Swamp Thing: New Roots #1 review

‘The beet goes on’ – terrible pun, brilliant story. DC’s daily Digital First programme rolls out another winner with Swamp Thing: New Roots #1, whose story debuted in Swamp Thing 100-page Giant #1 last year. One of the big benefits of stories being scooped out of anthologies and given a showcase is that covers originally cluttered up with insert pics can be seen in all their glory – compare the above presentation of Doug Mahnke and Hi-Fi’s lovely image with the earlier use.

No contest.

Which brings us to the story itself, which opens with workers for the shady Sunderland Corporation utterly outmatched when Swamp Thing comes a-calling.

I love the sound effect passing through a guy’s legs; later, ‘ka-thud’ is suitably squished

Scientist turned muck monster Alec Holland is rightly appalled at the company’s latest profits before plants – and people – abuse of the environment. He finds a sympathetic ear in local voodoo priestess Fatima, dispenser of folk wisdom.

But she has her own agenda…

Writer Mark Russell produces a pithy, witty script that introduces Swamp Thing’s world, his ethos and his foes. I love seeing him as a valued member of a community, right down to being less Swamp Thing than Swing Thing. And the moments of horror are simply delicious, especially when slathered in irony.

Marco Santucci’s visual storytelling is spot on – efficient, stylish, complementing and enhancing Russell’s story. Swampy’s sinewy power is evident in his every appearance, while the regular people are equally convincing and the Louisiana swamp menacingly eerie. John Kalisz colours up a storm, adding to the mood, while Comicraft’s Jimmy B’s fontwork drips with drama.

If, like me, you missed this story when it first appeared last October, here’s a second chance to enjoy the best Swamp Thing tale in years.

2 thoughts on “Swamp Thing: New Roots #1 review

  1. I’m so glad Mark Russell is still doing work for DC… and in these out of the way titles like the Giants, especially. While Second Coming and Billionaire Island are brilliant, I love seeing the way he shines up DC’s toys. I honestly believe a decade or so down the line, we’ll see Mark Russell in the DCU collections, like the ones DC’s put out for Alan Moore. And with things like this, Batman Giant, the odd crossover tie-in issue here and there — not to mention longer works like Wonder Twins — that book will have some excellent variety. But that’s the future, and I’m happy to enjoy these stories in the here and now.


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