Writer: Ram V
Artist: Mike Perkins
Colorist: Nick Spicer
Cover Artists: Mike Perkins & Nick Spicer
Publisher: DC Comics
There is a new avatar of the Green: Levi Kamel is the new Swamp Thing. However, Levi has been through the ringer as he is hounded by Prescot Industries, recovered painful memories of his family, fought against the Suicide Squad, and reunited with his brother, Jacob Kamel. Or Hedera, as he’s calling himself now, who was revealed to be the source of The Contagion in The Green. Now everything converges, as brother faces brother in The Swamp Thing #9.
So, this new Swamp Thing series has been a bit of trip to read. There are a lot of ideas that work in this series, but there are plenty of things that don’t work or hold it back from being better than it is. For example, the relationship between Levi, the current Swamp Thing, and his brother Jacob, Hedera, is interesting. But it wasn’t fleshed out enough. There were only a few issues which seriously explored the past history between the two and the last issue crammed in Jacob’s appearance as Hedera at the last minute, setting up the animosity between the two that was only hinted at in the first few issues.
The comic tries to weave together the series’ plotlines for the last two issues: Prescot Industries, Jennifer Reece, and Hedera. From the outset, the comic can feel a little bloated as it tries to cram many things together in one issue. It even tries to explain the history and motives behind why Prescot Industries has been hounding Levi this whole time. Some of it works and lines up with the series’ exploration of The Green as an unparalleled source of memories, information, and data. Which would make some sense as to why Prescot Industries would see Swamp Thing as a gold mine of sorts.
The problem though, is that the comic fails to make Prescot Industries feel like a believable threat to Swamp Thing, compared to his brother. Hedera, on the other hand, feels like a genuine threat to Levi at least. His grand appearance here looks good with the art by Mike Perkins and Nick Spicer’s colors, which make him and his display of superpowers look great in action. However, it remains to be seen if Hedera will be well-received as a Swamp Thing super-villain since we haven’t had that much time with him.
Plus, readers looking for a big fight between Swamp Thing and Hedera will have to wait until the next issue. The goal of this comic seems to be about getting all the pieces together for the final showdown between Swamp Thing and Hedera, while wrapping up Levi’s business with Prescot Industries. However, readers will definitely get that big fight in the tenth issue in this series.
The Swamp Thing #9 is the penultimate issue to this Swamp Thing series, and it’s only the beginning of the final battle. The comic gets all the major pieces together for this issue and explain a few things as well. It establishes the main villains, clear stakes, and sets up the big clash between Levi as Swamp Thing and his brother Jacob, aka Hedera. However, readers will have to wait for the tenth issue to get the final showdown between the two brothers.