Swamp Thing #1-5
[Vertigo/DC Comics $2.50 US $3.95 CAN]
Written by Brian K. Vaughn / Pencilled by Roger Peterson / Inked by Joe Rubinstein (1-4) Mark Lipka (5)
Since I wasn’t a follower of the previous Swamp Thing series I went into this new ongoing ST series with no expectations. Fortunately Brian K. Vaughn brings Tefé’s story to the page so clearly that you don’t need to know much of what came before.
Issue one, entitled “In Lieu of Flowers,” introduces us to Mary Conway, a seemingly normal, suburban teen on the verge of graduating high school. Mary is a little different in that she has no memories from the time she awoke from a coma three years earlier. Mary had been dying of cancer but upon awakening it was discovered that her cancer was gone and she had been given a new lease on life. I don’t want to spoil the remainder of the plot in issue one but suffice it to say the ending leaves you reeling and introduces us to a very powerful, Tefé.
Issue two’s story, “A Tree Falls in the Forest,” brings Abby Holland into the picture and serves to bring the reader up-to-date on her life and the fate of her daughter, Tefé. In this issue we learn that not only does Tefé have the ability to interact with The Green but she can also manipulate human flesh including the ability to heal.
Subsequent issues of Swamp Thing take Tefé on a journey of self-discovery. From working on a fishing boat (issue three “Kill Your Darlings) to helping track down a man eating lion on a drive-thru safari preserve (issue four “Killing Time Part One: The Pride”) to getting involved in the drama of a forest fire in a State Park (issue five “Killing Time Part Two: Burning Down the House”). Each story brings Tefé a little closer to the realization that she is in an impossible position—able to be an ambassador to The Green yet still very aware of her connection to humanity. Tefé’s journey of self-discovery is going to be a rocky one.
The artwork in Swamp Thing suits the moody stories. Being a Vertigo title you’re not going to see a lot of posturing figures and splash pages but Roger Peterson’s storytelling skills are strong and he handles the more fantastical aspects of the stories admirably.
This series has the potential to be a worthwhile addition to the Swamp Thing mythos. If you’re looking for a new Vertigo series to add to your pull list give it a try.
These issues should still be available for reorder if they’re not on your local comic store shelves so bug your retailer if you can’t find them. You can visit the DC Comics web site at www.dccomics.com for more information on Swamp Thing.