Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Yanick Paquette
I was never a Swamp Thing fan and the Brightest Day story arc along with the Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing put me off him even more so I didn't get the series when The New 52 started. After hearing brilliant things about the series and seeing how good a writer Scott Snyder is after reading the current Batman series I decided to get Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones which I thoroughly and have since decided to get the series since this issue.
This issue starts with Swamp Thing (Alec Holland) getting a hostile greeting form Poison Ivy and Deadman after returning from the Rot a year after entering (not realising that a year has passed). Once he eventually proves who he is he is taken to the Parliament of Trees the only place the Green still resides where he speaks to the former Swamp Things about the events that have transpired in his absence, whilst also asking about what has happened to Abby Arcane.
A brilliant issue and Snyder is continuing to prove just how good a writer he is. He has put so much character development into the issues I've read and he continues it in this issue with Holland, now back from the Rot having not realised that a year has passed, still only caring about what has happened to Abby since he's been away. I do however feel that this issue isn't very user friendly as it drops you in at the start with Ivy and Deadman giving Holland a hostile welcome home (not believing he's who he says he is) and although it explains he's been away a year and that I worked out what has happened not necessarily every read will and could easily get confused reading this issue, having not read the series before. Besides that this was still a very good issue and Snyder has yet again done a brilliant job on with this character.
The art in this issue was amazing and Yanick Paquette has once again done a superb job of bringing Snyder's story to life. The detail in Paquette's art is simply astonishing whether he's drawing Ivy, Deadman, the Parliament of Trees (picture left) or Swamp Thing himself. Nathan Fairbairn also added great colour to this issue and his colours go very well with Paquette's art making it look even more beautiful than it already is whilst making it stand out at the same time. I also like the contrasts in colour between the Green areas (the Parliament) and the Rot areas (the rest of the world) as you can tell what effect Holland's absence along with the Rot's increase in power has done to the world.
I was in two minds about Holland's meeting with the former Swamp Thing's at the Parliament of Trees as although it gave insight into what has happened in Holland's absence, I did think that it was a bit boring and dragged out the end of this amazing issue.
I was happy to see Ivy and Deadman in this issue and think Ivy especially is a brilliant addition to this story line due to her connection to the plants. I love Ivy's suit in this issue but question about what happened to the suit she was wearing in Birds of Prey and Detective Comics which was also nice. I think however the change in suit is to reflect her connection to the Green more and that the one year difference will probably be after the events of Birds of Prey and Detective Comics. Deadman's involvement in this story line was also a nice addition and I am happy to see him in a comic once again as I haven't seen him since Brightest Day (he featured in DC Universe Presents but I never read that). I also think he will add a cooler head towards their group as Holland is probably still trying to get to grips with the fact he's been gone for a year and Ivy will be angry about the reduction of plants since the Green's influence over the world has dramatically dropped.
The start of the battle between Holland, Ivy and Deadman against the Teen Titans was brilliant and I am looking forward to seeing it progress in issue 14. The zombie look to the Teen Titans was also brilliant and the bloating in Red Robin's face and Wonder Girl's evil face was very detailed and looked very cool. There were a couple of small things like the size of Kid Flash's legs didn't look right but besides that I loved the zombie Titans.
I am also looking forward to seeing if previous Swamp Thing villains like William Arcane or Anton Arcane will make an appearance in this story as their connection to the Rot is too strong for them not to. I am also looking forward to seeing if the fate of Abby that was revealed in this issue is true and if so how that will effect the series.
A brilliant issue and a great start to the Rotworld story. The only thing that lets drops the rating of this issue is that it isn't totally new reader friendly (although you can work out what has happened), and Holland's conversation with the former Swamp Things dragged on a bit. Besides that this was still a very good issue and I would highly recommend it.