Swamp Thing 5 (2016)
– this post contains information that may be deemed spoilishy –
This new book may have been delayed a week but it certainly delivers! It’s an extremely fun and imaginative issue, propelling us toward the final, sixth issue. I wish it had kicked the series off. It certainly would have been an entertaining jump start.
Alec may be back in human form but his adventure has only begun. As seen in issue #4, Cable has assumed the roll and form of Swamp Thing and is terrorizing Houma (his base of operations) while trying to take over the world.
The devastation and power that Swamp Thing unleashes is represented in such a wonderful way by Wein and Jones. The scene in Houma reminds me of the old horror focused comics. Here’s a great sample of Swamp Thing addressing the world through a tv crew.
Having Swamp Thing (depicted as a terrorizing monster) and Alec Holland (bent on vanquishing Cable and returning to his Swampy form) in the same book is the best of both worlds.
Want the scary, overgrown, root-filled demise of a simple townsperson?
Want the smart, honorable, Doctor, troubled by the tragedy his life has been, while being burdened by always needing to do what’s right?
There are a number of highlights within the book but the Parliament is one of my favorites. I really love how it’s represented as a large, single, collected entity-a massive, ever-present being.
Last we saw Alec, Swamp Thing (Cable) had buried him. Although his physical form is stuck, buried in the ground, Alec’s ‘spirit’ interacts with The Parliament. He is kept alive by The Parliament, “generating whatever oxygen and essentials are necessary”. I really loved how there wasn’t a lot of exposition muddying the moment.
Another great moment in the book. Phantom Stranger helps Alec from the ground. The Parliament has transported Alec’s body far enough away for him to be out of reach from Swamp Thing. It’s as if he was transported from Houma, north, to the mid-west. Again, I’m really happy that there wasn’t a ton of exposition here. I’m assuming the long time Swampy fans can think of more than a few ways the Parliament could have transported his body and they all make sense. Leaving out elements like this help to make the story more intriguing and exciting.
Speaking of exciting, out of the corn field…
…on top of the Himalayas! The Stranger transports Holland to Nanda Parbat. Right out of the gate, Wein sends Holland on the adventure of his life with the world hanging in the balance.
The immortal city of lights, where Zatanna returned the Hand of Fatima. Alec is in search of a solution to return to his Swamp Thing form and thinks the hand may be the answer. He must correct his error and in doing so stop Matt Cable’s apocalypse.
While at Nanda Parbat, Holland runs into Deadman. As always, Kelly Jones’ Deadman is exceptional. His Deadman design is my favorite.
This is an absolutely great view of Alec Holland, with Deadman overhead. Jones looks like he is having a lot of fun on this series. The angles and creative choices he’s made are very entertaining and well done.
back in Houma, Sherrif Fox convinces Swamp Thing to put her on a live television broadcast, addressing the world that they should obey the plant god’s wishes.
She, of course, has other plans. Sheriff Fox’s message is broadcasted for the world to see and A.R.G.U.S. takes notice
Back in the Himalayans, Alec takes along the Hand of Fatima with his sights sets on Gotham. With an impossibly long and treacherous journey ahead, he finds salvation yet again in the Phantom Stranger.
I love how Jones treats the distant, ice and snow formations throughout the mountains. The hatching paired with his heavy shadows look great.
Alec cuts to the chase and utilizes Phantom Stranger’s teleportation abilities. He high tails it to Gotham to meet up with an old acquaintance.
I really hope we get a full spread of Deadman, Spectre, Phantom Stranger and Swamp Thing. Jones always depicts the dark side of DC so gloriously.
There are some KILLER Spectre panels in this issue.
It’s as if Holland is putting the band back together. To return to his previous form and vanquish Matt Cable, it will indeed “take an act of God”.