SWAMP THING VOL. 4: SEEDER (DC, 2014; Softcover)
Collects Swamp Thing Nos. 19-23, 23.1 (cover dates June- November, 2013)
Writer: Charles Soule
Artists: Kano, Jesus Saiz, Alvardo Lopez, and David Lapham
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
So the Swamp Thing is now Alec Holland, or Alec Holland is the Swamp Thing, and now there is no Alec Holland or only the Swamp Thing or something like that. Heck if I can make heads or tails of DC's “continuity” these days. Let's just say that The Green communicating Swamp Thing from Alan Moore's run is sort of almost here and go forward.
Swamp Thing encounters Superman for the first time while locking horns with the Scarecrow. You may be asking yourself, Hey wait a minute, hasn't Swamp Thing met Superman a hundred times before or something?, and the answer would be yes. You see, this is the “New 52” the reboot that does and does not contradict DC's already nonsensical, incoherent continuity. DC fans always say Who gives one whit about continuity so long as you get a good story? These same people collect variants and think that 3D covers are cool.
Swamp Thing's main foe this time out is Seeder, a guy who can somehow tap into The Green and create unnatural plant life. While he does things with what seem like the best of intentions, things go wrong each and every time that he uses his power because he is upsetting the balance. We also get treated to a new rebooted yet stale and tired feeling John Constantine. I will admit that I have never been a fan of him, not even when Alan Moore introduced him. He was a plot device and nothing more. Nowadays he is a fan favorite. Go figure.
I still enjoyed this, in spite of all of these gripes. The artwork makes the continuity clusterfuck much easier to handle, and the writing is solid in spite of said rebooted/ret-conned continuity. I still have a soft spot for Swamp Thing and will continue reading so long as the quality is there...just don't ask me which of the 52,000,000 Earths this is.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Nothing unusual to report here, folks.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: Seeder designs by Kano. (1 page)
Capucine designs by Jesus Saiz. (2 pages)
Issue #20 pencils by Kano. (2 pages)
Issue #21 pencils by Jesus Saiz. (1 page)
Cover sketches by Guillem March. (2 pages)
Paper rating: 4.5 out of 5. Decent weight glossy coated stock.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. Nice thick waxlike lamination.