Review: The Swamp Thing #6
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Ram V
Art: Mike Perkins
Colors: Mike Spicer
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
After the conclusion of last issue, Levi has to “pull himself together” with the help of the Green, but the Suicide Squad is on hand to make things difficult for the newest Swamp Thing.
Once again, the art of Mike Perkins and Mike Spicer stands out immediately upon inspection of this book. Spicer’s colors create a lushness and depth that is intoxicating and entrancing. Perkins draws absolutely beautiful figures and stages the scenes as well as any film director. It’s not often that the words don’t matter, but sometimes they don’t. The double-page splash on pages 2-3 demonstrates this perfectly. You can easily let the art tell the story, let it devour you and go back a second time for the actual words.
This isn’t to say that Ram V’s words aren’t contributing, because V is telling an amazing story. His grasp of the deeper emotional and psychological themes are communicated so effectively in The Swamp Thing #6 that one doesn’t even care that the Suicide Squad are on the scene to try and make trouble. What’s going on in Levi’s mind and soul are what matter. That said, he uses Levi’s mind to keep the story going as he reveals a bit more about his fateful trip to India that opened the series.
Despite the potential for the Suicide Squad to be over the top, V controls them in a matter of fact way that retains the tone of the series. If anything, it’s obvious that the Squad, despite their big talk is in Swamp Thing’s world. A world for which they are not prepared. A world in in which they don’t have the answers, a world in which they can’t really grasp. That’s the metaphor as well, the world of the Swamp Thing is a very different place, it presents a different way of looking at the world. From Alec Holland’s first appearance back in Swamp Thing #1 (1972), it’s been a hallmark of the series and an indicator of the best the character has had to offer.
The Swamp Thing #6 and any issue of the series so far is so good you don’t really realize what you’re missing. Where is the Pale Wanderer? I’m sure he’s coming back, soon. Some writers don’t have enough good ideas. Ram V is quite the opposite, everything he’s got going in this book is gold. It’s just a shame we can’t get more of it at once, maybe double length issues?
If you thought they would falter on the back half of this series, you were wrong. The Swamp Thing #6 is another amazing issue that is not only beautiful, but thoughtful and touching. I’m running out of superlatives, finish the series already so it can be enshrined alongside other Swamp Thing classics. It will be a shame when this series ends, so enjoy it now!