Review: Swamp Thing #35 – Execute
Since the end of Swamp Thing Future’s End #1, questions have been raised about new avatars and what could have possibly caused that war between them in the near future. Though unlike other series, Swamp Thing jumps straight into the mystery. Between the Red, the Rot, the Green and the Grey, Swamp Thing thought he’d seen it all. But now he meets the avatar of a whole new Kingdom whose impact on the lives of all humanity goes deeper than even the Green. The Machine Kingdom is definitely one you question as to why there wasn’t one before, though in the grand scope it makes sense to get one now.
What stands out about the Machine Kingdom is what they want from the other Kingdoms. You’d think the first approach would be somewhat hostile, and yet it was more diplomatic than anything else. You would not expect them to make an offer for Swamp Thing to step aside and allow the Machine to take over. It makes sense, which is hard to argue when you also see the world and how things work from the Machine’s perspective. The form that the Machine took in order to confront Swamp Thing was a good way to go about showing what made the Machine tick. This being or agent was humorous if not only for the fact that they don’t care for the logic that is used by the current system. They came off passive-aggressive till the very end which did come as a surprise when Swamp Thing was showing no tolerance for what the Machine stood for.
This issue I found challenging for Holland as an avatar because he shows how his lack of knowledge influences his decisions. Especially when counseled on possible consequences of his actions by those with more experience only to do what he thinks is right. What remains consistent in Charles Soule’s writing is that he doesn’t miss an opportunity to show the pressures of being an avatar and what sacrifices they may be willing to take for the sake of their Kingdom.
As usual the interior art style is very appealing. A unique style that allows so much to be done with Swamp Thing’s physique and composition when the lines give him shape and the colors give him depth/variation to make him look plant-like. The vibrant colors also stand out when you are looking for that distinguishing part of them that represents power. Especially when it came to the Machine and how his helmet had a faded blue aura around it, or that one page where the Machine admits to have been following Swamp Thing’s movements since his champion duel with the other potential avatar.
Swamp Thing #35 is the start of a story that can really go somewhere depending on what happens between the Green and the Machine. While this issue does answer questions about the things we saw in Swamp Thing Future’s End #1, it is better that you didn’t have to read it to get what’s going on in the present. As one of the better tie-ns to Future’s End, Charles Soule made the wise choice in taking advantage of the opportunities this eventual war of Kingdoms has created.