If you read Brightest Day to its conclusion, then you know that Swamp Thing has returned as the protector of the Earth. If you were a fan of the critically acclaimed Alan Moore run from the 80's, you probably happily freaked out over this. If you were me, you were scratching your head and wondering what all the fuss was bout. I mean, he's a freakin' plant guy. What's the big deal?
It was suggested to me that I should read the Alan Moore series, so that I could properly grasp the magnitude of his return. It's something that I have always wanted to read, mainly due to people talking about the series whenever the subject of "good" comics had come up. What better time to jump into the swamp than now, right?
Now before I talk about the first trade, let me fill you in on what I knew about Swamp Thing prior to this.
1. He had a live action TV show that would air on FOX after Saturday morning cartoons.
2. His toy line had a swamp boat for him to cruise around in.
3. He was a thing from the Swamp.
Reading this book for the first time now will never be like what it would be like back in the 80's. In that sense, it will not be the same book to me that everyone else raves about. However, given my laughable amount of knowledge when it comes to this character, I'm pretty close to where I would need to be to have that original experience.
I'll put it bluntly, the book was fantastic. I stayed up late into night to finish the first trade in one sitting. I understood now why the character was so interesting. He wasn't just a plant guy, he was a plant that thought he was a man! That's a wild concept and I am very much into it. The art didn't even seem dated to me, unlike when I read Sandman for the first time. The layouts were beautiful and dreamy. It was an awesome book, which explains the years of praise it has received.
It reminded me a lot of when I watched Rocky for the first time. I had always been told it was a classic film, but had never been able to watch it before. I had an idea about what it was about, heard people talk about it, but had never experienced it. Once I saw Rocky lose by decision to Apollo Creed, I understood what all the fuss was about. I had the same feeling when I saw Swamp Thing uproot himself to save a small town from the Floronic Man. I experienced it, and now I love and understand it.