Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Swamp Thing Volume 1: Raise Them Bones

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Yanick Paquette & Marco Rudy

I have never really been a Swamp Thing fan and his role in the Brightest Day story arc and the Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing put me off him even more so didn't get the series when The New 52 started. Since then I have heard nothing but good news about the series and read tones of great reviews praising it, and after finding out just how good a writer Scott Snyder could be whilst reading Batman considered getting this book. It was however when I had a flip through it in a local shop I decided to buy it after being reminded of how beautiful Yanick Paquette's art was.


This story sees how Dr. Alec Holland is copping with life after being back from the dead and how he is dealing with the constant presence of the Green hanging over him. Superman visits Holland to tell him that the different groups of animals like birds, cattle and fish are dying spontaneously and thinks Swamp Thing could help, but Holland says he won't become Swamp Thing again. A former Swamp Thing who now resides at the Parliament of Trees comes to tell Holland that there is a danger coming and that Holland is the only one who can stop it. Holland still refuses to become Swamp Thing and the former Swamp Thing leaves him with a final warning, to stay away from the blond haired woman in his dreams. Unfortunately Holland runs in to the blond haired woman named Abby Arcane who tells him of her brother William who hold the power of the the Rot. Holland decides to help Abby and the two go of in search of William before he causes proper damage.


I really enjoyed this book and it was a brilliant start to the Swamp Thing story. Snyder has really done some magic on this book and in my opinion it is the best thing he has written. I just love how you can feel the emotions running through Holland as this is a man who has had everything taken from him by the Green and has every right to want nothing to do with it but at the same time wanting to do what is right.

The art throughout this book was fantastic whether from Paquette or Marco Rudy, although Paquette's was by far better. I just loved all the detail throughout this book as with all the different things in the background it would be easy to be lazy and only put detail on the focus points but both artists don't do that and you can really feel the life throughout this book when we see the Green and the decay when we see the Rot. Nathan Fairbairn along with David Baron, and Val Staples added tones of colour and Fairbairn's in particular made Paquette's art look more beautiful, whilst adding mood to the darker sequences. Another thing I liked about this book which is a thing I like about a lot of the DC series' especially since the New 52 is the layout as it is brilliant and adds uniqueness to the series.

This book started off a little slow but I expected that from a new series, although near the end of the first issue it picked up a lot of pace and the rest of the book was very exciting. Superman's appearance, along with the glimpse of Batman and Aquaman during the first issue was also a nice touch and really added a warming feel to a new reader. I also liked the conversation between the two and loved how Superman tells Holland that he knows how hard it is to come back from the dead.

The chemistry between Holland and Abby throughout this book was amazing and one of the main things I liked. At certain points I didn't know whether to feel sorry for Abby or not as she clearly has good intentions but due to the Rot running through her family it is hard to tell if Holland should really trust her. It was also nice to see similarities between Abby and Holland and that even though they are connected to two different forces they are are both good at heart. The emotional chemistry between the two also built up very nicely through this book turning it into a love story which was nice, and gave more hope and purpose to their goals.

William Arcane was a brilliant villain in this book and I loved how he was just a child. I liked how he looked so innocent to start off, being bullied by the other children for being in a bubble and I thought it was brilliant the way he suddenly he turned into this evil boy filled with tones of rage. He had a brilliant evil felling throughout the book and he produced the kind of atmosphere I expected from the child version of the Hellfire Club in Wolverine and the X-Men and Schism. I also like how William doesn't care what happens and only cares about himself and the rising of the Rot.

I also enjoyed the involvement of the former Swamp Things, and residents of the Parliament of Trees and how they interact with Holland realising that he is their best hope of stopping the Rot. I also like how this book since the start has been setting up the current Rotworld story between the three forces and how the events in this book appear are just a prelude to something much bigger. The only thing that slightly upset me about this book was how it ended with a cliffhanger. Don't get me wrong this is a brilliant thing for the story and end the book with tones of suspense, it does however leave me wanting to read more of this brilliant series and the fact that I don't know when I'll be able to read the continuation of this series.

Final Verdict

A great book and I really wish I had gotten the series since the start. It is full with tones of action, suspense, emotion along with some of the best story telling I've ever read. I would defiantly recommend getting this book as it's one of the best out of the New 52 and I for one will be getting the series from now on, whilst trying to get back issue, and am looking forward to reading the Rotworld story.

Rating: 5/5