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The Swamp Thing #4

Review by Paul Bowler.

Finding themselves still trapped in the realm of the Green, Levi’s and Jennifer’s psychedelic voyage continues in The Swamp Thing #4 as DC Comics ten-part maxi-series from writer Ram V and artist Mike Perkins delves further into Levi Kamei’s origins as the new Swamp Thing.

It is with Swamp Thing #4 that writer Ram V finally begins to hint at the events surrounding Levi’s  transformation into Swamp Thing and what happened on his trip to India to visit his dying father. Separated after the MRI scan Levi underwent to better understand his mysterious transformations into the Swamp Thing, Jenifer’s journey through the darker depths of the Green with the Floronic Man begin to take a sinister turn, while as Swamp Thing, Levi receives some unexpected help from a former avatar of the Green, Alec Holland. After the bizarre interactions with the dual aspects of Poison Ivy last issue, Levi gains far greater insight into the Green with Holland’s guidance, with his role as the new Swamp Thing, along with the cause of the contagion ravaging the Green, and the uncanny schism in which it entwines Levi’s origin as the new avatar of the Green all beginning to fall into place. Ram V cultivates an intricate balance of plot and dialogue throughout the issue. The meeting between Levi and Alec Holland is a masterclass in writing, and the revelations it brings will have you hanging on every word.

Likewise, the gorgeous artwork by Mike Perkins and luscious colors by Mike Spicer are every bit as enchanting as the narrative. We are treated to some truly spectacular vistas as Levi and Jenifer explore the Green, encountering denizens that prove to be both friend and foe, along with startling depictions of the magical and terrifying power which Swamp Thing must learn to embrace lest this seed of contagion spread to our world. This veritable tour de force of wonder and horror Perkins and Spicer craft is absolutely spellbinding, its peppered with memories from across the ages, glimmers of Levi’s past become juxtaposed with the pollination of life and consciousness, and there’s even an epic face-off with the proto-myth of first avatar which Swamp Thing has to confront as well to obtain his evergreen Nirvana. 

My Green Amaranthine Part 2 sows seeds of knowledge and foresight as Levi’s quest of self discovery comes full circle. Not everything in this issue is quite as it seems either as reality, memory and myth collide as one. Poison Ivy’s role this issue, though fleeting, is still crucial to the plot. There’s a reckoning with an old foe as well, and Jennifer’s frightening first encounter with Alex as Swamp Thing leaves Levi pondering over the terrible cost it might have on their friendship. There’s also an atmospheric coda to round off the issue that sets the stage for the two-part crossover event between Swamp Thing and Suicide Squad in August. This maxi-seres continues to go from strength to strength. With the brilliant writing and scripting from Ram V and the incredible art by Mike Perkins, Swamp Thing #4 is another enthralling chapter in this new era of Swamp Thing!

Publisher DC Comics

Writer Ram V / Artist Mike Perkins

Colorist Mike Spicer / Letterer Aditya Bidikar

Cover Mike Perkins and Mike Spicer

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook

Publisher Image Comics

Writer Tod McFarlane

Art Carlo Barber / Colors Jay David Ramos & Andrew Dalhouse

Lettering Tom Orzechowski

Cover Artists Tod McFarlane, Bjorn Barends, Tonton Revolver