Writer: Ram V
Art: Mike Perkins and Mike Spicer
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: June 28th, 2022
The Earth fights back! In Swamp Thing #14, the Earth, having had enough of mankind’s damage with machinery, smog, drilling, etc., has brought thousands of huge spore-like ships to surround the planet and start attacking man’s infrastructures. Levi Kamei (the current Swamp Thing) and Green Lantern Hal Jordan are all that stand between the alien ships and mankind.
Swamp Thing #14 begins with Levi filling in Hal Jordan on what’s going on, as the two stand in space, looking down on Earth and the alien network that’s forming around it. Hal’s in full mentor mode here, giving Levi some good sage advice as Levi’s confidence in his abilities is at rock bottom. Good ol’ Hal Jordan. It’s great to see moments like this with DC’s long-time characters, imparting some wisdom to a young hero on the rise.
The remainder of the issue has Levi leaping into the alien network in an attempt to communicate with it, and the book turns into a 2001: A Space Odyssey-style psychedelic trip through the alien body and consciousness, as it and Levi have a conversation.
It makes the Earth itself look like an alien landscape, with towering metal structures spewing smog. There’s an overall atmosphere of horror and dread through these pages, as we also see a variety of grotesque creatures walking this landscape, all while the alien consciousness describes its dark view of humanity.
A figure from Swamp Thing’s past also pops up, with her own goals amidst the crisis.
We don’t get any new perspectives on Levi in this issue, but it’s obvious that, like most heroes, he’s willing to make any sacrifice to save humanity. He interfaces with Hal throughout the issue, and it’s fun seeing these two characters team up for the first time.
Mike Perkins’ art on Swamp Thing #14 is beautiful and surreal, reminding me of artists like Mike Ploog and Frank Brunner in the amount of detail, especially in the splash pages and double-page spreads. You’ll find yourself going back over them after you’ve read the book, just getting lost in all the tiny details and geometric patterns. The characters and creatures are drawn in a haunting manner, even Hal himself, with the black in his costume seeming just a bit darker here.
Swamp Thing #14 is a continuation of the book’s second season, with a unique spin on the “Earth’s in danger” story, and it’s a fun but chilling head trip that ends with a great cliffhanger.