[intro-text size=”25px”]It’s nice to see that Swamp Thing still knows how to get the job done. DC Comics latest fiasco, Convergence—a storyline encompassing all of their titles—has promised to pit heroes and villains spanning the many generations since the company’s inception against one another. What has followed has been a series of two-issue character studies that do little more than serve as filler material while DC Comics reshuffles their talent and prepares for another line-wide relaunch in a few months. The one bright spot thus far is Convergence: Swamp Thing #1.[/intro-text]
While nearly all of the much bally-hooed titles connected to Convergence have been jobbed out to less than marquee talent, which has led to uninspired art and middling, reductive storytelling, this issue of Swamp Thing is actually penned by his original creator, legend Len Wein! The art takes no back seat in this issue either. Kelley Jones is an illustrator I love but who hasn’t been as prodigious as he was in the nineties. He was the artist who brought Batman to life while I was a young reader with his haunting, evocative drawings that seem to pull from the night itself. In this issue, Jones’ play with the negative space is something of nuanced genius. His Swamp Thing emerges from the shadows, a distorted agrarian nightmare of the most horrific brilliance.
Within this Convergence storyline, each character is only allowed two issues to tell their tale. Most of the other two-issue series have focused on the less-than-thrilling sense of ennui felt from citizens trapped within an impenetrable dome, the conceit of the Convergence story through which these individual character issues are all unfortunately tethered. While this narrative structure does not work in other series, watching Swamp Thing hole up in an abandoned arboretum struggling to maintain his connection to the Green is much more entertaining than the stories of depowered superheroes learning how to buy groceries (not an exaggeration) which Convergence has left like a burning sack of dog poop on the reader’s front step. This issue was an oasis in the midst of an unforgiving desert, and much like a desert mirage, it will be gone before you have the chance to enjoy it so be sure to check this true gem while Convergence: Swamp Thing #1 is still on the shelves.
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