Review: The Swamp Thing #13
[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
The pieces are moved around the chessboard as Levi learns of his status with the Parliament of Trees and discusses things with Jacob, Jack Hawksmoor and Jennifer.
In the past, we’ve seen the Rot as the antagonist of the Green, but in The Swamp Thing #13, Ram V, Mike Perkins, Mike Spicer and Aditya Bidikar demonstrate why the Parliament of Gears is the logical foe of the Green. Astutely, we are reminded that when manmade structures- machines and buildings- are abandoned, they are reclaimed by the Green. In the story, however, behind the scenes, the Parliament of Gears has been taking shape. In Levi’s absence the Parliament of Trees has made other plans to combat the rise of this new Parliament.
Last issue, we were introduced to Trinity, and we learn some interesting things about her in The Swamp Thing #13. Her role is not quite known, yet and it makes for an interesting mystery. We see her as a misunderstood monster and it’s an appropriate take consideration she seems to be the embodiment of nuclear power/radiation- something that can be useful, but can also cause a lot of damage if used irresponsibly. Another, perhaps, natural antagonist for the Green, but not necessarily. Her intent is definitely not malicious in this issue.
There’s a surprise guest appearance at the end of the issue that is exciting. It also provides Levi with the information he needs to figure out the “other plans” the Parliament of Trees has developed for defense against the Gears. It’s hard to keep coming up with positives for the art of Perkins and Spicer. There’s no shortage of magnificent work by these two in this issue as they effectively address the micro and macro elements of the story beautifully and sensitively.
As a stand alone issue, The Swamp Thing #13 sets up the pieces for the last three issues of the series. It’s great to see the elements in play and where they stand, but it doesn’t have the impact that most of the issues of the series have. It’s a necessary bit of storytelling, but it was done more effectively when we saw Tefe Holland reintroduced. Jack Hawksmoor could benefit from some attention as readers unfamiliar with the character will not fully understand who he is and why he is here (King of Cities- Thanks, Google!) . Alas, no Pale Wanderer….
We certainly can’t get to The Swamp Thing #14 without The Swamp Thing #13, but that’s exactly what this issue is- a transitional issue. Within the context of the greater story it works fine, but it’s not going to bring in any new readers. That said, there’s still a lot of ideas that keep this series at the top of DC’s titles right now.