Swamp Thing 4 (2016)
Be Careful What You Wish For
– This post does indeed contain spoilers –
This will probably read more like a walk through than a review as I’m still processing how I feel about the series. I reserve most of my criticism until the final page of issue 6 has been read.
I hope you’re all caught up on this six part Swamp Thing mini series. For the most part, I’ve been enjoying it but have been wondering if it will pick up speed now that it’s more than half way through. The slow burn has been extinguished after this fun issue featuring Alec Holland in human form and Matt Cable as Swamp Thing. Last issue left me hoping that the story would take a turn for the weird and unusual. This books begins to steer us in that direction.
Jones’ depiction of Holland on the cover is interesting. He’s very muscular and smooth looking. Why’s his shirt off?
For starters, Matt Cable is a murderous psychopath.
More on this later.
Wein has fun carrying over the instability and crazy that Cable fell into following his adventures with Holland/Swamp Thing in series one and into series two.
The issue begins with Holland and Cable having gone through the process of changing forms with the help of Zantanna.
Unbeknownst to Holland, Cable was aware of the powers that the Hand of Fatima holds and was orchestrating the switch from the beginning.
There are some fun, lighter moments within the book.
Swamp Thing with some smooth moves.
A man of my own heart.
Pancakes: the only type of cake I enjoy, delicious in every way.
The goofy sexual tension between Alec and Zatanna is interesting. The assumption of their familiarity does not stem from series one, but later in series two. I’m still not completely sure what world this familiarity is rooted in.
Zatanna transports Alec and Matt back to Houma where Alec vows to help Matt get acclimated to his new body and abilities. So far so good, it appears that Matt as Swamp Thing might actually work out.
Cable learns quickly while being put through his paces. Their training is cut short by the sound of a shotgun blast off in the distance.
Our heroe’s attention is captured in a similar fashion throughout the series. It seems to be a reoccurring device that feels like a transition you’d see on Saturday morning cartoons. “What was that sound?” ” I dunno but we better go investigate”.
Matthew Cable’s inner beast and real intentions come to light. We quickly see how dark and twisted he is.
The above panel was recently listed on a website as being inappropriate. This being considered too excessive, I’d love to see series six continued under the Vertigo imprint. It reminds me of the fun, brutal stories we got in the Morrison/Millar era. Like previous books, Kelley Jones’ work is entertaining as well as beautifully drawn. He is a real craftsman.
Alec, being the consummate good guy is appalled by Cable’s actions. For the bog god must be just yet exercise restraint.
Cable divulges his true motivation, to obtain incomparable power and drags Alec back to Houma.
Jones throws some really fun weapons Swamp Things way. He gets blasted by a shotgun and stuffed with a grenade. I always enjoy seeing Swamp Thing’s various capabilities and strengths utilized.
Similar to the poacher, without hesitation, Cable shows no mercy.
Like Hester’s run on Swamp Thing, Jones does an awesome job of representing Swamp Thing’s wrath at its worse. In Swamp Thing 147 (1994), Hester has Swamp Thing killing mercenaries from the inside out; depicting Swampy controlling the plant marerial that lives within the human body. It’s good to see this gruesome abilities put into action once again.
Cable establishes his thrown, acting as his stage of terror.
“Top cop… To police the world”. Not unattainable to the guy who has it all. This panel does a wonderful job of depicting the dark abyss that Cable has fallen into. He almost looks like a robot, a machine with a single objective, destruction.
The two remaining books are enough to tie up the loose ends that have been laid out in the first four issues but I’m hoping that the last two books leave a mark on the Swamp Thing character. I hope it goes out with the bang that the first couple issues didn’t quite deliver.