Swamp Thing #3 Review

Swamp Thing #3
Writer: Len Wein
Pencils: Kelley Jones
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC

The Swamp Thing 6 issue miniseries is back this month with issue number 3.  Here we get payoff with the introduction of Matthew Cable from the previous issue and the addition of DC fan favorite magician Zatanna.

Len Wein continues to build upon the Swamp Thing and DC horror world as well as increasing the readers investment of these characters.  If the last issue’s theme was content, then this issues theme is duty and sacrifice.  We get some back story as to who Matthew Cable is and it appears he is involved somehow for Swamp Things transformation.  What exactly that action was is left vague and some prior knowledge of the character is needed to get the full context.  It’ll be interesting to see whether or not the full background will be delved into or left in mystery by the end of the miniseries.

Seeing a man who is so committed to righting a past wrong is always a compelling story and this issue does a solid job in executing it.  The conversations between Cable and our protagonist is intriguing and feels genuine.  The dialogue exchange just has the feeling of authenticity to it and comes off naturally as opposed to feeling scripted and rehearsed.

Cable’s backstory that he tells Swamp Thing also brings the elements of magic and enchantment to the plot and what better character to explain these elements then Zatanna?  Her inclusion was a brilliant move to describe to the audience what exactly these fantastical elements are.  Unfortunately her introduction and actions in which she takes feels rushed and it suffers from what many miniseries suffer from.  That being setting aside character establishment to the side line in order to drive the plot forward.  Fortunately though the last few pages gives us a twist that I didn’t see coming and made me forgive the rush pacing.

Once again the artwork is a solid addition in this issue.  Kelly Jones’ design of Swamp Thing is just simply awesome and gives distinct features to every character.  However the backgrounds are unfortunately lacking at times particularly while in the swamp.  Madsen’s colors again build great atmosphere with its heavy shadows and limited lighting and sets the mood and tone that Wein is going for here perfectly.

Final Verdict

Swamp Thing #3 is a solid entry and a worthy followup to the previous issue.  The well written and genuine dialogue between Swamp Thing and Cable will capture your attention and the final pages will entice you to return for the next issue to see the payoff.  Along with the solid artwork’s mood setting colors makes this a miniseries to get aboard on.

Score: 4 out of 5

Review by Eric Bradach

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