Kano returns to the pages of “Swamp Thing” #22, just in time for the being once known as Alec Holland to cross paths with John Constantine. Picking up from the developments of the previous issue, Charles Soule opens this installment up with the mysterious being we’ve come to know as “Seeder” visiting Fetters Hill in Scotland.
Through no fault of Kano, inker Alvaro Lopez or colorist Matthew Wilson, but rather an unfortunate coincidental combination of their efforts, Seeder looks like a Hobgoblin cosplayer. I’m certain it’s unintentional, but some appearances are simply too unique to ignore completely. While Soule doesn’t reveal Seeder’s identity, we do learn Seeder is stealing from the Green and sees it as his prerogative to do so. At Fetters Hill, Seeder plants a whisky tree, which could serve as an allegory for the Garden of Eden, with all of man’s evil spinning from the fruit of the tree. The color shown on the pages seems a bit off for whisky, with the shimmery droplets from the tree being more orange than golden, but as we’ve discovered in Soule’s establishment of the Seeder’s machinations: everything is not as it initially seems.
Soule continues to develop the Green around Swamp Thing and pushes the use of the Champion of the Green’s powers in new and fun ways. Readers have already seen Swamp Thing travel through the Green, but Soule includes feedback from the Green itself — such as Swamp Thing’s power usage and the affects it has on the plant life he uses it through. A second voice echoes Alec’s thoughts in the form of caption boxes, but the identity of that being is not fully revealed, leaving me to wonder if it is the echoes of the Green itself. In “Swamp Thing” #22, Soule writes Constantine and Swamp Thing’s first in-depth go in the New 52 version of the “Swamp Thing” title. They’ve met in “Justice League Dark,” but this is one-on-one and, as is required by comic book law, a misunderstanding and confrontation result.
Soule and Kano give readers a solid story in “Swamp Thing” #22, but it could use a bit more depth and polish. The story is raw, but there is no doubting that Soule is continuing to develop the world around Swamp Thing and the parameters of the Green. Seeder is a competent foe for a being with near limitless power and reuniting Swamp Thing with the foil of Constantine just makes the series feel fuller.