The Swamp Thing #6 – Ram V, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Ram V always manages to surprise, and it’s impressive how much common DNA there is between this DC comic and his metaphysical indie book The Many Deaths of Laila Starr. Both are about understanding the human experience through the perspective of a god—be it a beautiful god of death or a terrifying god of the Green. When we last left off, Levi was nearly blown up and wound up in a forest—just in time for the Suicide Squad to come looking for him. Now, this could easily have turned into just another hero vs. antihero fight, but the showdown with Task Force X is almost a sideshow in this issue. The team, involving Peacemaker, Nightmare Nurse, Heat Wave, Chemo, and Parasite, is an eclectic and interesting group that spends as much time arguing with each other than hunting their target, but the focus never quite shifts from Levi’s story and his transformation.
As the Green knits Levi’s body together again from near nothing (with some stunning visuals, especially in the opening few pages) we get a better perspective of exactly how this all began. Flashbacks give us a little more information on his complex relationship with his older brother and his traditionalist father, and the dialogue feels universal in a way many young immigrants will understand. Mike Spicer’s art continues to be a highlight in this series, as its depiction of the forest and the monsters stalking it are genuinely chilling. But it wouldn’t be nearly as compelling without the writer’s strong character work at the center. While most of this series has been about Levi grappling with what it means to be the Swamp Thing, it feels like in the second half we’re going to see him come into his own as the heir to the Green. I’m excited to read this story as a whole once its complete and see how the journey unfolds in a single read.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.