Review: Swamp Thing #40

Written by Charles Soule
Art by Jesus Saiz, Javi Pina, and June Chung

This is it, folks. The end has finally come and can Swamp Thing muster his force of spurned Swamp Things from the past in time to defeat the combined might of the Grey, the Rot, and the Rithm? Better question: can Soule deliver a fitting end to his first hit in the Big Two? Things have never looked so grim for ole’ salad face.

The Good

Everyone involved with the art in this book deserve an award, a standing ovation, or some kind of recognition. Jesus Saiz has been on point with his pencil and ink work since day one and I honestly cannot wait to see where this guy’s career goes from here. Everything is clean, detailed, easily discernible, and, most of all, has always been on time. Javi Pina also provides some ink work here as well, which is something I honestly would not have known had he not received a credit for it. That is good fill in work. Everything in the art department here just works and I am going to miss this book immensely just for that.

Charles Soule’s script this month was pretty good. For the most part, it was a very fitting end to this run. There were a few issues that I had with the script that I will get to in a second but for right now lets focus on the positives. Man, this story has been crazy awesome. An army of Swamp Things from different ages and races taking on un-men, machines, and the Grey Avatar is just awesome. Soule really took advantage of the extra pages that he had this month and filled it to the brim with action and plot resolution. You see little bits from the entirety of Soule’s run from Seeder, to Etrigan, to even Moore’s Swamp Thing get resolved here in quick and brutal fashion. It really is impressive all of the spinning plates Soule juggles here and really only one or two fall off.

The Bad

The biggest problem this issue has is the fact that Soule is spinning so many plates. He has to resolve Arcane, the Grey Avatar, the Parliament of Trees being revived, the Machine Queen, Abigail Arcane, Moore’s Swamp Thing, and give us a satisfying conclusion to the series as a whole. Since there is so much ground to cover, we really only spend a page or two at most on some of it. This is really rapid fire storytelling that is begging to be expounded upon. To make matters worse, Soule introduces a new kingdom in this issue. Now, I am not knocking the new kingdom. It was really cool, interesting stuff that I would love to be explored more, but I know it won’t be. This is the last issue. No one at DC is going to touch this random, out there kingdom created by Soule, especially now that he is Marvel exclusive. I really like this kingdom as a concept, but I just can’t help but think that I was robbed of four pages of plot resolution and given in return random exposition that kills the momentum of the rest of the issue. It really is a shame.

The Verdict

Overall, Swamp Thing #40 was a satisfying conclusion to the series. The art, like always, was perfect and completely on point. I just wish Soule took a little bit more time to focus in on some resolution instead of introducing new plot threads that will never be seen again.

Story: 4 out of 5
Art: 5 out of 5
Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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