Keeping it Green: a review of Swamp Thing #19

This is the first time we actually get to see Swamp Thing do something besides fight the Rot. Now don’t get me wrong that was awesome but it is nice to see him out in the real world. Well sort of real world…

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Post contains spoilers!

Last time we saw Swamp Thing he was left with a difficult decision. Towards the end of Rot World in his final battle with Anton Arcane, Alec’s human body was killed. Upon returning to the grove he was healed but his human body was no more. He had now become completely infused with The Green. His job was done and he it should have been his time to take his seat at the Parliament of Trees. However, he was given a choice to keep living on as Swamp Thing. After running away from the Green for so much of his life, Alec Holland finally accepts it and embraces it. He chooses to keep on as Swamp Thing until the next Avatar is ready. While Rot World is over, there is still much to be done.

Now that he does not have to worry about the Rot and Arcane hunting him down, Alec is free to move around as he pleases. He travels the world listening to the Green and going where he is needed. We find him in the Sudan where part of a tropical rain forest has appeared. While it does help the people living in the area Alec has to take it away. However Alec explains why he must do this. The Green is a web of life and to make something like an oasis in a desert, it must pull away from something else. He is starting to get uneasy because he does feel bad. He has been traveling all over the world and in different places these types of things have happened and it is helping people. However the one thing they all have in common someone named “Seeder”. Now while on the outside this helps the people it is hurting the Green and Alec’s job is keep balance. To do that he must whoever “Seeder” is and stop him.

Instead of heading back to the swamp to brood, Swamp Thing goes to a city. He can now travel anywhere there is a plant, no matter how small. He goes to Metropolis in hopes that he might find Superman. Now the two don’t know each other well but they have at least met in the New 52. Superman came to check on Alec after he came back to life. While him and Superman are very different heroes, Superman has to make  hard choices everyday. Swamp Thing wants help with that. He has to help the Green but he wants to do it in a way that he still feels he is helping people. He has been taking away and not giving anything back. He is hoping he can find Superman and get some advice. However, he might have to put that on hold. While walking around the Metropolis Botanical Gardens, Scarecrow shows up.

I know what you are thinking…Scarecrow in Metropolis? Well it turns out that he needs a type of very rare flower that is there. Of course Swamp Thing steps in to stop him but Scarecrow is ready for everything it seems. We saw him get recruited into a group of villains in Justice League of America #2 and it seems since then he has been making different gases. It takes him awhile but he finally uses one that takes Swamp Thing down. However, as he goes down, vines of massive size start growing and coming out of places all over the city. Superman is flying by and can see that Alec Holland has come to visit.

Another fantastic issue of Swamp Thing. Easily still one of my favorite titles of the New 52. And I have to praise the art team for their detail on Swamp Thing. When he is drawn while in the Sudan, he actually looks more like a cactus. He is more brownish grey and has tiny thorns on him. He looks less like a Swamp Thing and more like a Desert Rose Thing. It is really cool. I hope we see some more of that. I am interested to see what Superman has to say to Swamp Thing. I am not a huge Superman fan but we all know that all kinds of heroes are faced with tough choices. I hope he can help Swamp Thing out.

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