Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Swamp Thing #11

Swamp Thing #11
"Family Reunion"
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Marco Rudy
July 11, 2012
DC Comics

Issue #10 brought about two big changes to Scott Snyder's run on Swamp Thing: a change in artists, from Yanick Paquette to Marco Rudy, and the return of Alec Holland's arch-enemy, Anton Arcane!

I'll be frank, Paquette (who drew the cover for this issue) has been my favourite artist since the launch of the New 52, so I was not happy to see him leave as the book's full time artist. However, Rudy made an impressive debut in #10. Arcane's new character design is appropriately gruesome, and the tone of the art in that issue left me feeling like I had just read something out of E.C. Comics. 

This issue continues that pulp horror vibe, but the stark, brooding atmosphere of Issue #10 is gone here, and has been replaced by a vivid, loose, more colourful style. I thought the panels involving Alec Holland and the young Parliament of Trees were as beautifully rendered as anything Paquette drew during his time on the book, but the scenes involving Swamp Thing's fight against Arcane and his Un-Men sketchy and lackluster.

One thing that bothered me especially was the lack of backgrounds in several panels. Too often, a character reacts to something in the panel and in lieu of an actual background we just get their head surrounded by wavy lines. This could be effective in one or two panels, but I counted at least eight occurrences of this!

Still, there were some occasionally great scenes in this comic. Abby Arcane's vision of Rotworld was especially unnerving, and provided a great counterbalance to the scenes of Alec and the Parliament.

This issue leads directly into the upcoming crossover between Swamp Thing and Animal Man, so even though I am somewhat on the fence about this issue, it's still a must-read for fans of either title looking forward the "Rotworld" storyline beginning in August.

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