Ram V, Mike Perkins, and June Chung’s apocalyptic Swamp Thing yarn comes to a conclusion in Future State: Swamp Thing #2. Swamp Thing, his children, and the last remnants of humanity storm a STAR Labs bunker in Canada where Jason Woodrue is using the body of the superhero Obsidian to black out the sun forever and bring an end to the world. Swamp Thing #2 is definitely heavier on the action than the previous installment, but it also sets up kind of an ideological duel between Swamp Thing and one of his greatest villains, Woodrue aka the Floronic Man. Basically, Woodrue is a human who feels more of a natural kinship with plants and wants to destroy humanity while Swamp Thing sees their potential and capacity for things like hope, transcendence, and belief. This book has discussions on the nature of the soul and fisticuffs.
June Chung’s color palette hammers home the themes of Future State: Swamp Thing #2 along with the nature of its characters, and Aditya Bidikar’s letters do a similar thing by using a more vibrant world balloon color for Swamp Thing and cold, dying one for Woodrue. Chung’s glimpse into the STAR fortress shows an environment that is utterly sterile with a blast of purple energy around Obsidian and a red hoodie for Woodrue that symbolizes his opposition to Swamp Thing and the Green. It complements the twisted nature of Mike Perkins’ art as he goes full horror in showing Woodrue’s face that looks like the exposed bark of a tree, and his rib cage where he’s replaced his human organs with plant parts. Perkins can do the action-packed double-page spreads of Swamp Thing’s children overwhelming STAR’s soldiers as well as the defiant poses of Swamp Thing walking through the flames while Chung makes his hue greener and greener. But he also has a gift for the macabre in his close-ups of Woodrue and other sequences towards the end of the comic, which come back to Swamp Thing’s horror roots. This is why I’m excited to see Perkins’ work on the ongoing Swamp Thing series with Ram V.
Speaking of Ram V, his writing once again is very florid, but it matches the tone of Future State: Swamp Thing #2. Woodrue and Swamp Thing have lived for millennia, and Swamp Thing has even participated in sub-creation so, of course, they have beautiful thoughts about life and death, creation and destruction, and nature and humanity. V and Perkins go beyond the conflict between good and evil and instead play with Swamp Thing’s complex relationship to humans and nature via the Green. As evidenced by the first issue and the “anatomy” flashbacks to his process in creating them, he deeply cares about his children, but they are only emanations of him and don’t have that “something extra” (i.e. a soul) that humanity has. This is why he storms the STAR fortress and explains his actions in the final act of the comic. Even though hope is a recurring theme and life and new growth is a recurring image in Future State: Swamp Thing, this is actually a pretty tragic comic in the end.
As well as Swamp Thing, Ram V, Mike Perkins, and June Chung also do a wonderful job making Jason Woodrue a compelling villain. For the most part, he’s an ecoterrorist on steroids with his mission of ridding the Green of the blight of the humanity taken the furthest extreme. So, he’s not the most sympathetic figure. However, he does have one great panel where he connects with Swamp Thing’s children and shows them that Swamp Thing (In some shape or form; it’s a bit ambiguous.) is responsible for destroying the world. He seeds doubt in the mind of these children, and Perkins draws him like an anatomy diagram with skin and the Green in the place of muscle tissue. Looking at the narrative from a big picture view as well as in light of what Swamp Thing eventually does, his children are right to be wary of how much he cares about the humans, who have treated the environment terribly and even attacked them in a previous issue. Swamp Thing even criticizes humanity’s propensity for violence in the middle of Future State: Swamp Thing #2’s fight sequence while lifting them up. Through this doubt-tinged dialogue, Ram V truly shows the conflict in Swamp Thing between the Green and his human host, who we never see in this issue.
Future State: Swamp Thing #2 is a powerful and thought-provoking conclusion to Ram V, Mike Perkins, and June Chung’s saga of humanity versus nature in the shadow of the end of the world. Swamp Thing himself is portrayed as a complex figure, who must make difficult choices about whether to cast his lot with his children (Who are really just extensions of himself) or with the humans, who have some good eggs but are also trying to blot out the sun and end life on this planet. Future: Swamp Thing is a disaster story with soul that ends on just the right note of hope and tragedy.
