Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Swamp Thing #10 Review

Brother versus Brother

Written By: Ram V
Art By: Mike Perkins
Colors By: Mike Spicer
Letters By: Aditya Bidikar
Cover Art By: Mike Perkins, Mike Spicer
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 7, 2021

The Swamp Thing #10brings the battle between Levi and Jacob to a head at Prescott Industries as they battle for the right to be the avatar of the Green. Unfortunately for both of them, Prescott has contingencies that put the big battles between avatars on ice.

Was It Good?

Oof! How can a titanic battle between the new Swamp Thing and his Floronic Man-like brother be this ponderous and boring?!?

Ram V is publicly upfront about his preference and desire for decompressed storytelling. This issue clearly shows he's willing (as long as DC editorial allows it) to take that desire to the Nth degree. Here, Levi Kamei, aka the new Swamp Thing, is in a pitched battle with his brother, who's assumed the pseudo-mantle of the Floronic Man by forcing the Green into himself. 

This should be an epic battle with layers of "monster" against "monster" and brother against brother that goes deeper than simply a superficial slugfest. Yet, Jacob (Levi's brother) comes off as a cynical bully who left behind any brotherly affection years ago. Likewise, Levi shows little emotional conflict around this fight with his brother other than a strange sort of pity and a need to save his brother because he's a life that needs saving. There's not much else.

The glaring omission is any emotional turmoil surrounding these brothers. Or at least, if Ram V wrote in sibling angst, it doesn't project in any way you can feel and empathize with. For what should be the most gut-wrenching issue in a lackluster and meandering series, there's shockingly little heart at all.

At least Perkins gives you something fascinating to look at with the visuals. Swamp Thing sports a new armored look when he's forced to escape an icy death, and the overall look of the book is stylish and dramatic, even when it lacks heart.

Bits and Pieces

The Swamp Thing #10 is the early pre-finale (DC extended the book to 16 issues), where Levi fights for his life, his connection to the Green, and what's left of his family. The visuals are strong, and the action gives you plenty of big splashy moments, but the utter lack of emotional conflict between the two brothers is a shocking letdown.


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