Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Swamp Thing #11 Review

Let Not Man Put Asunder

Written by: Ram V
Art by: Mike Perkins
Colors by: Mike Spicer
Letters by: Aditya Bidikar
Cover art by: Mike Perkins, Mike Spicer (cover A)
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: March 29, 2022

The Swamp Thing #11 follows Jennifer as she reaches out to an unlikely source for help, and Mr. Pilgrim undergoes an unconventional medical procedure.

Was It Good?

Well, now. We're back from the hiatus with the next installments of Ram V's take on the avatar of the Green. When last we saw Mr. Mean & Green, the research facility had blown up, Levi Kumei had escaped, albeit a bit worse for wear, and Woodrue hinted his plans for research progress would proceed with a Plan B.

In fairness, I've been critical of Ram V's run so far due to needlessly excessive decompression, a stubborn instance to not reveal anything about Levi as a person or how (specifically) he became the new Swamp Thing, and claims of cultural inclusion that were either superficial or flat-out wrong (looking at you, Hanuman). So does the start of this next phase improve on the previous one? Sort of, maybe, I guess(?).

This issue wastes little time hopping into the story and getting things moving to Ram V's credit. Jennifer reaches out to a Holland (not Alec) for help to find Levi, Mr. Pilgrim puts a risky amount of faith in Woodrue for an unprecedented medical procedure, and the Green is in bad shape.

Ram V may have righted the ship in terms of plot and pacing. There's plenty of development to get you curious and invested in what may come next. Overall, this is possibly the most substantial issue of the series.

The improved pacing is still hampered by ethereal, flowery narration. All characters are hung up on the nebulous notion of "ideas" manifesting. Still, the concept here is applied so esoterically and broadly that you don't get a clear handle on the point being made in some panels. Good storytellers avoid confusion at all costs. Apply that axiom here as you wish.
The issue has weak points, but Spicer's and Perkins's art keeps the ponderous "ideas" above water. The art is excellent in this issue, notably improved by Spicer's color choices over the previous arc.

Bits and Pieces

The Swamp Thing #11 is possibly the strongest entry in the series with creepy body horror, substantial plot progression, and genuine curiosity for what's happening to the Green. 


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