Review: ‘Swamp Thing Volume 2: Family Tree’

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Back better than ever, Swamp Thing Volume 2: Family Tree, is an incredibly fantastic read that no horror fan should miss. Each page is a knockout in storytelling, and the artwork is some of the very best in comics today. Although this is the second volume in Scott Snyder’s run, this is still a solid entry point for new readers to jump on board and learn what the fuss is all about.

WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder and Scott Tuft
ART BY: Yanick Paquette, Marco Rudy, Francesco Francavilla, Kano, Becky Cloonan, Andrew Belanger, Karl Kerschl
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
PRICE: $14.99
RELEASE: April 10, 2013

Because The Rot was winning the war between good and evil, The Green needed a warrior king to fight for them. Their prophecy suddenly came true when Dr. Alec Holland became the reborn Swamp Thing. When the Rot kidnapped Abigail Arcane, Alec had no choice but to become a hideous monster to rescue her. With undiscovered elemental powers, Alec has become something new and different, the likes of which the Green has never seen before. Will Alec lose the last thread of his humanity as he unleashes the monster within?

During Alan Moore’s run, Swamp Thing realized he was a plant monster with memories of his human host. Now in Scott Snyder’s run, it’s Alec Holland haunted by memories of a monster’s life. For many reasons, Alec didn’t want to become Swamp Thing, but he was forced to become what he hated. At its central core, Snyder focuses on the inner struggle between human nature vs. fate. Was Alec destined to become Swamp Thing all along? Or, does he have a say in his own destiny? What Snyder also adds is his sense of humor, which I don’t remember the “Swamp Thing” series having any wittiness before.

What I also enjoyed about the comic is how Snyder goes with the flow on the character growth. Readers seem to forget that this is actually Alec Holland being in control of Swamp Thing for the first time. Alec doesn’t know what the capacity is to his elemental powers. Because Alec lets his imagination run wild, he can conjure up wings and knives made out of vines. Alec is learning what he can do while fighting monsters after monsters at the same time.

Because there is such a terrific collection of artists here – from Yanick Paquette, Francesco Francavilla, Kano, and Becky Cloonan – each page is amazing to look at. Each artist is game to illustrate the monster vs. monster brawls in grandeur. In a splash page, Swamp Thing is flying in the air while a set of claws strike through his chest. There is such excitement going on as Swamp Thing slaughters his way through a horde of zombies.

While each artist has their own style, they are all in unison on the look of the panel layouts. The pages are broken down in creative ways, letting flames or vines to separate the panels. At times, even the colors, sometimes black or green, bleed out between panels. It’s definitely interesting to look at and I’m glad each artist is playing around with the idea.

If you want to see some epic monster vs. monster brawls, then you should definitely grab “Swamp Thing Volume 2: Family Tree.” Snyder took the series to new heights since the first issue. That’s why I am very excited to see what direction Charles Soule takes with “Swamp Thing.”

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis