If you read the recent meet-up between Swamp Thing and Aquaman over in “Aquaman,” you’ll know that the story was billed to continue here. So sure enough, “Swamp Thing” #32 features a second clash between the pair. Here’s the great thing, though: Charles Soule and Jesus Saiz make sure that “Swamp Thing” readers who didn’t pick up “Aquaman” #31 aren’t lost.
While the story does pick up where the previous one left off, Soule is quick to establish what’s going on, as Swamp Thing deals with an ever-growing cluster of algae within the Apo Reef near the Philippines. From there, readers learn more about Swamp Thing’s destruction of the Parliament of Trees and the continued long-reaching effects it’s having on both the Green and the world in general. And all the while, Aquaman tries to stop the growing menace in his own way.
An appreciative aspect of “Swamp Thing” is that Soule thinks all of his plots through and lets them slowly grow and sprout (so to speak) into bigger storylines over time. Swamp Thing’s destruction of the Parliament at the time seemed like a big event, but one that would quickly fade into the background. As we’re learning more and more with each issue, that’s not the case at all; there are repercussions to events within “Swamp Thing” and this is just the latest.
It’s also nice to see how well Soule juggles the different plots within “Swamp Thing.” The main focus here is on the algae creation within the reef, but at the same time we aren’t left dangling with the three refugees from the Parliament now in human form. Their story not only continues, but here it’s finally reaching a tipping point. It’s not the actual act that will make you jump (as it’s pointed out, it’s more symbolic than anything else), but the eventual repercussions that are sure to follow. As cliffhangers go, Soule knows how to spin them out.
Saiz’s art is just gorgeous as always. That opening splash page with Swamp Thing beneath the ocean is fantastic; built out of seaweed and other aquatic plants, I love how his individual pieces flow gently within the ocean’s currents. The algae creation also looks great, with its proto-face even as it starts to reach out. Aquaman’s also on point here, looking as crisp and as regal as ever. Saiz is a talented artist who is a great fit for “Swamp Thing,” and I’m glad that the book still has him on board.
Even if you didn’t read “Aquaman” #31 (you should — Jeff Parker and Sean Parsons did a good job there), don’t worry. This is a fun book regardless. Once again, I’m already dying to see what happens next. Good job, Soule and Saiz.