Welcome back to Haunted MTL’s Graphic Content, where we will be checking out DC Comics’ The Swamp Thing #1. I had promised last time that I would be covering Swamp Thing, but instead of picking up with the previous “Just Swamp Things” installment, I wanted to see what is new with the character in the DC Universe.
So, what is new? How about a new Guardian of the Green who can’t seem to control his transformation? That’s new enough, but how is the comic? Let’s find out.
The Swamp Thing #1
In the American southwest, a series of murders have been committed by a supernatural force. It is a desert legend known as the Pale Wanderer. At the same time, Levi Kamei finds himself unable to control his transformation into the Swamp Thing, the legendary Guardian of the Green. How might these two forces cross paths, and what is it that connects them? The Swamp Thing #1: “Becoming Part 1” written by Ram V, Illustrated by Mike Perkins, with Mike Spicer and Aditya Bidikar on colors and letters, respectively, is the first in a ten-issue series that strives to do something different with Swamp Thing.
Ram V wastes no time developing a credible supernatural threat for the new Swamp Thing. The issue opens with a gruesome scene examining a corpse. The dialogue quickly establishes the being known as the Pale Wanderer. A desert entity born of a Civil War veteran and the later the industrialization brought on by the pursuit of oil. As we learn about this unusual and fierce being, we see Levi Kamei on a flight from Dehli to New York. He is restless and fidgeting anxiously over his inability to control his transformation into an emerald giant. V does well enough to position these two forces and make them interesting. I do admit that I am coming into this story a little blind. I am unsure how much about Levi and his origins I am meant to know. Yet. I do get a sketch of what happened within the issue. Perhaps these two are just another battle in the classic conflict between the Green and the Black. We’ll need to see – the hints are there.
Mike Perkins‘ art is good, suitable for the grit necessary for Swamp Thing. Not necessarily as trippy as some other takes on the art, but it depends on the tone of the run. Here we have something very much horror-centric, and Perkins delivers on the front, especially with Levi’s misshapen and grotesque transformations. Alec Holland’s transformation never seemed quite as pained as we see depicted with Levi, but beyond that baring specific circumstances, Alec Holland didn’t manage to shift between forms. If we are expecting to see Levi struggle in his shifting, we can look forward to more fun, grotesque panels. As for the colors, we have a definite interplay of wet and dry in greens against yellows and reds, which feels appropriate.
Without a lot of knowledge of Swamp Thing‘s interconnectedness with the current state of the DC Comics world, this issue left me feeling a little flat. I have no problem with a new Guardian of the Green, but I also don’t know what is going on. I expect I will get my answers, but it feels a bit daunting for someone who hasn’t kept up on the modern era of Swamp Thing. With that being said, the setup is interesting. I am eager to learn more about Levi and this new and different spin on the role of the Swamp Thing.(3.5 / 5)
The Swamp Thing #1 of 10 is written by Ram V and illustrated by Mike Perkins with color contributions by Mike Spicer and letters by Aditya Bidikar. You can find The Swamp Thing #1 via DC Comics or your local comic shop.
While I did deliver a new Swamp Thing comic feature this week, it probably was not what you were expecting. Worry not though, “Just Swamp Things” will be our next update. It’ll be fun to look at the past and present of the series and see what beats remain. Please pitch comics to review and let us know what you think of the issues we cover.
Creepy Comics Collages by Jennifer Weigel, Part 5
Well, you won’t get rid of me that easily… Ha ha, I lied about coming to the end and the afterlife in the Creepy Comics Collages segment, it was just an opportunity for rebirth. Besides, it’s World Collage Day! So having come into another comic book to rework, here we go again…
Creepy Comics Story 9: The Voice (of God or Reason or perhaps an homage to my ex)
“Come to me my children, the voice of God awaits!… Don’t let them escape!” Please beam me up out of this weird comic collage alternate reality. “God I am your hand! Lift me… to your place. I commend my spirit!” I want to go back to dreaming about starfish.
The computer programmer behind the scenes turns to face us and smiles. “Guardians! This is a place of God!… Come to the true voice of God!” “I am everything.” “Come to the voice!” And the horrific AI generated creatures abide by his every coded word.
Just like last night in the — signs posted for Nightmare, No Exit. The deer spirit faun screams in surprise, “Eeek!” “No! I defy you!” She returns to the form of a little girl with arms outspread to the open sky. “Y’know, a day like today makes all the stuff that happened last night seem just like a bad dream!” The dream seems so real…
Somewhere in the city, the computer programmer sits up at night in pensive monologue, “You try to make a difference… But it doesn’t really matter.”
Creepy Comics Story 10: The City (Metropolis becomes self-aware)
This segment is brought to you by Dead Artists and Talking Dinosaurs. No really, wait for it…
Woooooo Uhhhh Wooooooo Uhhhh… Wump! Uff! Wump! Uff! “She belongs to The City!” The Glenn Fry 1985 hit single looms ominously overhead as Metropolis becomes self-aware. “The City… will live!… The City… will breathe!” The City gasps for air, “Got to… breathe!… Got to… Breathe!“
Her breath is the wind… Her eyes are windows. Her heart pumps fluid through buried plumbing… “I’m The City!” Her mind is The City!
