The Swamp Thing #2 Review

by James Caudill on April 06, 2021

The Swamp Thing #2 Cover A

“I know...this’s joys, regrets, fears and hopes...stitched with leaves...and root and branch.”--Swamp Thing


Ram V: Writer

Mike Perkins: Artist

Mike Spicer: Colorist 

Aditya Bidikar: Letterer

Mike Spicer: Cover Artist

Francesco Mattina: Cover B Variant Artist

Alex R. Carr: Editor

Diego Lopez: Associate Editor


You know how sometimes Swamp Thing books just aren’t really that good? We all know that Alan Moore pretty much made Swampy what he is even though Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson created him. Without the mythos that Alan Moore created with Swamp Thing, he would have just drifted off into obscurity. Many Swamp Thing tales over the years have not lived up to what Moore did in his run. I think Ram V and Mike Perkins are going to do that. 


The Swamp Thing by Ram V, Mike Perkins, and Mike Spicer is a heckuva ride. If you haven’t read The Swamp Thing #1 that came out a few weeks ago, buy it now and read it. Then come back and read this review. You’ll thank me later. 


Swamp Thing is all new for 2021. The new Avatar of the Green is Levi Karnei and this is a totally new version. Swamp Thing comes out in the evenings. Levi blacks out and is transported to Aztec Town, Arizona where he is learning lessons from the Pale Wanderer, an urban (desert?) legend. Unlike Moore’s run where a certain John Constantine teaches Swamp Thing how to improve himself, the “bad guy” teaches Swamp Thing who he wants and needs to be. 


Ram V is taking Swamp Thing to a whole new level in this 10 issue run. A new Avatar of the Green just allows for a completely different story without being beholden to the past. While I’m sure there will be easter eggs along the way that harken back to previous incarnations, this is all new. Swamp Thing is part Swamp Thing that we know and part something new. For instance, Swamp Thing appears at night. Levi blacks out and is transported somewhere else and becomes something else entirely. Then, Levi wakes up at home the next morning. Swamp Thing is similar to a certain big green monster at the House of Ideas that is immortal. There is also the horror element to this story as well and that is where Swamp Thing really succeeds as a character. So there is certainly a throwback to Moore, which is also a throwback to comics that were popular before the 1960s in the comic publishing realm of horror comics. There is just so much here in this book. The writing is almost perfect. 


What truly makes this book a must buy, is the art by Mike Perkins with colors by Mike Spicer. The art work reminds me of an Image book that gets reviewed on this site frequently That Texas Blood. The use of dark oranges and desert hues is just phenomenal. There is always this kind of dark overtone of the book which puts you on the edge of your a good horror flick would do. 


Perkins on art is just so good. His very detailed work on the monsters of Swamp Thing and the Pale Wanderer are some of the best monster work I’ve seen in a while. Also, I really believe that Levi and his pseudo girlfriend Jennifer Reece are just perfectly done. Also, the Sheriff out in Aztec town really has the look of an old time Sheriff that has seen it all. Really reminds me of Sam Elliott, which I think we can all agree has a certain look to him. That kind of rough and tumble look of an earlier time. And we certainly can’t leave out that epic stache. I am really going to need to buy an original art page from this run if I can. I need to add this to my collection. 


However, Perkins art would be lackluster without the colors by Spicer. Those dark tones with the desert hues and then BAM! You get the amazing dark green of Swamp Thing and the absolute oily black look of the Pale Wanderer with the golden nuggets for eyes. The art kind of has a gritty look to it without being overkill. The colors just blend in perfectly with the story that Ram V and Mike Perkins are creating here. 


I would be totally remiss if I did not mention both the A and B covers for this book. The A cover, by Perkins, kind of reminds me of the Incredible Hulk show from the 1970s when on the opening credits you see Doctor Banner transforming into the Hulk and you see both faces. A common thing to do in artwork when depicting multiple characters but this cover certainly pulls it off in the detail that each face is given. Then you have these horrific looking white claw-like hands reaching out to grab the face from behind. The background is this terrifying red that juxtaposes greatly with the dark greens of the face. 


I also want to mention the Cover B variant by Francesco Mattina. You have this gorgeous black background that eases into a dark green and then you have the bright red eyes of Swamp Thing which then blends in to this bright vibrant green orb where Swamp Thing’s heart would be. I’m absolutely blown away by this cover. I don’t normally buy a lot of variant covers but this is one I’m going to make an exception for. I didn’t know about this variant cover until I got the preview images for this book and I’m going to be calling around tomorrow to see if I can track one down near me. 


As this review comes to a close, to sum up, I really love this book and can’t wait to see where it goes. It is currently supposed to be 10 issues and that is certainly a great way to see if this book will sell. Ram V and Perkins will tell a phenomenal story in those 10 issues. Pick it up now. You won’t regret it. 

Our Score:


A Look Inside