Swamp Thing #23

Written By: Charles Soule
Art By: David Lapham, Kano

Charles Soule, David Lapham and Kano offer an expert take on Swamp Thing with issue #23, as they conclude their one-off tale in Scotland. They’ve planted and nurtured the perfect tone for the character – equal parts humour and terror – reflected in the script and the art. An absolutely absurd and joyful read, Swamp Thing #23 is a perfect comic.

Taking off from part one’s stellar set-up, “King” John Constantine is running a group of blood-thirsty alcoholics, under control of the Seeder, to kidnap an entire village and force-feed them whiskey. The premise is executed like a horror movie with that cheeky side, and in only one issue, delivers on a cinematic standalone take on Swamp Thing.

Soule manages to throw in personal moments for Swamp Thing amongst the chaos. He uses narration over top Kano and Lapham’s godlike spread of the oversized character, to show his struggle with balancing his omnipotent power and humanity.

The menacing look in the orange-pupiled Scottish man’s face on the opening page, encapsulates the experience of the issue. It creates terrifying chills that somehow make you smile. The layered imagery in the drawings of Swamp Thing is evocative in the jail-cell when his torn apart body looks just as much like brush as a dismembered corpse.

A truly enjoyable and accessible read, Swamp Thing #23 is the kind of comic that serves audiences that enjoy weirdly endearing stories.

Score: 10/10