One of Swamp Thing’s oldest enemies has weaponized a fallen superhero in one final bid to destroy the Green. Who will Swamp Thing side with, and what will happen to the survivors of the human race?
Beware of slight spoilers ahead.
This issue perfectly continues the contemplative tone of the first installment of Future State: Swamp Thing, but cranks up the action quite a bit. The raid on Woodrue’s compound is a bombastic sequence, taking full advantage of the opportunity to show Swamp Thing and his progeny really letting loose on their enemies. There’s a sense that none of the assembled humans have ever seen anything like this before, with the age of heroes and supervillains long behind them. I wish this miniseries had just a bit more time to show off what these assembled avatars can do, but what we get is exciting. Mike Perkins goes all out in these sequences, giving readers some truly impressive action and some spine-tingling body horror.
That sense of awe continues on through the final page, in which Swamp Thing has become a legend in the vein of the old gods. There’s a reverence for the character on display here that is evident in every page of the issue. Swamp Thing and his deeds are spoken of in hushed tones. At first, this is because of what he did in years gone by. But now, it is because he has come to mean something very different. This issue tells the story of Swamp Thing’s redemption.
There are some huge ideas in this issue, which tells the kind of tale that can only be told when dealing with far/alternate future settings. Here, Ram V takes the saga of the Swamp Thing to an emotional conclusion.
This issue continues the thread of analyzing the anatomy of Swamp Thing’s “family,” showing how he gave them all life and autonomy. The idea that he wanted them to be as close to human beings as possible, no matter how much humanity had failed him (and themselves) speaks volumes about the character. Swamp Thing is capable of impossible, beautiful, terrible things, and he chooses to embrace humanity for what it could be. This element of the story becomes even more poignant and heartbreaking when the reader realizes what each of Swamp Thing’s companions represent.
It is also quite impressive how much of an impression each of these characters leaves in their short time on the page. They could so easily fall into the trap of being archetypes, but they feel fully realized. In particular, there’s something noble about the character of Indigo, who might have gone the route of Iago in the hands of a lesser creative team.
The one pitfall of this miniseries is that it has a limited amount of space to tell such a grand story. Even then, the hints we get of a larger history are greatly appreciated. This is strengthened by the creative team’s embrace of the whole of Swamp Thing’s history. Certain elements, such as the final fates of Swamp Thing and his foe, feel like the logical conclusion of five decades of storytelling.
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