Swamp Thing #33 Review

At this point, nobody should be surprised by the fact that Swamp Thing is one of the best comics out there, not only from DC, but just in general. The series is ruled by powerful characters, and ambitious character development on the part of Charles Soule. With issue #33, things are really beginning to come to a head, things that have been building ever since Alec destroyed the parliament of trees. Since then, he’s been through a lot – the fake Sureen, encountering a massive creature in Atlantis, dealing with the remaining three members of the Green – but now, he’s finally able to realize that, while all of this has been going on, the Green has been suffering, and he hasn’t been there to maintain the balance. So of course, Alec goes off to deal with all of these incursions, leaving Capucine, the Wolf, Lady Weeds, Jonah, and the priest at his home.

In his absence, we spend significant time with these five characters, seeing them interact with one another as factions begin to form and relationships between characters develop further. Even though all five never interact with one another, seeing the smaller groups bounce off of one another is entertaining, to say the least, and Soule has a great handle on all of these characters – after all, they are his creations. Be it Wolf and Lady Weed’s scheming or Jonah and Capucine’s developing relationship, all of it is impeccably written, and all of it occurs to the backdrop of Swamp Thing dealing with the incursions into the Green.

This issue also provides an excellent look into Alec’s character, despite his lack of dialogue in this issue. For at least two-thirds of the issue, he doesn’t utter a single word. The character work that Soule does with him in this issue comes via his actions, or other characters speaking about him. The Wolf’s monologue that takes up a couple of pages (set to the backdrop of Swamp Thing overcoming his foes) is very telling of how Alec is viewed by the Wolf and Lady Weeds, which, for the most part, is actually true of the character. But of course, they underestimated Swamp Thing. Even after sending legions of creatures at him, Alec Holland refuses to give up, and, as it turns out, is not so easily defeated.

At the end of the issue, after one of the greatest single pages of Charles Soule’s run on this book (seriously, it made my spine tingle), we get to see Lady Weeds beginning to come into her own. Up until this point, she has really just been a pawn for the Wolf, which is unfortunate. At this point, after seeing the Wolf’s failures, she seems to be taking things into her own hands, and this gives her the bets character development she’s ever had. She’s been a great character for a while now, but she really hasn’t been a character that acts on her own, and so seeing the seeds of that being planted in this issue is great to watch unfold.

When all’s said and done, Swamp Thing #33 is yet another excellent installment in the series. Everything in this issue works, form Swamp Thing’s trials to the character development at the house. Soule really zeroes in on the characters with this issue, doing some excellent character work, and using any means at his disposal to do so. And all of it is great to read. At worst, its entertaining, and at best, it’s what all comics should strive to be.