Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones
First off, the art in this comic is beautiful! The colors are rich and earthy, and I think it’s very creative how the panel dividers change shape and design with the theme on the pages as the story goes along. Instead of strait lines when the ‘green’ characters are present, there are lovely vines and branches gracefully stretching across the page to frame the panels. Then when the rot comes into play the panel dividers become black and red and appear to be spreading across the page as if the story is eating it’s way to my eyes!
I felt the story did really well in describing the basic foundation of what the green (plants/flora type stuff) and the rot (decay) are and why they are always at odds. The heroes of the story (Swamp Thing) can manipulate the green (plants), and the villains can manipulate decay.
There is a third force of life that is mentioned in this volume, which is the Red, but not much description of that third faction is in this volume. My husband, Master Betty, says that he read Animal Man volume one and that the red is about animals and the ability to influence/borrow characteristics from animals. So it would probably be a good idea to read along with Animal Man sense they compliment each other so well. The Red and the Green are apparently against one another and each want control of the world, but they work together to fight the rot. This is the same basic principal that has always been throughout the Swamp Thing comics, but it never gets old. There have always been creative writers to take this horror fic to new terrifying levels.
I didn’t expect this comic to be so frightening, but it is! My expectations could probably be blamed on the old Swamp Thing movies or TV show, so boy was I in for a shock when I began to read the actual Swamp Thing comics. Both the green and the rot are chilling to read about! Nature in general takes on a different form in Swamp Thing, and there truly were merciless sections of horror. *shudder* It really takes the primitive fears instilled in mankind and finds a way to throw back the shower curtain of civilization and dump them on you so they can no longer be ignored. The rot has a way of making me scared of the villain no matter who it’s going to be simply because they’re in tune with the rot so they’re probably thinking the same collective nasty things.
This new Swamp Thing is not the same as Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, who was actually a plant elemental and not really an actual person, allowing him to be super powerful and godlike. Although I’m thinking that will always be the most respected Swamp Thing, it’s kind of necessary to start with someone fresh or else there wouldn’t really be much of a conflict to give Swamp Thing that he couldn’t handle with less effort than swatting away a fly. I feel bad for Alec Holland, the new guy, because he is not familiar with his calling to be the Swamp Thing, nor does he seem to be very enthusiastic about stepping up to the heroic plate. This story does an excellent job of gaining my empathy for the hero so that I feel invested in his struggles.
If I had to pick my least favorite thing about the comic, I’d say that there wasn’t much of the actual Swamp Thing in the entire volume, but then again it is a kind of origin story with The New 52. All in all, the art is breathtaking, the story is intriguing and scary, and it is thoroughly informative as an origin story without becoming boring at all. I would definitely recommend it and I plan to pick up volume two when it comes out! You can click the picture above to go to amazon.com and get your own copy of Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones to read and review for yourself!