Review – The Swamp Thing #1: Dark Tendrils

Comic Books DC This Week
The Swamp Thing #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

The Swamp Thing #1 – Ram V, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: Ram V’s Justice League Dark might be becoming a backup, but he’s launching a new series with Mike Perkins to kick off Infinite Frontier first. This new take on Swamp Thing is fully grounded in the DCU, but it also calls back to the high-intensity horror of the Vertigo takes. What it doesn’t have—so far—is Alec Holland. The previous Swamp Thing was well-adjusted to his role and had gone from being a figure of mystery to one of the most powerful heroes in the DCU. His new status quo means he won’t be an active player for now, but the legacy lives on—and the world seems to be a more dangerous place without him. The story starts in the desert, as a group of investigators examine a very strange body and share tales of a mysterious being known as the Pale Wanderer. More at home in American Vampire than a DCU superhero book, the new threat sets the issue off on a tense and scary note.

Grim examination. Via DC Comics.

But this isn’t his story, or Alec Holland’s. It’s the story of Levi Kamei, a young Indian businessman and emigre to the US who is returning from a business trip in his homeland. While he went on business, he spent much of the time trying to reconcile with his dying father. It’s implied the trip didn’t go well and he’s coming home haunted—as a chilling segment of nightmares set on the plane indicate, in a scene that shouldn’t be read by anyone with a fear of flying. His friend Jennifer tries to get inside his head when he returns, but it’s clear he brought something back with him. This first issue could be seen as rather slow—the main plot really only starts with a few pages to go, and Levi is barely involved—but Ram V and Mike Perkins are expert storytellers who keep you hooked with every page. It might be a while to get there, but I suspect this is a new DC horror classic in the making.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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