Even if I’ve yet to be blown away by something that Charles Soule has written, I appreciate the fact that he keeps his comics going at a brisk pace and never stops throwing new things at the reader. While this approach can get ridiculous, as seen in his crazy-train creator-owned comic “Letter 44,” his work on “Swamp Thing” manages to entertain without going off the rails. In this volume alone we find out about the titular organization which is a human support group for avatars of the Green, the kingdom of the fungi known as the Grey, what a kreuzbluter is and what it has to do with the destruction of the Parliament of Trees in the previous volume, and what happens when a demon is unable to fulfill its end of a contract. This is in addition to the human drama involving Capucine’s origins, watching Swamp Thing throw down physically and verbally with Aquaman (with help from that title’s creative team of Jeff Parker and Paul Pelletier), seeing how former avatars Jonah, Wolf, and Lady Weeds acclimate to their new human forms. It’s this last part which drives most of the action as there’s a fair bit of duplicity going on between the actions of the former and current avatars.
All in all, what we get here is good fun. Even if the machinations of the humans are fairly predictable, it’s interesting to see how Swamp Thing reacts to new things like the Grey and the threat of the kreuzbluter. That is, when he finally gets his head into the game. The biggest problem I have with this volume is that the title character is behind the curve on EVERY threat he faces. He’s like a boxer who gets smacked around a bit at first before warming up and winning the match in the end. I do like seeing how the character deals with these threats, but this kind of structure gets repetitive after a while. It would’ve also been nice to see Soule dig into some of these threats a bit more. Maybe we’ll see the evil corporation come back at some point since it feels like they were dealt with way too casually here.
Jesus Saiz and Javier Pina continue to do solid work on this title as well. They’re certainly game for whatever crazy concept Soule throws at them and the detail they provide is a real asset to this series. It’s also neat to see that the volume ends in a way that keeps the momentum going as even though the crisis at hand is resolved, a new element is introduced that will no doubt cause further complications for everyone in the series. Even though the next volume will be the last one for this title, it’s nice to see that this flow of new ideas and concepts will likely continue through the end.