Picking up from the previous issue, Convergence: Swamp Thing #2 opens with Swamp Thing and Abigail Arcane surrounded by the bloodsucking undead. Swamp Thing preps his flora-based arsenal and prepares for combat.
The Muck-Monster, as he is affectionately called here, is surprisingly well prepared to deal with the vampire horde, turning his fingers into oak stakes and emanating that pungent smell of garlic from his pores to ward off his foes. However, Swamp Thing finds he is not alone in this fight, being joined by the other world’s Batman. A vampire himself, this Batman uses silver batarangs to help fight alongside Swamp Thing before the two find themselves the victor in their battle.
Both heroes understand the rules of Telos’ game: one hero must defeat the other to determine which city survives. But with one Gotham infested with vampires, the decision is an easy one to make, and Batman chooses to sacrifice his city if Swamp Thing promises to aid him in one goal: vanquishing Gotham of as many vampires as possible. Swamp Thing is happy to aid his new-found friend in this matter. And the pair, joined by Abigail Arcane, seek out the Vampire Queen who rules in Gotham. The trio cut a bloody trail through numerous foes, saving as many people as they can before the night is over.
Len Wein’s script here is top-notch. There’s a pulpy tone to the captions, and the pairing of Swamp Thing with a vampiric Batman is a great choice. In addition, Convergence: Swamp Thing #2 solves the pacing issues that hurt the previous chapter. This issue is packed to the brim with a nice mixture of action and horror visuals. The focus on such a small group of characters also adds tension to the book as the heroes race against the clock in an attempt to save Gotham and avoid Telos’ game.
The artwork by Kelley Jones is filled with shadows and the linework conveys a gross inhuman nature to the proceedings. The black inks are supplemented by Michelle Madsen’s beautiful colors. The issue feels like a pulp horror novel, and her colors greatly contribute to the tone.
The primary negative to Convergence: Swamp Thing #2 is the focus on Batman. Not only is the Caped Crusader at the core of the issue’s emotional punch, he’s also the main driver of the plot, informing Swamp Thing of his goal to rid Gotham of as many vampires as he can before he surrenders. Yes, as part of the Convergence crossover, it is wise for the issue to give both worlds involved ample time. But Convergence: Swamp Thing #2 would be better served if Swamp Thing were driving more of the plot rather than being a supporting character.
Len Wein and Kelley Jones come together to tell an enjoyable tale in Convergence: Swamp Thing #2. It’s nice to have a two issue tie-in that feels like it told a complete tale, even a simple one. That being said, this often feels like a Batman story rather than a chapter in Swamp Thing’s narrative. And with so many Bat-related titles on the market, it’s unfortunate that the Muck-Monster often feels overshadowed by the Dark Knight in his own book. Still, Convergence: Swamp Thing #2 is an enjoyable tie-in to the Convergence event, an a definite must for horror fans.