Review: ‘Swamp Thing’ #11 Delivers On All Fronts

Ram V, Mike Perkins, Mike Spicer and Aditya Bidikar return to tell the second part of the saga of Levi Kamei with Swamp Thing #11, and he’s not the only familiar face returning. As well as Jennifer Reece and the rapacious Preston Corporation, there is also a return to the DCU for Tefé Holland. A long-time member of the Swamp Thing’s saga making her mark in a new chapter of the ongoing muck monster mythos. And another strand tenuously linking the old with the new.

Who is missing, however, is Levi himself as Jennifer seeks out Tefé in the hope she will be able to save Levi. But, as the title to this new issue implies, Levi ain’t out for the count yet. He just needs the right nutrients and a bit of time to recharge and regrow, just like a Jericho Rose. 

What we do have in his absence is a seemingly darker inversion of the classic ‘Anatomy Lesson’ swapping optimism for pessimism and a transformation of the mind, body and soul into something far more sinister than the Champion of the Green. All fearfully symmetrical to the rebirth of our newest Swamp Thing with a contrasting colour scheme to match. In using ink washes over his naked art pages Perkins adds an additional level of texture that seems almost water colour-like when Spicer had added his colour art. Especially the scenes between Tefé and Jennifer. And an apt art style for the subject matter I think. Each page is so rich in textures and dense in detail. Blooming marvellous! A combination of both the beautiful and the grotesque. Perkins choreography of each page makes even the most subdued scenes engrossing and engaging. And he still draws your attention when delivering some amazing, jaw-dropping stand-out moments such as the transformational operation on Harper Pilgrim that we see from above, but divided into a series of panels that reveals the monster he is going to become while also the body he is leaving behind in unison. This issue, like any other in this stellar run delivers all killer and no fillers when it comes to the art. 

And, for that matter, the script too. Ram V’s writing is once more a carefully crafted display of the prosaic, the considered, and the poetic too. It’s the combination of all of the above that makes thus series not just one of the best – if not the best – DC  Comics’ series on the shelves at the moment, but one of the better runs on the Swamp Thing in years. There may be familiar themes being played out in this book, but in very different and interesting ways. This is a comic that provides a level of literary many merely aspire towards.

Swamp Thing #11 has returned with gusto and gore. Oh, and one Jack Hawksmoor too. Now, that is an interesting new development. And yet another way in which Ram V comes at the DCU from a very different angle to many writers. 

Ram V, Mike Perkins, Mike Spicer and Aditya Bidikar return to tell the second part of the saga of LeviCOMICONRead More

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