Review – The Swamp Thing #5
Art by John McCrea
Written by Ram V
Colourist Mike Spicer
Letters Aditya Bidikar
Published By DC Comics
Available: 7th July 2021
Variant Cover Brian Bolland
Synopsis: Survivor Bomb
Newly armed with the knowledge and powers he gained from the Green and yet lonelier than ever, Levi Kamei is pulled once more into service as the Avatar of the Green is summoned by primal forces to the city of London, where old ideas lie buried, slowly leaching into the reality above. The scars of old wars and the dangers of past ideologies resurface as the Swamp Thing must team up with an old trench-coated acquaintance and his new protégé to save the present from the atrocities of our past.
Writer Ram V
There’s something rotten in London, something deep and it’s now pouring out its hate across the land. Fascists and racists are back and they feel safe to attack without repercussions.
V has set this issue in the heart of the issue of Brexit and the rise of right-wing politics and practices across the UK. Levi feels the green drag him to London and there he is shocked to find poor Nigel conjoined with pipes and wires protruding from the floor. Upstairs Sierra here’s the stomping boots of fascists on her floor and call a very familiar face, of Constantine. His usual irreverent banter ensues and he helps Sierra get rid of the bullies with a little magic and a pink of Yunshi powder.
Levi using the power of the green joins with Nigel and feels the heavy memories of the London Blitz and a boy who died next to an unexploded bomb. The bomb still wants to explode and it’s leaking hate and fear around the site. It seems humans are leaking emotions into the soil via the lines of magical power intertwined with the power of he green.
Using the parallel of WWII and the current rise in fascism is an interesting paradigm forcing the reader to hold a mirror to history and current events.
Can The Swamp Thing get the bomb far enough away and can Constantine save Nigel though?
Art/Colour: John McCrea/Mike Spicer
McCrea shows that a change in style doesn’t affect a strong storyline and his penmanship drawing the blitz shows the horror of war on civilians. The above image of the young boy watching hsi city be destroyed as he’s hypnotised by the drone of the planes is visually stunning. If I had one small complaint it’s Constantine’s elongated cigarette. It looks too comical are disproportionate. It’s amost double teh size of his index finger.
Spicer’s autumn colours of muted tones and rusty organges and reds show a city on fire. Colours throughout allow a much more sombre issue with the muted mood.
Bolland’s hilarious variant cover showing the crown jewels hidden within a royal skull adds a level of cheekiness and a nod and wink the issue Britishness needs.
Many argue that that politics should be kept out of comics, while the rest think that comics are a mirror for political commentary. Ram tapdances along this dangerous line skillfully adding enough myth and magic while giving a clever dig at UK society and it’s current right wing tendancies. This is a delight and back to the strength of the first few issues.
What did you think of our review for Swamp Thing issue #5? Let us know in the comments and leave your own rating above.
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