SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1 by Tom King, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Len Wein and Kelly Jones
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
SWAMP THING is known for its deeper meanings, and Tom King hits it in all the right places. Compelling, heartfelt and thoughtful, he composed a beautiful story. Seeing the last plotted story by Len Wein will make you appreciate the Green so much more.
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A Green Masterpiece
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SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1, the first SWAMP THING book since 2011, has arrived! This chapter features an all-star creative team consisting of Tom King, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Kelly Jones, and the final story by the late Len Wein. Tom King has composed an epic and heartbreaking story about a winter demon haunting Swamp Thing. This piece also features pages by Kelly Jones to accompany Len Wein’s final story. Len Wein’s notes on the tale conclude the issue as a tribute to his great work. Since we lost both original creators last year, Bernie Wrightson and Len Wein, this issue feels all the more powerful being dedicated to them.

SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1
SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1: Freezing The Green

SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1 kicks off with Tom King and Jason Fabok taking the helm of this story. Leading into what fans know to expect, a horrifying supernatural tale, Swamp Thing desperately tries to survive a neverending winter, while carrying a small boy with him. The tension builds as we follow the two and learn what previously transpired — of the battles Swamp Thing had with the monster, and how they barely escape alive. The story grips us until we reach the event’s climax and find out the monster’s identity. This revelation twists expectations, creating a beautiful metaphor to reflect on.

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Overall, King does an amazing job presenting this story. His pacing mixes so well with the weak and delusional Swamp Thing. Also, how he hints towards the identity of the monster throughout the book creates a perfect payoff by the end. King’s theme of facing demons, no matter how difficult, sends a powerful message. It’s a wonderful book to reflect back on that deeper meaning of the struggle and sacrifice needed to move on.

Considering the story, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson were the best choices for this special. It’s always interesting seeing different artists take on Swamp Thing, and Fabok and Anderson make the creature stunning on every page. They imbue the character with a monstrous aura, and the contrast of Swamp Thing’s body from the beginning and end is stunning.

SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1
SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1 page 48. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Lein Wein’s Final Words

Following King’s story, we have fully colored pages from Kelly Jones, without words. Jones’ work tells a fluid story before we even get to Wein’s script outline. We know that the story seemed to pick up after Wein and Jones’ 2011 SWAMP THING run and there were plans to involve Solomon Grundy and Batman. Following this, we have Len Wein’s actual transcript for the issue. It’s classic Wein writing for Swamp Thing, very similar in tone to his last series.

The unfortunate death of Len last year due to heart complications makes this issue even more poignant to read. Wein, along with Bernie Wrightson, who also died last year due to brain cancer, created Swamp Thing. His impact on the comic book world goes far beyond what many realize, like having also created Wolverine. The tribute by editor Rebecca Taylor highlights the greatness of Wein and his contributions. It’s a touching dedication to the creator, making this issue all the more special just for that.

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Lost In The Swamp

There have been recent hints of creators wanting to take on Swamp Thing for a full series, but no announcements have been made so far. With Greg Capullo teasing artwork on his Twitter a few months ago, along with Tom King showing great interest, there’s certainly potential. DC has sprung back with Rebirth being a huge success amongst fans, so we could get one sooner than we think. With both original creators now gone, having a SWAMP THING series would carry the character into a fantastic future. A horror title might be what DC is missing right now.

SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1
SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1 page 69. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Into The Green

Overall, the SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1 will make readers want to see more of this character. It’s a great issue filled with brilliant new ideas for the character, and a story that we only wish could’ve come to light. It’s a fantastic tribute and lets us wonder what Len Wein’s story would have added to the DCU. Meanwhile, Tom King and Jason Fabok could create an excellent series by going off this story. Both compelling and heartfelt, it’s definitely worth picking up.

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