SWAMP THING VOL. 6: THE SUREEN (DC, First Printing, 2015; Softcover)
Collects Swamp Thing #28-34 and 12 pages from Aquaman #31 (cover dates April- October, 2014)
Writers: Charles Soule with Jeff Parker
Artists: Jesus Saiz and Javier Pina with Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons
Colorists: Matthew Wilson with Rain Beredo
Wow, this flies in the face of modern comic book logic. Rather than have one arc stretched beyond it's logical conclusion to pad out a trade paperback, this book has several arcs under one roof. Lots of reading here, with the amount of story crammed into issue nearing pre-decompression levels. I like it.
Swamp Thing has killed The Parliament Of Trees, becoming the sole member of The Green. He is all and all is he...except for the two that he spared and made human, The Wolf and The Lady Weeds. These two are the last people he should have around him, but Swamp Thing, who is all plants, cannot see this forest for the trees.
The Sureen, a cult that serve The Green, arrive at the Swamp Thing's makeshift headquarters in a rotting plantation house. They offer him gifts, such as the ability to jump into a human being and be human again for a little while. They ask for a gift first, though: the hallucinogenic fruit produced by his body (as seen in the Alan Moore run). Like The Wolf and The Lady Weeds, not everything here is quite what it seems. Lots of political commentary about GMOs and Monsanto follow, and I always enjoy contemporary issues given wafer thin metaphors. Comics should be timely and timeless.
Capucine's origin is revealed and she gets plenty of “screen time” with a good dose of character development to boot. There is a lot of story crammed between these two covers, a real bang for your buck feeling going on here. Many times I read a modern book and it feels like a lot of empty calories, totally unsatisfying. This book was like a five course meal with an extra slice of cake after dessert.
The Aquaman issue is presented here in abridged form, with only the pages pertaining to Swamp Thing presented here. Since it is not advertised as collecting the entire issue I find this approach to be acceptable, especially when you consider that DC has already given you seven issues of Swamp Thing in this book at a MSRP of $16.99.
While the continuity for The New 52 is different than the Swamp Thing that I knew before, it is not so radically different from Alan Moore's reinterpretation that it feels alien or wrong to me. I will stick around with this title as long as it's good. Or has it been cancelled already? It's hard to keep all of these cancellations and reboots straight anymore.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- I like how DC lists the creators for each issue at the “chapter break” page after the cover for the respective issue. This is something that tends to bother me about modern comics and their collected edition counterparts, since creator credits tend to be on a text recap page in the beginning of each issue which is omitted from the trades. While all collected editions list the creators in the table of contents it is not an issue to me unless there are multiple creative teams. Marvel always lists the issue number along with the cover in these books (since it has been industry standard for modern material since the early 2000s), something DC does not do. If they put the issue number along with the credits they would beat Marvel in this regard, at least pertaining to books with multiple creative times like this one has.
Paper stock: Glossy coated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Thick waxlike lamination.