BRIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH: THE SEARCH FOR SWAMP THING #1
Writer: Jonathan Vankin
Art: Marco Castello & Vincenzo Acunzo
Reviewer: The Writing Rambler
The book itself is an odd read overall. I didn’t hate it, but I also feel like it did nothing to further the story and basically was just 20 pages (I’m not counting the ads, especially the Subway comic where Grodd is defeated by a basketball to the face….I still feel slightly violated after reading that) of letting the non-Vertigo readers know who John Constantine is. The whole story just follows John traveling to the US to find Batman and voice his concerns about Swamp Thing’s return. There’s an appearance by Zatanna as well, but again it almost feels forced, simply to say “See, Constantine knows Batman and Zatanna so he definitely belongs here”. While there’s nothing done particularly wrong, it just feels like a lot of wasted space in a limited series that is only set for 3 issues.
One thing I will commend the book for is its artwork. It does a great job delivering the overall grittiness of Gotham and Constantine’s personality as well. I also really like the way Swamp Thing is captured. While only appearing on one page of the entire book, you can clearly see the power behind the character represented.
Something else I need to touch on is the cover art, which is probably my biggest complaint of the issue. While the art looks great, this has to be one of the worst “bait and switch” covers I remember seeing in a while. Dead center behind Constantine is Superman himself; glaring forward as though he’s prepping to lobotomize John for smoking on the cover. It looks great but the problem is that Superman never appears in the issue and is never even made reference to. It just seemed like a cheap way to entice buyers by putting the company’s biggest star front and center for no apparent reason. Also, I recall in the ads for this as an upcoming title that Zatanna wasn’t on the cover and Hawkman was. I’m guessing they switched this out being that Hawkman is also never seen or mentioned in the book either. Again, it just seems odd and leads me to believe this limited series is not that well prepped.
With so little time left before the impending “reboot” of all things DC, one has to wonder if this three issue run is really going to be able to flesh anything out. I’m hoping this story gets to be told and is not just serving as filler to get us from point A to B (though after this first issue that’s how I’m starting to feel). Nonetheless, I’ll be checking it out because I’m hoping now that we’ve gotten past a slow start, the last two issues can provide some real “meat” to the Swamp Thing storyline, plus I hate starting things and not finishing them so DC has me on the books for another $5.98 before this is all said and done.