The Swamp Thing #3 – Ram V, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Ram V wrote what might have been the last chapter of Alec Holland in Justice League Dark, and now the Levi Kamel era of Swamp Thing ramps up with the best issue yet. When we last left off, Levi was trying to get to the bottom of his strange transformations with the help of his old friend Jennifer, and that’s led him to her workplace where he’s placed inside an MRI machine. The two-page spread where his brain transforms in response to visual stimuli is one of the best combinations of script and art I’ve seen in a while, more akin to experimental indie comics than a mainstream DC book, but we don’t have much time to reflect, because Levi’s transformation kicks in again. The next thing he—and we—know, he’s being swept into the Green as the Swamp Thing—and Jennifer’s dragged along with him, kicking off a race against time involving quite a few familiar faces within the green.
The biggest reveal of the issue, that Swamp Thing will encounter Poison Ivy, is spoiled on the cover. What isn’t spoiled is the unique battle between her two personalities in the Green—the kind, childlike Ivy, and the ruthless human-hating Queen Ivy. While this concept makes its debut here, I suspect it’s something we’re going to see play out over the next era in the Bat-title as well. Jennifer’s journey, meanwhile, takes her to encounter some gorgeous and horrifying kaiju of the Green, and eventually meet up with one of the most notorious villains in Swamp Thing history. It’s a visual feast, some of the best work of Mike Perkins’ career, and that’s before we get to the final reveal of just how Levi will be transformed into the new Avatar of the Green. This isn’t a Swamp Thing like any I’ve read before, and after several iconic runs for the character by elite creators like Snyder and Lemire, that’s what the concept needs.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.