The newest Swamp Thing enters into the Green where he meets not one but two aspects of Poison Ivy while a lots Jennifer also meets up with a familiar DC Comics character with his own links to the Green.
I’ve been enamoured by the new take on a firm favourite with Ram V and Mike Perkins introduction of a new avatar of the Green. You might even say its a “vegetable love” I have for this book. But The Swamp Thing #3 has to be any favourite issue yet as Levi Kamei enters the Green. A metaphysical space in which artist Perkins flourishes, while colour artist Mike Spicer adds the appropriate glamour with his magical colouring. It’s a magnificent, magical mystery tour through the highly detailed fauna and foliage of this other dimension with both the beautifully exotic and macabrely ugly existing in unison. As the cover reveals, Posion Ivy makes an appearance, or rather two aspects of her identity do. The good and the bad. I suppose that makes Levi the ugly, right? Although, another familiar DC Comics character linked to the Green and to the ongoing saga of the Swamp Things, may fill that particular role. Even if he is acting out of character for now when he comes across an unsuspecting Jennifer, who has also been brought through into the Green.
I don’t think it’s any slight to writer Ram V – himself no slouch as an artist – to say that the art is the star of this particular issue. Perkins simply blooms on this title. While his work on the espionage-like Lois Lane maxi-series was suitably dark and cast in shadow, this book shines. Perkins leans more into the Berni Wrightson rendition of Swampy with this instalment, but one of the stand out moments in a book full of them is the sighting of a Wodewose, that takes up a full page and reminded me of the fabulous dark comedy, Trollhunter (2010) as this Medieval monstrosity traverses the surreal landscape of the Green, looked upon my the minuscule Swamp Thing
With the appearance of not one but two Poison Ivy characters – although one is keen to been known simply as “Ivy” – we are given a very animated Ivy indeed, with Perkins more realistic style really breathing life into both. The theme of duality is never too far from the story of the Swamp Thing. Whether that be Alec Holland or Levi Kamei.
Adding further to the mis-en-scene of this series is the impressive work of Aditya Bidikar too, who’;s lettering gives each character a distinct sound, suggested by his design work; the lettering and font choices as well as various speech balloons he attributes to different characters. It defines you not to create your own voce for each one based on his lettering work alone.
It’s been a great book to read each and every month and this issue is no different. Always one of the first new books I grab for whenever I pick it up at my local store.
The Samp Thing #3 is available now from DC Comics.