If you’re not reading Swamp Thing right now, you’re missing out on what is not only one of DC’s best books, but also one of the best comics being published by anyone. Each issue sees Charles Soule do something new and surprising with the character and his world, and this was no exception.
We begin with a brief glimpse of what’s going on with Swamp Thing’s body. It’s been taken to Germany to be experimented on. Back in Louisiana, Capucine and Jonah find Wolf and Lady Weeds (who is now heavily tatted up) and take them back to the house, where they find the aftermath of a fire, and Swamp Thing nowhere to be seen. They find the human body Swamp Thing’s mind is now stuck in, and work out that it’s been poisoned with belladonna. After reviving it, Alec is quickly able to establish who he is, which is good, I think too much disbelief would not only be a tiresome cliché, but also not make sense in the crazy world this book takes place in. But that doesn’t mean Swampy doesn’t still have problems, as it turns out that if he doesn’t return to his body within the next few days, both it, and his current human form, will die. It’s a bit contrived that Jonah didn’t say this last issue, but hey, he was high on magic fruit.
So the first order of business is to locate The Sureen, and luckily, Capucine knows someone who can help, it’s only Vandal bloody Savage! It makes sense that these 2 immortals would know each other, and Soule writes the character very well. These days, Savage is less of an outright villain, and he’s a lot of fun. Savage agrees to disclose the location of The Sureen, but only if he’s given something in return… a sparring session with Capucine. This fight was awesome, you could feel the sexual tension between them, and Jesus Saiz’s art was just spot on, perfectly choreographed. Capucine basically whups Savage’s ass, but just getting to spar is enough for him, so he tells everyone where they need to go to find The Sureen… India.
But wait, haven’t we already seen that they are in Germany? How does that work? Well, duh, The Sureen we saw last time aren’t the real deal, in fact, the real cult is now just one old man, Master Gaurav. Gaurav needs to scour ancient books to come up with some way to save Alec’s life, and in the meantime, he tells him to try and enjoy being human just a little, and sends him out into Bangalore with his ‘colleague’, an attractive woman named Miki.
Meanwhile, we see what the mysterious Germans are doing to the Swamp Thing body. They are cutting it up, and seem to be trying to use it to grow plants and fruits instantaneously. It would be very interesting if the reasoning behind this evil deed was actually a heroic one, with the Germans wanting to feed the world. But it’s probably darker than that, with their experiments killing people and all that.
The issue ends with a very creepy scene with Miki coming onto Alec and them making out but uh, there’s something really fucked up with her tongue and weird tendrils start coming out of all of the orifices on her face. She says that The Sureen don’t just give their gift to The Green, so what, is she a part of The Red? Or The Rot? Soule has mostly stayed away from those elements that Scott Snyder used heavily, but it would be great to have them return, but equally cool for it to be something new. Either way, it was a really fucking creepy visual and another mindfuck to end an issue on.
I really can’t praise this title enough right now, I have no idea where Soule is going, but I know it’ll be good, with plenty more twists and turns to come.