Convergence: Swamp Thing #1 sees the return of writer Len Wein to one of his most famous creations. The first few pages deal with building up the Swamp Thing universe. It is made clear that this is Pre-Crisis Earth-One Swamp Thing, making Wein a perfect fit. After the introduction, the issue truly starts as the sky turns red and Swamp Thing, along with friend Abigail Arcane, head out for answers. Abigail suggests that they head to Metropolis for assistance, but Swamp Thing maintains that he feels drawn to Gotham City, and hopes that Batman will be able to assist him discover just what the red sky is all about.
When they arrive in Gotham City, the telltale signs of the Convergence begin as the dome descends on the city, cutting Gotham away from the rest of the world. This has the adverse effect of cutting Swamp Thing off of the Green and the hero’s body begins to decay. Luckily, Arcane is able to find work as a florist and uses various methods to aid her ailing friend. This works temporarily, but with his connection to the Green ripped asunder, Swamp Thing needs a more permanent solution before he decays beyond repair.
Having Len Wein return to the Pre-Crisis Swamp Thing is a great decision that pays off. There’s a classic feel to the book that brings the character back to his roots (no pun intended). The story has some elements reminiscent of film-noir, as Swamp Thing dons a trench coat and sneaks away with Abby to infiltrate Gotham City without drawing attention to his bizarre form. The artwork contributes to this feel as Kelley Jones utilizes thick ink lines to embellish the artwork in shadows. In addition, the colors by Michelle Madsen make Convergence: Swamp Thing #1 feel like a classic horror book with all the pulpy tones that made the book a success in the first place.
The main flaw of the book is the pacing. The book starts with the history of the character, and for those uninitiated with the mythos, these pages prove to be invaluable. However, once the story arrives in Gotham, the issue plateaus. Having Swamp Thing as a passive protagonist, suffering from his detachment from the Green is an intriguing premise, but the reader never experiences any danger, nor the challenges Abigail Arcane has in dealing with a city cut off from the rest of the world. Even though the titular hero is seemingly dying, the threat never feels immediate and this leaves the story with a stagnant feel as the reader waits for the inevitable convergence to really begin.
Convergence: Swamp Thing #1 lacks any immediate sense of danger, causing some of the scenes to fall flat. However, with the threat of the other worlds upon him, it looks like a nice lead in to the next issue. And having Len Wein writing the character is always a pleasant experience.