“Swamp Thing” has been running a seven-part opening story. As a result, this issue was critical. Where would the book go from here? How would it lead into March’s big conclusion? “Swamp Thing” #6 ends up being a pivot-point for the story; everything has turned around on the events of this issue, and while it’s perhaps a bit too soon to say, “Nothing will ever be the same,” this is definitely the moment where all the characters cross an important line.
“Swamp Thing” #6 delves deeper into the world of the Rot, as Scott Snyder shows us just what William Arcane’s true plan entails, and the nasty end result it brings about. This is definitely one of those comics where the bad guy doesn’t gloat about plans that are still happening, but rather laughs only once it’s too late to take back what’s already happened.
This issue is William Arcane’s far more than Alec Holland’s; Alec is primarily in a “react” rather than “act” mode for most of the comic, as the trap is finally sprung and he and Abby are pulled into its center. What’s nice is that even though we saw the start of the trap last month, Snyder has saved some of the surprises for this month’s issue. There’s a nasty turn or two that promises to change the overall nature of the series, but doesn’t feel like it’s just there for shock value.
Marco Rudy steps in again to spot regular artist Yanick Paquette, and once more it’s clear that Rudy is a great substitute for “Swamp Thing.” Rudy’s page layouts are second only to J.H. Williams III’s work on “Batwoman,” full of inventive panel borders, central images tying everything together, and joyous to look at. See page 14, for example, where the page is broken into three images (Alec, Abby, and approaching doom), but each image is then sliced in half as well so that we get six panels. It allows Rudy more room to tell Snyder’s story, letting the dialogue bounce between Alec and Abby; at the same time, he uses all that space for extra-large images of their faces. Rudy’s art does feel a little rougher than normal this month, but that harsher edge works in favor of Snyder’s ideas. The full-scale assault of the Rot shouldn’t be clean and slick, and I think that Rudy’s art matches the tenor of the script quite nicely.
By the time we get to the end of the issue, you can see where the thrust of the series will be heading from here. We’ve got both old and new adversaries to worry about from this point on, and of course one more issue to finish off this current story. “Swamp Thing” continues to move from strength to strength, and I’m already eagerly awaiting next month’s conclusion. Good job, once again.