Swamp Thing is put through trials and training this month as he prepares to fight for his right to remain the Avatar of the Green!
Swamp Thing is faced with a predicament he is not yet prepared for; defending his role as the Avatar by fighting the Seeder, Jason Woodrue. The Parliament of Trees takes both of the participants to a journey through the history and wealth of the Green. Also, both are trained in order to have a grand faceoff, with a new Avatar to rise from the ashes. Swamp Thing finds himself in a world that he has yet to fully master and his confidence is beginning to quake as his decisions could cause imbalances in nature, the very thing he is trying to stop.
Through his journey into the history of the Green, the former avatars take Swamp Thing to new horizons as they prepare to restore his lost confidence as well as his understanding of the power that vibrates deep through his inner fibers. This is the body of the story as it focuses heavily on Alec coming to bear with his responsibilities as well as what is expected of him as the Avatar. Charles Soule establishes that Alec still sees himself as a human and that is considered a weakness amongst the Parliament of Trees.
Soule has a way of making Alec Holland’s emotions surface throughout the comic. It makes the issue much more personal and emotionally haunting for Holland. This also brings Holland closer to understanding how powerful he truly is. Swamp Thing is a god, yet he has no idea what he is actually capable of. Seeing the start of this understanding is a key to the future of the character and Soule is handling it incredibly well.
Javier Pina is the lead artist for this annual issue and he expands upon the universe of the Green as we, much like Swamp Thing, have yet to fully understand it. He creates haunting characters within the history of the Avatars and leaves very impressionable creatures that will leave the reader wanting more. The evolution of the character cannot exist without strong artists behind Swamp Thing and it’s satisfying to see DC is able to find artists that continue to make a significant the mark on the series time and time again.
Alec Holland’s transformation from human being to Swamp Thing has not been easy. It has taken quite some time for the character to grow and develop into what he is now. As a result, the moments in the issue where Swamp Thing gains a new ability or understanding into his powers feel rushed. Despite going through three different Avatars to teach him new peaks in his strength, it would have served the comic better to see a much more detailed and difficult process with one Avatar. Although the scenes have a pull and charm to them, they develop a bit too fast in order to appreciate it.
If this is one of the moments that will be looked back upon as a staple of the evolution of Swamp Thing to ‘Swamp God’, there needs to be a stronger bind between Alec the human and Swamp Thing the Avatar. The reason the character is so compelling is because of his struggle between the human and plant side of Swamp Thing and if this issue focused more so on that, it would have been perfect.
Swamp Thing Annual #2 carries its story forward by focusing on the very nature of Swamp Thing. As a result, we are left with a powerful issue that expands on the Green as well as the inner workings of Swamp Thing. The battle will commence in the next issue of Swamp Thing, and armed with new toys, this issues ends with potential for a promising horizon.