Search for Swamp Thing #2: Don’t Bother


Who could resist a triple alliance between John Constantine, Superman and Batman in an effort to figure out just what is happening to Alec Holland aka the Swamp Thing? Well, a lot of people it turns out. The first issue of Brightest Day Aftermath: Search for Swamp Thing did not receive very good reviews, so the pressure was on for issue #2 to really pull it together. Unfortunately, it is just as lackluster as the first.

There really seems to be some serious confusion about the plot of this story. There are inconsistencies with the characters personalities, such as John Constantine. He’s a notorious loner, and to think that he required and in fact requested aid from superheroes like Batman and Superman who really don’t deal with the magic realm all that often is out of character. Superman becomes a cranky, unwilling accomplice to John. Both superheroes feel out of place in John’s mystical world. There just seems to be little reason for the two to be colliding. Even if John needed some muscle to help out, would he have necessarily involved both Batman and Superman? If the meshing of the two worlds was what DC and Vertigo were aiming for, they missed it entirely.

Readers are left confused by the end of the issue. Why does Swamp Thing need a host? Why is he stalking John? What is the point of this story? Why were readers given an entire issue (#2) of pointless back and forth nonsense when we are not even given a definitive glance at Swamp Thing? When Swamp Thing visits a scientist from LexCorp, we again are left with more questions than answers. Some answers should have started to be revealed by now, because if writers keep pestering their readers with an avalanche of questions with nothing to keep them interested, then their readership is going down.

The one saving grace of this issue was the art. Renato Arlem replaces Marco Castiello, and while similarities in style are present, Arlem has a much more streamlined look that is also softer and cleaner. One reviewer suggested not reading the dialogue or the story, but flipping through the comic to admire the art and leave it at that.

To sum everything up: Don’t waste your $2.99 unless you really have the unwavering urge to collect everything that is Superman, Batman or John Constantine.