Future State: Swamp Thing #1 – Ram V, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; June Chung, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Unlike many of the Future State books, this issue isn’t set in the near future. It’s set in the apocalyptic future where humanity is all but gone and Swamp Thing leads a population of fellow plant beings across the ruined world. But at the end of last issue, we saw that pockets of humanity remained—but so did an old evil that had captured one of DC’s most popular cult heroes. The return of Obsidian in that cliffhanger was highly unexpected, although I wish he got to do a little bit more here than be stuck in a tube. Maybe this is just a teaser for a bigger role for him coming in the present issues? The return of Jason Woodrue as the main villain is less of a surprise—he’s quickly rivaling Anton Arcane as Swamp Thing’s main nemesis at this point—although his role in this issue delivers some creepy visuals and a high-octane showdown that lives up to the buildup, even if it takes up a lot of this issue.
But once Woodrue is defeated, that’s where this issue takes a step up. Woodrue’s plan has created a deadly situation for what’s left of Earth, threatening to snuff out the last traces of humanity. The only way to stop it is for Swamp Thing to make one final sacrifice—one that has a shocking consequence for his followers. The reveal about where these Swamp people came from is impressively done, as is how it ties into the various cutaways to the anatomy of plant-human hybrids. There is some interesting debate to be had about the morality of Swamp Thing’s actions, and about what truly makes a human, but i don’t think that’s accidental. Swamp Thing has never been a typical superhero. He’s a force of nature, something that serves something higher than humanity, and this issue is a great example of that—with a powerful ending that makes me very optimistic for Ram V’s upcoming run featuring a new Swamp Thing.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.