Future State - Swamp Thing #1
From the ashes of a terrible war, life blooms anew in Swamp Thing’s image. The remnants of humanity lie in hiding, forever in the shadow of the green god who now rules the planet. When the new avatar of the Green uncovers a stray human, a rebellion is revealed! But this Swamp Thing is no stranger to violent ends, and neither are his creations. If it’s war humanity wants, it will be at their doorstep—and Swamp Thing will never be the same!
Swamp Thing enters a Future State in the DC Universe following the events of the Death Metal event, finding the purveyor of Green in a position unlike anything we’ve seen from the character, but there is also a familiar concept attached as well. How does it hold up? Let’s dig in!
For longtime Swamp Thing fans, it’s quite an exciting time to be following the character. After a major role in the Justice League Dark series (which is also being written by Ram V), Swamp Thing is set to get his own series following the Future State event. So, similar to the Harley Quinn Future State issues written by Stephanie Phillips, this issue could be considered a precursor to what we can expect from Ram V in the coming series. The first installment picks up on a desolate world where humans are scarce and Swamp Thing has offered a sense of repopulation through his own creations. It’s safe to say this is an intriguing concept for the character.
Swamp Thing and his children might be a familiar notion for those who read the digital series Swamp Thing: New Roots as it utilized Sunderland Corporation’s attempts to bring him in to push the character into creating children of his own. In that series, his first creation was named Flora, but here in Future State – Swamp Thing #1 we find many more all loyal to his cause like Heather and some who question the pursuits like Indigo. The world around them seems lost but the Green has taken over and it’s a wonderful platform to explore the curiosities behind Swamp Thing.
But the comic gets a little lost in the complexities of those curiosities and the result is an issue that feels as though it gets ahead of itself, never really establishing a strong enough premise to drive the issue with a sense of direction. We learn about the difficulties of Swamp Thing’s attempt to create what is essentially life, from the lungs to the emotions themselves, but there is a power struggle with those who are alive like Heather and Indigo, and there is also what feels to be the primary conflict in Swamp Thing searching for human survivors. All of these different ideas don’t mesh as well as you would hope and the story ultimately feels a bit scattered from it.
Perkins and Chung on artwork do a solid job at executing this new vision of the power Swamp Thing can have along with a world that feels succumbed to their influence. It’s dark and gloomy, but also very introspective which feels on brand for the character. Ram V has an unmistakable voice for Swamp Thing that shines in the dialogue, though some of the explanations can get winded despite excellent letters from Bidikar that helps to keep us in line.
Swamp Thing feels overpowered by the external forces in this first issue, making him reactive to what is happening while explaining what came before to catch readers up. I was really hoping to love this comic but after multiple readings I can only say that I like it. There isn’t anything spectacular that will leave your jaw on the floor, but it isn’t a bad comic either. There are some engaging concepts that push the character to interesting new places, and it will be great to see Ram V follow up on these ideas as he takes on a greater role writing the character. However, the lack of clear direction and an approach that is arguably too complex for what the Future State format allows hinders the first issue from excelling where it should.
The curiously grand setup in Future State - Swamp Thing #1 (V, Perkins, Chung, Bidikar) becomes slightly unwieldy as we explore Swamp Thing's place in this new time, delivering an issue that is certainly good, just not great. #DCComics
Future State – Swamp Thing #1: A Thing from the Swamp
Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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