Swamp Thing: New Roots #4
At Sunderland’s request, the U.S. military is testing ways to annihilate the monstrous threat known as the Swamp Thing. From swamp to city they’ll hunt him, and while their target tries to keep the innocent from becoming collateral damage, the same can’t be said of his pursuers...
Swamp Thing: New Roots #4 delves into Sunderland’s attempts to bring Swampy down in a big way, bringing the war to his doorstep with fire and force in an explosive issue…or does it?
That’s right, Swamp Thing: New Roots #4 pulls the classic switcheroo by telling a truly exciting story that finds Swamp Thing struggling to stay alive amidst an onslaught of attacks. That is until its revealed that the entire story is all just a part of a simulation of course. I get it, not every issue can be packed with consequence and depth, but there are very few times that reducing a story to a potential scenario that isn’t even unfolding feels like a welcome addition. It ultimately does more harm than good, not adding much of anything to the overarching story and taking away from its potential for actual growth with a story that didn’t happen.
While Swamp Thing: New Roots #4 is certainly a filler, its not a total waste for fans who want to keep up with every issue. The artwork is once again very solid. Santucci and Kalisz have the classic aesthetic nailed down and the script allows them to really have fun with the different attacks on Swampy. Sharpe is among the best in the business for letters and continues to show why in this series with smart decisions and appealing letters all throughout. It’s an exciting book to read for sure, thanks to such strong visuals, but the story just doesn’t do it any favors by rendering it essentially meaningless.
We end the issue with a reveal that is undoubtedly interesting, albeit unrelated to the main story. It appears Sunderland’s simulation to take out Swamp Thing has also been used to determine potential outcomes of confronting most of the DC Comics heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and so many more. It’s a fun moment that is almost entirely fan service, but after the switcheroo that was just revealed, it’s still a welcome ending to the issue.
If you aren’t committed to reading every issue in the DC Digital Firsts lineup, this is an issue you can skip without the fear of missing out on anything important. They can’t all be winners. But if you are determined to read it, there is some fun to be found in the simulation and Sunderland’s increasingly evil presence.
Swamp Thing: New Roots #4 is certainly fun, but it's also essentially rendered meaningless by its own narrative. If you aren't committed to reading every issue in the DC Digital Firsts lineup, this is an issue you can skip.
Swamp Thing: New Roots #4: Rules of Engagement
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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