Story: Ram V Art: Mike Perkins Colors: June Chung Letters: Aditya Bidikar Story: 8.6 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Humanity strikes back! The shadow of Swamp Thing Supreme stretches across the globe as it has for centuries. The world is at peace, until a rebellious faction of humanity ignites their terrible plan, fueled by Woodrue Wilson’s appetite for power. But Swamp Thing, too, harbors a secret-one he must reveal in order to restore peace to the planet once again. But it will cost him everything he has.
Ram V, Mike Perkins, and June Chung turn in a very post-apocalyptic take on DC Comics’ famous (and often critically acclaimed) swamp creature in Future State: Swamp Thing #1. True to its iconic cover, the book feels a lot like a more botanical version of Planet of the Apes. V saves the overarching conflict of the two-issue miniseries for the final page of the comic and instead spends most of its running time showing the relationship between Swamp Thing (Called simply “Green”) and his children, Calla, Indigo, Vruk, and his “firstborn”, Heather, who he created after the end of the world. Swamp Thing’s mission is to find humanity, but that mission is controversial and leads to jealousy from his people, who think that he cares more about humans than them.
In the past, I’ve really enjoyed Mike Perkins’ art on action-driven superhero stories like Captain America and Iron Fist. However, he really get to flex his storytelling range in Future State: Swamp Thing #1 as he gets to work on both a Biblical scale in his double page spread that shows the DC Universe falling prey to violence and basically being to destroyed and a more intimate one in the interactions between Swamp Thing, his people, and later a human survivor. Perkins and colorist June Chung definitely fall back on the superhero idiom in some sequences like a glorious full page image of Swamp Thing encircling his roots around a falling building in the ruins of New York. But he definitely looks more like a monster with a huge, gnarly hand covering his people and mayhem in his wake in a similar manner to the subterranean monster on the cover of Fantastic Four #1. However, Heather and the other folks are beaming and treat him like a savior figure. You can definitely tell that this is a world bereft of heroes, and it may have even been screwed up by their actions although this is outside the scope of Ram V’s script, and the story he and Perkins are trying to tell.
My favorite visual flourish in Future State: Swamp Thing #1, and that extra piece that makes it go beyond a dystopian disaster story with a side of vegetation, is the bits of narration and art that Ram V and Mike Perkins provide showing Swamp Thing’s process of creation. Perkins draws these panels like images in early modern anatomy textbooks with Chung giving its colors that faded out feel compared to the more detailed rendering on his other linework. V’s narration uses purple prose a la classic Swamp Thing while providing insight into how characters like Heather and Indigo feel and interact with their environment. For example, their emotions come from pheromones, but they don’t have any feelings that didn’t already originate with Swamp Thing.
This is why Indigo is so angry and skeptical while Heather is full of determination and leadership qualities while still being deferential to her “creator”. These special panels also connect smoothly to the ongoing narrative like V and Perkins’ description of their vocal organs coinciding with Swamp Thing talking to the “child” Calla. Or their description of their transpiratory (Think respiratory for humans.) systems being literally sandwiched between two panels showing a journey through the show. It’s an added layer of verbal and visual commentary on these characters and a corner of the nearly post-human world that Ram V and Mike Perkins have crafted as Swamp Thing and his people behave in very human ways although their equivalent of first aid is sunlight, water, and keeping roots planted in a bit.
However, Future State: Swamp Thing #1 doesn’t shy away from showing their differences compared to the human they run into with them being unable to communicate with him until he eats a bit of fruit, which is a wonderful (and much less erotic) riff on the classic Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben story. However, you don’t have to be familiar with this 36 year old comic to understand Swamp Thing trying to find common ground through the breaking of bread even though Indigo and Heather want to take the human out for killing one of their people in self-defense. Communication versus violence is a throughline in this comic with a nice chat or a story revealing more context about this very strange world in contrast with tree limb on tree limb contact, which is why it’s fitting that Swamp Thing #1 is bookended by a pair of visually interesting flashbacks. On a pure aesthetic level, I love how Mike Perkins and June Chung depict snow and whites, which is set against (G)reen and trees.
