One thing is for sure: Snyder has done his homework. He weaves interesting botanical facts into the story that fit into Holland’s character perfectly. If you thought plants were boring, Snyder will make plants seem like the most vicious predators on the planet. While this is a great addition, and you can tell Snyder cares, I really hope that he keeps the “plant talk” at a minimum. It was almost bearing on being heavy handed in the first issue. Sure, his name is Swamp Thing, but even if his name was Sky Man, we wouldn’t want to hear him talk about the sky all day, either.
Even though the character is weaved into previous storylines, it’s an interesting starting off point for new readers. What Swamp Thing is and what Holland will become was not revealed in issue #1. It’s a good starting off point, even if new readers don’t get all of the references.
Snyder’s choice to have Holland be a disenfranchised, lumberyard worker is an interesting one as well. It’s definitely refreshing and more interesting than having him be the stereotypical botanist who has a heart for the planet. In this version, it seems like he will be forced to do good, and that’s where the excitement will be: seeing if Holland will change his mind and save the world like we know he can.
While Superman’s cameo did wonders to bring everyone up to speed with Holland’s past and where he is currently, I would have liked there be less Superman, and more Swamp Thing. In my opinion, we didn’t even need Superman there. I wanted a story about Swamp Thing telling me where he was before, where he is now, and where he’s going. I didn’t care what was going on with Superman. That’s why I bought the Swamp Thing issue and not the Superman issue.
Great things about this issue:
While much of the story revolves around Holland, Superman, and Swamp Thing, there’s a break away point in the middle, where a villain is introduced. This is one of the most disturbing introductions for a villain to a comic book series. At the very least, it’s probably the most violent introduction in the new 52.
The issue ends on a high note. In the final pages, you get to see Swamp Thing, and you get to see that it wants something with Holland. It leaves us wanting to know more about Snyder’s and Yanick Paquette’s Swamp Thing. He definitely has the skills and the research to make this the best Swamp Thing ever created. The story ends on a great jumping off point, and you can tell that Snyder knows where he is going with this. There will be more, and I’m very interested in finding out where he plans on taking it.