The Swamp Thing #5 – Ram V, Writer; John McCrea, Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Much of Ram V’s Swamp Thing run so far has been about Levi Kamei slowly getting used to sharing his body with this cosmic force. But after returning from the Green alive, he’s quickly thrown into a new adventure–one that brings in one of Alec Holland’s oldest allies. As soon as we saw London in this issue, I knew who we were in for–and John Constantine doesn’t disappoint. This is a gritty, old-school Vertigo-style story rooted in both the ethnic conflict in the UK right now and the legacy of their greatest war. Constantine’s old ally Sierra finds herself penned in her apartment, her friend Nigel missing, with a mob of fascists surrounding her and making it impossible to leave her place. She summons Constantine–and Swamp Thing finds himself pulled across time and space to join them for a mystery dating back more than half a century.
Seeing a new Swamp Thing settle into the old dynamic is interesting. It’s not clear if Constantine even understands what’s happened, but he doesn’t seem particularly concerned–there are more important things to deal with once Nigel’s location is discovered. Some flashbacks to World War II deliver the issue’s most chilling visuals, courtesy of guest artist John McCrae, who is no newcomer to some of DC’s grittiest comics. It does seem like Levi slipped into the role much more easily all of a sudden, but I think much of that might be Swamp Thing taking charge. Levi didn’t just inherit powers, after all–he inherited an ancient entity. This continues to be one of DC’s most unique books, and as we shift to the second half of the story, this issue was a welcome change of pace. But there’s enemies back in the United States, and there is a lot of ground to cover in the second half of this series.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.