Ram V, Mike Perkins, and June Chung use Swamp Thing’s immortality, sub-creator instincts, and preference for communication over fisticuffs to tell a wonderful post-apocalyptic yarn in Future State: Swamp Thing #1. V’s prose is beautiful, and you really get to know the dynamic between Swamp Thing and his people throughout the book. Perkins gets to experiment with different kinds of layouts, including powerful spreads and interesting grids, to keep things lively and weird while Chung’s colors tell a story of green, or life, trying to flourish in an inhospitable environment as Swamp Thing and his people move farther North. Future State: Swamp Thing #1 is a smart take on one of DC’s most beloved characters as well as being a holistic take on the “dark future” genre, and it even adds a touch of mystery at the end.
Story: Ram V Art: Mike Perkins Colors: June Chung Letters: Aditya Bidikar Story: 8.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
From the ashes of a terrible war, life blooms anew in Swamp Thing’s image. The remnants of humanity lie in hiding, forever in the shadow of the green god who now rules the planet. When the new avatar of the Green uncovers a stray human, a rebellion is revealed! But this Swamp Thing is no stranger to violent ends, and neither are his creations. If it’s war humanity wants, it will be at their doorstep-and Swamp Thing will never be the same!
If you missed the news, DC announced numerous new creative teams taking over starting in March after the conclusion of DC Future State in January and February. The announcements were made at CCXP Worlds event this past weekend. The announcement featured not just creative teams but also brand new titles as well.
Check out the full list of reveals below!
New names will be hitting the mean streets of Gotham City as well! Future State: Harley Quinn writer Stephanie Phillips and artist Riley Rossmo will deliver new adventures of the Clown Princess of Crime in an all-new Harley Quinn ongoing series, launching March 24, 2021.
Following both their story in Detective Comics #1027 and Bruce Wayne’s clandestine battle against The Magistrate in Future State: Dark Detective, award-winning writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Dan Mora will continue the adventures of the Dark Knight and his allies as the new team onDetective Comics, beginning with issue #1034 on March 24, 2021. Not to be outdone, award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang and superstar artist Ivan Reis continue the adventures of the “World’s Finest” in Batman/Superman #16, also on sale March 24, 2021.
Superman/Wonder Woman Family:
New adventures featuring the Amazon warrior princess arrive on March 10, 2021 as co-writers Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad and artist Travis Moore are the new Wonder Womanteam, starting with issue #770. In this new story arc, Diana has to endure endless fighting – and partying(?) – as she tries to figure out why she’s in Valhalla, and why nobody seems surprised that she’s there.
Justice League Family:
On March 3, 2021, the Future State: Swamp Thing team of writer Ram V and Mike Perkins will be continuing the adventures of the Protector of the Green inSwamp Thing, a 10-issue limited series. Also on March 3, Peacemaker takes center stage, leading an Amanda Waller-controlled Task Force X in a newSuicide Squad ongoing series, by Future State: Suicide Squad writer Robbie Thompson, with art by Eduardo Pansica. This series starts off with a bang, as Waller sends Peacemaker and Task Force X to recruit its next member – Talon, the master assassin from the Court of Owls. Meanwhile, she has her own hands full as she tries to recruit – Superboy?
Class is in session on March 17, 2021, as the Future State: Teen Titans duo of writer Tim Sheridan and artist Rafa Sandoval join the original Titans – Nightwing, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy – school a new generation of teenage crimefighters in a new ongoing series, Teen Titans Academy. Pay close attention, because one of these novice heroes will become Red X!
In April, Future State: Green Lantern writer Geoffrey Thorne continues to uphold the oath of the Green Lantern Corps with a new Green Lanternongoing series.
Green Lantern #1 – Geoffrey Thorne (new ongoing series, team)
And this only the beginning! DC Connect #8, available on March 23, 2021 for free at retailers and via digital download and online reader contains more news from this game-changing two-month event, as it impacts more of the best writers, artists and DC characters in 2021!
After January and February’s Future State mini-event for DC Comics, March and beyond will see a mix of new and returning series as expected. Many of the series will feature their Future State creative teams continuing on to the series.
Becky Cloonan and Michael W. Conrad will take over Wonder Woman with issue #770 in March. The two will be joined by interior and cover artist Travis Moore. The series will pick up after the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal which has put Wonder Woman at the center of events leading the heroes in their resistance.