And we have a celebrity appearance by Rich Koz “Son of Svengoolie” WFLD 1973: “I take a nap for 10,000 years and look what happens… some-body builds a city!” Kerwyn chimes in, “Geez! Somebody’s been busy!” And we cut out to a scene of Svengoolie standing alongside his coffin.
Well, that’s all folks. Or is it? For now, any way… until I get more comic books… Duh duh DUHHHH…
Creepy Comics Collages by Jennifer Weigel, Part 4
Wow, I can’t believe you’ve stayed the course through four whole strange story posts of these creepy comics collages. But this is the final frontier, the last segment, the standing ovation as it were. So here goes…
Creepy Comics Story 7: The Grave (shallow enough for ya?)
“It should take longer, it seems to all of them. Such holy flesh should not give before a blade so easily.” “His brow is growing so cold.” “Yes it would be. He’s dying.”
“My god… I’m not dead.” Put the shovel down. “Life is a no-win situation. Besides… You’re already dead!”
“I’m not dead. I’m not dead!… Oh, Oh my god… I can’t move… What’s happened to me?” Buried alive. Or maybe not.
“Dead?” Perhaps I am actually dead. I was expecting something… I dunno… different.
“I’m not hungry, I’m dead. I’m not sure what I’m doing here, in fact.” At least I’m not a zombie. That seems a small consolation right now though. “My organs are shutting down. It is a relief.”
“Three days have already passed.” We’re just sitting here, rotting. Like Norman Bates’ Mother. At least someone was kind enough to supply a rocking chair. “Oh, one last thing before I go… You’re doing my fucking head in.”
Creepy Comics Story 8: Adrift Afterlife (why you save the best gold coins for the ferryman)
How’d we get here? “I do not stand alone. I am sat in a boat.” “.. to be millions of miles away from any care in the world.” Was that the Ferryman? “Only liberty I know.”
“He does not remember arriving here, or if he has been here before. It is not the island he grew up on, though it feels so very familiar… He has been waiting for the night tides to come in, for they will bring starfish. He has always liked watching them cling to the beach before the current pulls them back into fathoms.”
“And the ocean brings him starfish… Perhaps his father had nothing to do with this place at all.” The ferryman stands on the far shore. It makes no difference now.
“Beneath the ocean, razor-sharp coral grows and plunges towards the surface, sent by a green place that would not like to burn.” “The sand is soft between his toes and he is not ashamed of anything.” The ghosts are here, contentedly it seems.
Thank you for joining us for these creepy comics collage art stories. But here’s where we have to leave it off. Trust me, it’s best that way. Besides I’m out of creepy comics to collage with.
Creepy Comics Collages by Jennifer Weigel, Part 3
We’re ba-ack… Are you ready for the next creepy comics collages graphic story overload? After the last time and the intermission I wasn’t sure I’d see you again, but here we are, together again. You’d almost think we put something in the water – wink.
Now where were we? Oh yeah, the world was going to hell… or was it?
Creepy Comics Story 5: Alien Invasion (A Fist Full of Physics!!!)
“Elsewhere… months… earlier…” “It begins as a flicker pin-point of light getting closer ever closer until it takes form.” The sky is falling, damn you Chicken Little.
“…unconfirmed rumors of extraterrestrials have surfaced this evening following reported sightings in upstate New York earlier today.” There’s the news for you. Always blowing things up to increase viewership ratings.
“Then I would suggest a test immediately.” ‘K Doc, we get it; maybe there’s cause for concern. Guessing these aren’t friendlies based on intel, or that the government pissed them off. “Where’s William Shatner when you really need him?”
“Next morning… City Hall…” “A Fist Full of Physics” Blamm-o! “As if that’s some kind of homage.” It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I was feeling fine but now I’m not so sure. “All of this is on your head.” You can thank the world governments with their shoot first, ask questions later policies for that.
“The act was deplorable. It’s ramifications were permanent.” Doc looks unamused. “And the doctor drones on in his cold monotone… ‘Then we all die.’”
Creepy Comics Story 6: Werewolves (Londoners, eat your hearts out)
“Fables Werewolves… no one can hear you howl.” So now we’re elbow-deep in lycanthropy? This story just keeps getting weirder and weirder…
“… I feel so… disoriented… is this vertigo?” No, you wouldn’t be so lucky. Once bitten, twice shy. It’s The Change. Prepare yourself for the transformation.
“What now?” Enough with the damned interruptions already, can’t you see I’m at work?!
“Shall we start a war?”
“No! No! Leave me alone! Leave me alone! No!“
“I know one thing.” “Never will you suffer the indignity of this animal’s touch again.” The wolf seems somewhat offended by that statement. No really. And probably rightly so.
“Maybe it’s just an excuse, a fucking cop-out for when we inevitably fuck-up our lives and hurt people… We’re not cursed, we’re rotten, or mad or…”
“I don’t deserve this!” he howls. Stop blaming the werewolves for your own human indecencies. Teacups get broken and the London werewolves get angry.
Thank you for going all in with us over this series, there’s… one… more… final… huzzah… In the meantime, check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.