By: Matthew Rapier
William Arcane was introduced to us last issue as a hospitalized young boy with something not quite right residing in him. Issue #4 opens up with Arcane disemboweling a group of innocent people in a diner with ease. He can target The Rot (introduced in Animal Man) and bring it out of any person he concentrates on. The connection between Animal Man and Swamp Thing is steadily being hinted to for them to cross paths.
Alec Holland and Abigail Arcane aren’t far behind her little brother, but as they reach the diner he is already gone. The two set up for the night to rest and Alec enters a dream-like state known as The Green. The Parliament of Trees continue to persuade him into embracing the essence of Swamp Thing. They give him visions of how far the into the past the Green reaches, including dinosaur and primate like swamp creatures who have tried to keep the balance in the Rot. It’s revealed that Abigail has dormant tendencies of the Rot which would eventually lead to Holland’s death, and she should be killed before succumbing to it.
Alec wakes up just in time to catch Abigail trying to head out on her own again. He convinces her that they should continue on together and she warns him to keep an eye out for cemeteries or morgues as they unknowingly ride into a city that holds the largest meat processing plant in the nation.
I’ve yet to find any book written by Scott Snyder that I didn’t enjoy the whole way through. The guy has such a great sense of when to throw things right at your face to make you want to turn away and then pull back just enough in the lighter moments as he explores the rich history of Swamp Thing. I really have to commend the choices DC has made with fill-in artist’s. Marco Rudy is helping out while Yanick Paquette rests and the look really resembles the previous three issues. Rudy gets creative with the layouts of the panels and presents some really disturbing images when it’s called for.
It’s no surprise that Swamp Thing in the relaunch has been a critical success. Scott Snyder was hot off of a great run on Detective Comics added to the fact that he was a huge fan of the character growing up. While you can see hints of Len Wein and Alan Moore in this current arc, Snyder has such a creative mind and is bringing a fresh take for a classic and revered character. Even if horror is a genre you typically stray away from, this is one book that should be on your list.
Overall Grade: 10/10