Future State - Swamp Thing #2
Humanity strikes back! The shadow of Swamp Thing Supreme stretches across the globe as it has for centuries. The world is at peace, until a rebellious faction of humanity ignites their terrible plan, fueled by Woodrue Wilson’s appetite for power. But Swamp Thing, too, harbors a secret—one he must reveal in order to restore peace to the planet once again. But it will cost him everything he has.
“Obsidian Sun” part two delves into the sometimes tragic motivations of Swampy as the DC Future State continues. We see a battle rage on, the creations of Swamp Thing face consequences not of their own actions and life somehow find a way to continue on even against seemingly perpetual evil.
If there is one thing writer Ram V knows how to do, it’s plot a story that feels epic in scope but also entertaining enough for a casual reader. Though in Future State – Swamp Thing #2 we find the epic direction taking over as so many ideas coalesce into a beautiful yet hurried story that examines Swamp Thing’s own potential amongst humanity. There is a sense of longing that permeates every page, despite the evils of Woodrue and the struggles of even his own creations. Swamp Thing strives for an introspective understanding of his own soul, the lack thereof in his own creations and what can be done to save who is left. In this pursuit we see the different story elements align for a conclusion that is sure to bring a tear to the eye.
But what we do to get to this point, after just two issues, feels like it could’ve been more enjoyable as a four or five issue arc, allowing the characters time to breathe and for motivations to become more clear. As we explore the fundamentals of how Swamp Thing created his own people set against a backdrop of what feels like a classic superhero story involving blocking out the sun, it can feel a little overly complicated for what the two issue format allows. It has the pacing of a top tier comic, but simply doesn’t mesh as well as you would hope.
Though the narrative weight becomes a bit unwieldy, the topics explored are undoubtedly worthwhile and give fans interesting insight into what pushes Swamp Thing to continue on. Perkins and Chung deliver some great artwork, moody and set on a grand scale as the narrative demands, but the visuals also fall victim to the massive undertaking sometimes feeling rushed or misplaced as so much comes together so quickly. There is an intelligent and deliberate feel to the interplay between the script’s complexities and the artistic direction, but where some DC Future State titles have found great success in the limited format, this series feels hindered by it.
Considering the amount of dialogue and range of differences in the lettering, there is no denying that Aditya Bidikar is an absolute highlight in the issue. The story requires a clear direction for readers and Bidikar’s letters help carry you through the narrative beats with ease, even through some of the more cluttered panel layouts. Swamp Thing excels under an introspective touch with a flair of superhero theatrics and both of these issues have this influence, but just can’t quite put the pieces together in a way that is strikingly memorable. Or at least not in the way you might want. Both issues are certainly solid, but the potential in such an epic story isn’t substantiated in the execution as much as I would personally like.
Fans of Swamp Thing will have a lot to discuss after this second issue, which is in my own opinion an improvement over the first just for its slightly more direct approach. However, in a lineup of surprisingly high quality stories across the board at DC during the Future State event, Swamp Thing just hasn’t risen to the top like we all know he is capable of. There is a lot going on, and you want to like every bit of it, but by the time we reach the ending which you also want to love, there are more questions than answers and the impact just doesn’t land as hard as it should.
Future State - Swamp Thing #2 works great with a more direct approach than the first issue, delivering an epic story with visuals to match that unfortunately just get too unwieldy for such a limited format.
Future State – Swamp Thing #2: Some Earth, Some Water, And a Little Bit of Sun
Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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