I’m really digging Charles Soule’s run on Swamp Thing. I was worried when it was announced that Snyder was leaving, but so far, Soule has stepped up to the plate and delivered the goods. This issue picks up where the last one left off, as a mysterious woman shows up asking for Swamp Thing’s help. This woman, Capucine claims to be 800 years old and is asking for something called ‘Sanctuarium Folium Viride’. Then it gets even weird, as two dudes turn up who have been hunting her. There’s an awesome fight where Capucine totally owns those two dudes, and then Swampy asks the Green what the heck is going on.
I think it’s a really clever idea by Soule to go back and show another past Swamp Thing. Snyder showed some of them, and now we see that there are Avatars of the Green for every era. It’s a bit like what Fraction and Brubaker did for Iron Fist, and it really works. The answer lies in medieval France, as we find out that one previous Swamp Thing would give aid to humans who worshipped nature, people who were perceived as Pagan witches. We see this medieval Swamp Thing rescue some witches from being burned at the stake. Then, somehow, the flashback is interrupted and the medieval dude dies. This is the work of ‘The Seeder’ who was mentioned in #19. It’s only been 3 issues, but Soule has already added 2 or 3 very interesting new concepts to this book, and I’m excited to see what’s next.
The art for this issue comes from Jesus Saiz, who I’ve been a fan of since The OMAC Project waaay back in the day. His style is a really good fit for Swamp Thing really, and whilst he doesn’t get as insane with the layouts as Paquette could, he imbues the monstrous face of the Swamp Thing with real humanity. Throw in an awesome cover by Jock, and this is just a damn good package. My only real problem is that it felt strange to read an issue of Swamp Thing without having an issue of it’s sister title Animal Man to read on the same day, but hey, that’s Animal Man’s fault!