Swamp Thing Vol 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing by author Alan Moore and Illustrations by Stephen R Bissette
Let me start off by saying that I am not a die hard Alan Moore fangirl. Watchmen is great but I haven’t gobbled up his works with the enthusiasm of many of his fans. I am also not a fan of Swamp Thing. This is the only Swamp Thing book I’ve ever read and therefore do not have a background on these characters or an emotional attachment to them.
Now, if either of those two factors were different I may be able to relate to the unbridled praise for this book. However, as it stands today, I can say… eh it was alright.
I think this may be one of those cases where people say this is a good book when they really mean it is good, for a Swamp Thing book. Without any previous attachment to or knowledge of these characters all of their deep emotional and philosophical developments fell very flat.
This is a common concern for comic books. It is all too common to need to have read decades worth of backstory to full appreciate a new volume. If I were more motivated I would maybe wikipedia the history but I also believe that books should stand on their own. It’s packaged and sold as a volume, I should be able to read just this volume.
Honestly, I was pretty bored throughout this whole volume. I couldn’t even connect with any of the conflicts because I had no idea who anybody was or why I should care about their reveals. Alan Moore does his typical Alan Moore thing and pontificates in wordy prose while our protagonists sit and stare off into the distance. It didn’t wow me.
I did very much like the issue titled The Anatomy Lesson in which I learned what the heck Swamp Thing actually is. I guess I never actually thought about it before, so that was a fun lesson and I even appreciated the whole “what it means to be human” implications of his character.
I also absolutely adored the artwork. It’s phenomenal. So detailed, beautiful, intricate, and even delicate. I did not expect such marvelous color and line work. It’s brilliant and easily the best part of the book. It is so lovely when the artist and author can work together to capture a fluid representation of the plot and characters.
I would say this is probably a fantastic read for those who are looking for more depth to a Swamp Thing they already like but for us novices it doesn’t seem the best place to start.
3/5 plants 🌱🌱🌱
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