No comments:

Post a Comment