Swamp Thing #16

by JohnP on January 11, 2013

Swamp Thing has arrived in Gotham! Ok, so technically he arrived there last issue, but this is a full issue of Swamp Thing in Gotham! ...and it has been advertised as "Swamp Thing in Gotham." ...and my anticipation for it has been building and building. I even went back and read the last issue that Swamp Thing spent time in a Gotham overrun by an elemental force. It was #53 of Alan Moore's run and it's one of my favorite issues. In it, Swampy is also looking to free Abby and he's not in a good mood. He engulfs the city with so much plant life it looks like the set of Jumanji. Batman fights him with a flamethrower and loses. Swampy gets extra pissed and hulls out to skyscraper size and stalks the streets as a nightmarish, skeleton-esque version of himself. It's all pretty freakin cool. But all of that combined to make my expectations for this issue insanely high. The thing that should surprise me is it doesn't completely fail to deliver in light of that.

Reading the issue a second time reveals it actually is pretty awesome, but there are some parts that I legitimately think missed the mark. The splash page at the beginning? Awesome. The message Bruce left for Alex that says literally nothing of value whatsoevr? Puzzlingly unnecessary. The Bat-Bot? Awesome. Giant-sized Rotworld version of Barberella? Huh? What? Why?? Swamp Thing in full battle mode regalia? Awesome, but why relegate it to such a relatively small panel? I'm sure we will see more of him as the battle set up in this issue takes place later. The plot with Abby continues to be very interesting as well. Here we find her finally giving in and accepting her role as avatar of the Rot, but it seems like it may be too late for that.

I think this issue may go down as being better as part of a whole than as a single chapter of the story. It may well be much better than I seem to be giving it credit for, but it's hard to judge this issue given my unreasonable expectations going in. What is clear is that things have been set up for a grand climax to Rotworld coming in just four weeks. I'm confident Scott and Yanick are gonna knock that one out of the park, but this issue feels like they're just stepping up tot the plate and settling into their batting stance.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Having just reread this issue again, I gotta say it gets better every time. I'd bump the rating up to at least an 8/10. Also, googled "Giganta" (aka "Giant size Rotworld version of Barbarella") and she is actually a villian that's been around for some time and isn't really THAT obscure. I should definitely have researched this before writing the review.