The Swamp Thing #3
Written by: Ram V
Art: Mike Perkins
Colours: Mike Spicer
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
This issue, we’re first greeted by an eye-catching cover which feels almost as if it could be a distant relative of the old absinthe green fairy posters. Although it reveals the appearance of both Ivy and Poison Ivy before the story does, it does a great job of making you want to pick up and read on.
As we do so, there is some really inventive sequential art depicting Levi’s CT scan and initial transformation as he and Jennifer try to understand what he is going through when he becomes The Swamp Thing. As Jennifer is pulled along for the ride into ‘The Green’, some of the secrets and mysteries of this elemental place are revealed to us, along with some of its well known denizens. It’s a thrilling experience as we travel along with them, encountering incredible things and facing new questions.
Again, the creative team have given us a wonderful title page and this time out, there is a very clever title to boot. ‘My Green Amaranthine’ refers very neatly to the nature of The Swamp Thing while also describing his appearance (amaranth being an immortal flower or a herb/weed with colourful leaves and spikes of flowers – I had to look it up).
This careful and clever use of words is one of the things that sets Ram V apart as a writer; others being chiefly his command of dialogue and pacing. Here, he encapsulates a very alien experience, full of strangeness and awe, and somehow makes it relatable for us as readers.
As Levi and Jennifer journey through The Green (an important realm in Swamp Thing lore), the creators of this comic do a wonderful job of ensuring each and every step is compelling, mystifying, unsettling, exciting; sometimes all at once. The art is phenomenal throughout, never failing to give us a true sense of what lies in this strange place. There’s a lot to take in during this issue and the skilled lettering of Aditya Bidikar ensures that we enjoy the process, marking each character with their own unique style.
By the time we reach the end, we’re left breathless and yet wanting more, as larger events are hinted at…
My Green Amaranthine is yet another excellent issue in this new run for Swamp Thing. It has something for old and new readers alike and the quality imbued by its creators fills every page and makes for a hugely enjoyable read. Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson (co-creators of Swamp Thing) would be proud.
Review by Andy Flood, 24/6/21