I don't read many DC books these days. I guess I feel like they keep rehashing and not doing good stories. Sure, a few surprises on the main continuity but Black Label is really where it is right now. I'm sure when Lauren reads this, she is going to be a "little" upset...but I digress. DC Black Label books are the best. Now, just to be 100% honest...I thought Swamp Thing by Ram V and team has been really good. I didn't think anyone would be able to top that. Then, out of left field, comes Jeff Lemire and Doug Mahnke on art...
I knew that I had to get that book when Lemire and Mahnke. Today in comics, there are a handful of writers and artists that when they have a book coming out...regardless of publisher...you just have to buy. Lemire is one of those writers and Mahnke is one of those artists. But them together and you have a Dream Team there. David Baron on colors and Steve Wands as the letterer and things just come together. Oh, and make sure you check out those beautiful variant covers by Christian Ward (who I think is really underrated) and Franceso Fancavilla. I'm checking around and getting these covers because holy smokes.
Are y'all ready to take about Swamp Thing Green Hell for a minute? Let's do this.
Green Hell starts out in a post apocalyptic Earth. The main character and his friends lives on an island and there is a nearby lighthouse that some weird guy or wizard lives on...a bit of foreshadowing. And, in a fashion, there is a story of "us vs them" with another group of people and let's just say they don't like each other very much. So, that is one story in this book. But the main story is even better and more interesting and I can't wait to see where it goes.
The Earth is so damaged. The red is angry because it can't control it's creatures and get its nourishment. The rot isn't getting enough sustenance either. The Green has enough below water but it isn't balanced the way it always is. Being the holiday season, I couldn't help but think about Festivus with the "Airing of Grievances" at this point.
Anyways, The Red, the Rot, and the Green end up creating a new, deadlier, avatar from the Green to take the Earth back. This avatar is truly a thing of beauty just to be honest. Mahnke does a great job with the art with this. Just a heads up, this is DC Black Label and Mahnke really leans into that on the art.
Now, that you know the basic plot, I don't want to give away anything else. Just know that Jeff Lemire is an amazing writer and you should be reading what he is writing. Swamp Thing Green Hell is certainly a book that he can certainly lean into. Swamp Thing might be the perfect character for Lemire to play with in the DC canon. His writing is certainly keeping me in for getting issue 2.
Mahnke...just holy shit. You really need to buy this book to see this art work. I was just blown away by how lovely and terrifying some of the artwork is in this book. It is truly a work of art. Baron really helps balance all that out with vibrant colors where it counts and the darker shades when needed.
Okay, why haven't you already quit reading and bought this book yet? Oh, I did mention some awesome covers right? Pick your poison...or buy all 3.
The next image you see...that is Christian Ward's.
Next up, is Francesco Francavilla's. I just can't stop looking at this cover and I have it ordered. I hope I can get this signed and graded because wow!!!
Being that this book is about "the Green" I feel like I should give this a special rating.
How about 5 Swamp Thing thumbs up out of 5. This book is just phenomenal and I can't wait for more. Now, go buy this book if you haven't. If it is in your TBR pile, get it now and read it.