Review – The Swamp Thing #8: Out of the Woods

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The Swamp Thing #8 variant cover, via DC Comics.

The Swamp Thing #8 – Ram V, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: With only ten issues, I’m a little surprised that so much of this book has been devoted to a showdown with the Suicide Squad. But it’s a testament to the strength of this creative team that they’re able to make the new Swamp Thing’s battle against these glorified goons so compelling. After escaping Nightmare Nurse last issue—but not without some harsh reveals, Levi Kamei tears his way through the rampaging Chemo next. But the bigger threat comes from Parasite, the leech-like Superman villain. As Parasite—here drawn as a hulking, spiny monster far creepier than his usual appearance—threatens to drain Swamp Thing dry, Levi is able to absorb enough of his memories to pick up on the broken, desperate man inside. While Alec Holland’s Swamp Thing often felt like a ruthless judge, this version shows more compassion—probably because he feels so broken himself.

Battle of monsters. via DC Comics.

It’s been a really smart decision to parcel out the information about this character gradually, and last issue’s reveals about the circumstances of the death of Levi’s father were devastating. But this issue, we find out a little of what went on after. We learn more about the involvement of Levi’s brother and mother. And we finally get the reveal of who’s truly pulling the strings in this series, a new villain who seems custom-built to be a rival for Levi’s control over the power of the Parliament of Trees—with a stunning visual design to boot. This series has gone in a lot of strange directions over the issues, embracing hard-boiled American horror and traditional Indian culture and faith with equal passion and respect. As we enter the last act, I can only hope that Ram V and Mike Perkins are able to wrap a whole lot of concepts in only two issues—and that they’re able to keep building on it in their next project.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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