Swamp Thing #7
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Yanick Paquette
Colors by Nathan Fairbairn
Review by Bobby Shortle
There is something rather stunning about an artist’s ability to be patient. Scott Snyder has gone through six complete issues of a book called Swamp Thing and we have barely, if at all, seen the true form of our titular character. Instead, Snyder has taken full advantage of the New 52 reboot and told us the tale of a newly reborn Alec Holland. A man who is struggling against the circumstances of a dangerous world and his very nature, to live a normal life. The fear that Alec has of once again becoming “the monster,” is directly at odds with his fears over the fate of the woman he loves, and the earth he lives on. This juxtaposition of ideas has made a Swamp Thingless Swamp Thing book as provocative and tense as if Snyder had debuted Holland’s alter ego on page one. But, like all great build ups, we eventually have to come to the payoff and payoff is what Swamp Thing #7 is all about.
Like all great characters in all great stories, the fate of Alec Holland’s life comes down to owning up to the choices he has made in the past and facing the one that currently lays before him. Snyder provides no deus ex machina here, and he also has no interest in letting the hero off easy. Our main character, who we have grown to know so well, has to make the hardest decision of his life, and we feel every second of it. I honestly felt like what he did mattered to me and that is the highest praise I can give any piece of fiction.
Yanick Paquette continues to do stunning work in tandem with Snyder’s amazing writing. A lot of artists have interesting and beautiful panel layouts, but I’ve never seen anyone make them a character all their own. Paquette achieves this by giving each panel a different outline and structure for whatever scene or area we are in. For instance, when in the Green the panels are smooth and adorned with a vine like border, and while in the world of the Rot our panel’s edges are made of dead flies and jagged edges. This provides an instant indication of the mood of our story in a primal way that is very new to me. It’s really quite spectacular.
Buy It – Any surprise here? This is the issue that backs up all the character and world building Snyder has done for the past six issues. I was on the edge of my seat during the entire story and I literally yelled “hell yeah!” at the last line of the book. This is must buy storytelling in any medium, and you should be tracking it down as we speak.