Although many of the issues since his arrival on “Swamp Thing” have had a smaller, tighter feel, “Swamp Thing” #27 concludes Charles Soule’s opening adventure and closes the book on the Seeder. For now. From the glorious cover by Jesus Saiz to the magnificent, pin-up worthy splash page that finishes this issue, “Swamp Thing” #27 delivers a complete story of the avatars of the Green and their struggle for superiority for their kingdom.
Soule reveals a few secrets, forces Alec Holland into some tough decisions and gives the legend of the Swamp Thing a new launching point in the twenty pages of this issue. The story itself changes the Green, Alec Holland and the Swamp Thing. While Holland’s relationship with the Parliament of Trees might be a metaphor for Soule’s own relationship to the assembly of writers who have constructed the legend of the Swamp Thing before him, there is simply no denying the new ground both Soule and Holland are searching for in their respective journeys. Soule’s work on this title, smartly encapsulated as a sample size in “Swamp Thing” #27, is a strong mix of fantasy and science fiction, horror and superhero.
All of those genres, and the mix that comes together in the form of Swamp Thing, are areas that artist Jesus Saiz has tackled in the past. With Saiz on art, “Swamp Thing” #27 is a finely detailed exploration of the plant kingdom, anthropomorphized and violently colliding with reality. While horticulture enthusiasts might pick apart the foliage used in constructing his version of these assorted Swamp Things, Jesus Saiz doesn’t simply settle on making any avatar of the Green a simple moss-covered muck man. Saiz pours details into the leaves, branches, roots and shoots and colorist Matthew Wilson follows Saiz’ lead white well. These comics, especially when the issue has a significant amount of scenery in the Green and the heavenly resting garden departed avatars in habit, could be overwhelmingly green and equally homogenous, but Wilson uses a slick variety of plant-inspired colors to detail the world. The duo even combines to deliver a nice tribute to Boticelli’s Venus, which, to say the least, is something I did not expect to find in “Swamp Thing” #27.
Soule’s Swamp Thing has been enjoyable and adventurous and this issue is an astonishingly concise representation of what Soule brings to the character. While this is the final issue of a long-running story arc, it is also an open issue welcoming to new readers and warmly inviting lapsed readers back. With this issue, Soule and Saiz set a new status quo for the Swamp Thing and the Green. From here, the legend of Swamp Thing is theirs to cultivate.