Orbiting Wonder Woman will be Wonder Girl from writer and artist Joëlle Jones. That series will star Yara Flor who is getting a major push by DC as Flor will possibly be getting a television series at The CW.
A new Green Lantern series will launch written by Geoffrey Thorne with art by Tom Raney. They’re the creative team behind “The Last Lanterns” story in the Future State: Green Lantern comic.
Justice League Dark will return in March written by Ram V. who was also writing the series before its break due to the “Endless Winter” event. It will feature art by Xermanico.
Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval will launch Teen Titans Academy. The series will focus on the launch of a Teen Titans Academy by members of the New Teen Titans. That series spins directly out of Future State: Teen Titans which tells a future tale of the academy.
With a film on its way, it’s not surprising that the Suicide Squad returns. Robbie Thompson, who will take on their story during Future State, will write the ongoing series with art by Eduardo Pansica. We can also see the DC live-action and comics aligning a bit more as Peacemaker (played by John Cena in the film) takes center stage. The character will not only be in The Suicide Squad film but is also getting his own series on HBO Max.
Swamp Thing is back courtesy of writer Ram V. and artist Mike Perkins. That duo is also the team behind the Swamp Thing Future State comic.
James Tynion IV with artist Jorge Jimenez will return to Batman and Tynion has another Batman series in the works with artist Guillem March.
The weekend is almost here! What geeky things are you all doing? Reading any cool comics? Playing any fun games? Sound off in the comments. While you wait for the weekday to end and the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.
Legend of the Swamp Thing Halloween Spectacular #1
Written by: Tom King, , Vita Ayala, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Ram V., Cullen Bunn, Julian Lytle Art by: John Timms, Emma Rios, Christian Ward, Mike Perkins
It’s Halloween, and DC invites you to welcome Swamp Thing to your witching-hour festivities. In this 48-page collection of all-new stories, the Guardian of the Green reveals past lives and the unforgettable horrors that befall those who cross his path. From ancient Rome to present day, Swamp Thing stalks these ghostly and ghastly tales-all of which are best read by the light of a jack-o’-lantern!
October always brings stories of ghosts, goblins, fright, and picking out our favorite candies for Halloween. But this year, DC’s got twice the spooks and scares for comic book fans with two anthology titles featuring the World’s Greatest Super Heroes in tales of fear and terror!
LEGEND OF THE SWAMP THING HALLOWEEN SPECTACULAR #1
DC invites you to welcome Swamp Thing to your witching hour festivities. In this 48-page collection of six all-new stories, the Guardian of the Green reveals past lives and the unforgettable horrors that befall those who cross his path. From ancient Rome to present day, Swamp Thing stalks these ghostly and ghastly tales—all of which are best read by the light of a jack o’ lantern!
Writers Tom King, James Tynion IV, Vita Ayala, Phillip Kennedy Johnson, and Ram V are among the writers penning these creepy tales with Domo Stanton, Mike Perkins, Emma Rios and Christian Ward providing the bone-chilling artwork.
Legend of the Swamp Thing Halloween Spectacular #1 is priced at $5.99 and debuts on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at all open and operating comic book stores and participating digital retailers.
DC: THE DOOMED AND THE DAMNED #1
It was a dark and stormy night when the creatures of the DC universe began to emerge from their lairs into the cool evening air. Tales of the macabre, the murderous, and the morbid abound in this spine-chilling special about monsters and mayhem! What happens when Batman encounters a true urban legend after speaking its name three times in a mirror, or when Madame Xanadu enlists the help of Man-Bat to take town shadowy specter? And who can stop an intergalactic demon from turning people into frog beasts? Only the unlikely team up of Green Lantern and Etrigan! All this and seven more fang-tastic tales to trick your treats and bob your apples!
This prestige format one-shot features some of comics best scary storytellers, including writers Carmen Maria Machado, Marv Wolfman, Ken Porter, John Arcudi, Saladin Ahmed, Alyssa Wong, Travis Moore and others. Artists contributing to this blood-curdling comic include Riley Rossmo, Mike Perkins, Leonardo Manco, Travis Moore, Tom Mandrake and others.
This 80-Page one-shot is priced at $9.99 and arrives at open and operating comic book stores and participating digital retailers on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.