With the threat of Seeder vanquished and the Parliament gone, it’s time for Swamp Thing and Charles Soule to revisit and character and storyline that had kind of gone by the wayside in Capucine, as this issue finally reveals her full origin story, and it’s very interesting indeed.
But first, there’s some fall-out from last issue to deal with. The first page once again shows that the sea has been turned green, but it’s disconnected from everything else so I’m still not sure whether or not it’s actually happening in the story or is just a metaphor. Back in the swamp, the previous Avatars that Swamp Thing brought with him aren’t dead as I thought, but have now returned as humans, and totally naked humans at that. It’s pretty great to see The Wolf and Lady Weeds and the other guy (his name is Brother Jonah) as humans, and it looks like they, Lady Weeds especially, are going to be important in the future. She’s definitely not to be trusted. Swamp Thing wants to head right off and find Capucine, but before he can, the former Avatars want to see what the Earth is like now in the 21st century, rather than just be cooped up inside, so Alec takes them to… Mardi Gras. This was a cool moment of levity for a series that can get a bit too serious, and I especially liked how Swamp Thing shaped his body so as to look like a carnival costume.
After this, it’s finally time to track down Capucine, who is hiding in the one clime on Earth where she thinks she’ll be safe from Seeder, some Salt Flats. Alec tries to talk to her, but she thinks the Avatar is still Seeder, so she blows him up with a bazooka. It’s pretty awesome. Given that there is no plant matter for miles and miles around, Swamp Thing is fucked here, but Soule comes up with a great way for him to come back, as Capucine had forgotten to scrub the teeth of the rabbits she’d killed for food, and Swampy is able to manifest himself out of a tiny scrap of vegetation. Soule is always coming up with cool new ways for Swamp Thing to use his vast powers, and this may be one of the best yet.
Alec is now able to prove he is who he says he is, and convince Capucine to tell him her full back-story. Capucine grew up on the island of Mont St Michel, which was constantly being attacked by various different countries because of it’s location. To protect it, the monks who lived in the Abbey on the island struck a deal with a mysterious stranger (he has a white streak in his hair, which made him identifiable to me straight away) to help protect them. They took 3 urchins, Capucine, her brother and one other boy, and gave them a magic potion to drink, which gave them their powers of longevity and strength. Capucine and the others protected the island for many years, until they joined up with the French King’s army and fought for him, right up until the French Revolution. For some mysterious reason, Capucine’s brother and the other warrior split away from her, so even though there’s plenty of truths revealed, more is still to come.
It turns out the real reason Capucine came to Swamp Thing for help was because of the bargain struck between the Monks and the stranger, who is confirmed to be who I thought in Etrigan The Demon. Once Capucine dies, her soul will be the property of Etrigan’s, which is something she doesn’t want, and that she didn’t agree to, as she was just a child. Swamp Thing agrees to protect her from Etrigan, and I can’t wait to see that story come to fruition. This origin has been worth waiting for, as it’s opened up several exciting new story possibilities. Swampy and Capucine return home, where they are met by a bunch of people in robes, calling themselves The Sureen. I have no idea if this is a new concept or not, but I’m interested to see what they are here for.
If you thought Swamp Thing’s life would be simpler after then of last issue, well, you were dead wrong. This was another excellent issue, with fantastic art from Javier Pina and a lot of great, intriguing moments. Soule continues to knock this one out of the park every month.