Swamp Thing: New Roots #5
Swamp Thing: New Roots #5 takes the series back to it’s enjoyable and insightful roots after what turned out to be a filler issue in #4, finding Swampy at a turning point as Sunderland pushes his patience to the edge with the creation of self harvesting slave laborers made from his own DNA.
I was a bit jaded after New Roots #4 turned out to just be one long simulation with no real influence on the story at hand. However, it seems the creative team was more than ready to make up for lost time in issue #5. We immediately catch up with Swampy confronting the new cult that claims to be dedicated to him and this sends him on an internal spiral where he questions everything from his place on Earth to that of humanity’s. This type of inner dialogue really works for Swamp Thing’s broodiness and Russell seems to excel at navigating these sometimes complex thought processes. Relating our society to what we see represented in the cult of Swamp Thing and wondering what exactly it means to be human in the first place sets the tone for an introspective issue despite the dire situation unraveling with Sunderland Corp’s experiments.
Due to the nature of their publication, most of these DC Digital First stories are limited in their scope, unable to impact the larger DC Universe in any ways that are truly meaningful. However, Russell, Santucci and company have found a way to use this to explore a more character driven dynamic that looks inwards for Swamp Thing, finding all of the heart, relevance and depth needed to tell an enjoyably comprehensive story. Swamp Thing: New Roots #5 is the story of Swampy attempting to save what he feels to be his children, and in that emotional crisis we find a story that is worthwhile. It’s not just taking down cliche evil corporations, it’s exploring Swamp Thing’s own perceived value and purpose.
Santucci really pulls this story out of the rut that was issue #4 with some spectacular visuals. From Swampy towering over civilians to confronting Sunderland over their slave laborers, it’s a great example of awesome artwork working in tandem with quality writing to pull readers into the story. And the best part? It all actually happened! It wasn’t just a part of some dynamic simulation meant to trick you into something more entertaining than what is really happening. With consistently strong colors and near-perfect letters, it feels like this series has found its footing once again.
Despite my distaste for last issue, I really do think Russell, Santucci and everyone on this creative team is doing great work with Swamp Thing: New Roots. I’ve said it before, but it really isn’t set to reinvent the wheel with a massive far-reaching story. It’s just a heartfelt look at what motivates Swamp Thing and pushes him to be the hero we know and love. The story with Sunderland is just dark enough to fit within the narrative, and helps to round out the story as something anyone can enjoy. With Swamp Thing doing everything he can to step up for humanity and save what he now sees as his children, I’m honestly excited for what the next issue has in store for us.
Swamp Thing: New Roots #5 is the story of Swampy attempting to save what he feels to be his own children, and in that emotional crisis we find all of the heart, relevance and depth needed to tell an enjoyably comprehensive story.
Swamp Thing: New Roots #5: Hope for the Future
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 8.5/108.5/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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