REVIEW: ‘The Swamp Thing,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Swamp Thing #3 - But Why Tho?The Swamp Thing #3 is published by DC Comics. Written by Ram V with art by Mike Perkins. The colours are by Mike Spicer and the letterer is Aditya Bidikar. 

Moving from India to New York, Levi Kamei brought a bloody and mysterious past with him. He was also having dreams of a green monster made of leaves. As these dreams intensified he started to get transported from New York City with his friend Jennifer to the Arizona desert, where an ancient monster was feasting on humans. Slowly gaining power, Levi managed to destroy the monster as Swamp Thing, the avatar of the Green.

The Swamp Thing #3 takes the series to a new level as it moves away from the introductory issues. Again it has a slow, methodical pace as more of the abstract elements of the character and world is explored. The plot may be difficult to keep up with but the reader is always wanting to continue to understand what is happening. But this has always been an aspect of the character. V reveals much of the Green and the lore within it, demonstrating their world-building ability. The status quo within the realm has been changed, which is perhaps why the need for a new avatar has emerged. Each corner that the characters move around results in a surprise reveal and the ending is especially unexpected.

Levi’s understanding of Swamp Thing is minimal when he is in his normal form, but within the Green, his connection strengthens. This version of the avatar is still new and isn’t at full strength yet. They break apart when moving and are easily dissipated. V’s poetic dialogue continues to shine as Swamp Thing discovers his real purpose.

The other characters within this comic are all intriguing and exude wonder. These two Ivy’s are a fascinating concept. One is full of rage and vengeance towards those that hurt the Green. The other is kinder and more innocent, like a child. There are other members of Swamp Thing’s supporting cast that emerge as the comic bulks out in its cast.

The human characters could still do with more exploration. Levi’s past is slowly being revealed, and the devastation that he left behind in India haunts him. But his and Jennifer’s moments together are limited to a few pages, so only a few sentences of backstory are within each issue. It is worth not getting impatient however as V appears to be waiting for a reason.

Perkins continues to experiment with fantastic imagery and ingenious panel sequences within The Swamp Thing #3. There are some techniques that are used that make the comic feel new and different from any other book currently available. The scene within the MRI room is a perfect example of this. The early panels show familiar images of a brain scan, revealing a normal-looking brain. But as the transformation happens these images twist into showing pieces of fauna, shifting like a Rorschach test. It’s a fascinating and unnerving scene that shows the inventive nature of the creative team on this book.

The figures within the Green all radiate power and mystery. Poison Ivy is terrifically rendered by Perkins, completely in her element within this realm. She is imposing and scary and beautiful. And yet the other Ivy, whilst similar, appears gentler and younger. Swamp Thing himself is smaller than he was in the past. He often seems timid and misformed, not fully in bloom yet. There are other beasts and entities that exist that are absolutely horrifying to behold. The sense of scale within the Green is awe-inspiring.

The colours are stunning. The shades and style that Spicer uses result in the Green feeling like a dream. There are very vibrant, rich colours within the trees and all the planets that make up the landscape. But the backgrounds are often smokey or cloudy, sometimes hiding things with intense pieces of light. Something that is very clear within this issue is that the Green does not feel welcoming or beautiful in a floral sense. It is unsettling and creepy and the reader feels uneasy seeing the characters within it.

The lettering is really well done. There are many unique word balloons for the different entities and characters that speak, but the backgrounds of those balloons never make the text difficult to read. 

The Swamp Thing #3 is another fantastic edition of the series. There are still horror elements inside the comic but it has changed from that primal fear that the monster in the previous issues instilled. Now the eldritch influences on the characters within this issue create a feeling that things aren’t right. The art team constantly makes the reader uncomfortable, but each piece of imagery is gorgeous to look at. Whilst the plot may confuse some during the first reading, it doesn’t take away from this comic’s intoxicating nature that stops you from putting it down.

The Swamp Thing #3 is available where comics are sold.

The Swamp Thing #3
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TL;DR

The Swamp Thing #3 is another fantastic edition of the series. There are still horror elements inside the comic but it has changed from that primal fear that the monster in the previous issues instilled. Now the eldritch influences on the characters within this issue create a feeling that things aren’t right. The art team constantly makes the reader uncomfortable, but each piece of imagery is gorgeous to look at. Whilst the plot may confuse some during the first reading, it doesn’t take away from this comic’s intoxicating nature that stops you from putting it down.