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Swamp Thing Winter Special #1

by stephengervais on February 07, 2018

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Jason Fabok
Colors by: Brad Anderson
Published by: DC

Recently some DC creators asked on Twitter which character would you like to see get an ongoing monthly series. Without a hesitation, I immediately answered Swamp Thing. He is the only A-list character I can think of who doesn’t appear on the comic racks on a monthly basis. Alright, alright, there may be one or two more but the point is there is definite void felt by Swampy fans like myself around the world. You can only imagine my excitement when I saw the solicit for this Winter Special. I’ve been counting down the days. It pained me when DC announced that there was a week delay. Could I survive another week? Well I made it and today was rewarded with a gorgeous issue, which includes, as a bonus, the last story written by Swamp Thing co-creator Len Wein.
 
The issue has Swamp Thing wandering a frozen landscape in what appears to be an endless snowstorm with a young boy in tow. Ironically, I read this story while 10 centimetres of snow fell outside my window adding to the ambience of Swamp Thing’s winter journey. With his connection to the green lost in this harsh and unfamiliar frosty climate Swamp Thing is in a much weakened state with gaps in his memory. He relies on the unknown boy to fill in the memory blanks of their exploits including their constant battles with a mysterious “Snow Monster” who is pursuing them.
 
Tom King is one of the best at weaving emotionally filled stories emphasizing the protagonist’s struggles and sufferings. Throughout this one-shot I was filled with dread about what was happening and what I could see would be a possible outcome. The misery felt by Swamp Thing as he moved along with the singular goal of protecting the boy and not caring about his well-being made for a moving and at times, I felt, intense read. King did such a great job with this issue creating a solid addition to the Swamp Thing mythos. The reader experiences horror, sadness, and hope, which are all hallmarks of a well-executed Swamp Thing tale.
 
Jason Fabok matches the intensity of the story with some of the best images I’ve ever seen of Swamp Thing. He fills page after page with stunning visuals and the colours by Brad Anderson compliment his work perfectly. The winter landscape is one of the trickier backdrops for an artist to do. Fabok nails it! His character work is flawless. The emotions the story is setting are enhanced with the facial expression and body language throughout the issue. Overall one of the best portrayals of Swamp Thing ever which is a huge compliment considering the greats that have worked on him in the past.
 
I will not go into great depth about the bonus story. I think it is a real treat to have been able to read the before unpublished and unfinished last Swamp Thing work of Len Wein. Before that, we get a very moving forward written DC editor, Rebecca Taylor. I thought the whole idea and execution of what is essentially a tribute to have been handled in a classy and fitting way.
 
This was a wonderful issue with some great storytelling and stunning artwork to match. I come into it a long time Swamp Thing fan but I think a new fan would get much enjoyment out of the story. In fact, I think it would push them to want to learn more and go grab some older trades. This issue filled an emptiness since New 52 Swamp Thing was last on the racks.

Our Score:

9/10

A Look Inside