Review – The Swamp Thing #16: The Last Bloom

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The Swamp Thing #16 variant cover, via DC Comics.

The Swamp Thing #16 – Ram V, Writer; Mike Perkins, Artist; Mike Spicer, Colorist

Ray – 9.5/10

Ray: The last few Swamp Thing runs have all massively expanded the mythology of the Green and its champion, and Ram V’s take is no different. But it also seems to be doing something completely different as we reach this final issue—creating a beautiful, almost lyrical reflection of what it means to represent the Green and the myriad of plant life in the world amid the ever-encroaching presence of humanity and technology. While the Green has been fighting this fight for thousands of years, it’s perfectly represented in young Levi Kamei—whose journey began when he tried to develop sacred lands in India and ended with him becoming a new avatar of the Green with a foot in both worlds. Unlike Alec Holland, Levi was never fully transformed into the Swamp thing and maintained a link to his humanity—something that I think was essential for the story that Ram V. and Mike Perkins wanted to tell.

Apocalypse How. Via DC Comics.

This final issue features some of the most stunning visuals of the series, as the Green, the new Parliament of Gears, and other powerhouse forces go to war. But it wouldn’t be nearly as good without the human touch, and that touch surprisingly comes in the form of Trinity, a character who has only been alive a very short time and only loosely understands humanity. But that gives her a unique perspective on human nature, as she explains the kindness and hostility she encountered. The topic of “is humanity a parasite/predator” seems to be a pretty hot one right now, as we debate our impact on the environment, but V’s take seems to be a more optimistic one than many take. While the villain is eventually beaten and balance is restored, Levi Kamei’s story ends on a much more ambiguous note. This is a strange, fascinating, beautiful story that feels much more like the classic Vertigo run than Swamp Thing’s modern DC era, and I can’t wait to read the whole thing again.

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

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