Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones by Scott Snyder – Graphic Novel Review [Bane of Kings]

Swamp Thing Vol 1

Bane of Kings reviews Scott Snyder’s first volume on DC’s New 52 Swamp Thing, Raise Them Bones, with art from Yanick Paquette and Marco Rudy. 

“Swamp Thing proves that Snyder can write well outside of Batman with a stunning opening volume to the new series which I will be following for sure.” ~The Founding Fields

Swamp Thing: Raise Them Bones was the second volume of DC’s New 52 that I purchased for trade paperback after  the success of the first volume of the Teen Titans: It’s Our Right To Fight, and now that I look back on it, I realise that I could not have picked a more different series. Even though Scott Snyder has worked on BatmanRaise Them Bones is a whole different beast to any DC, and  indeed – Marvel comic that I’ve read before. And did I enjoy it?

Yes. I enjoyed it a lot.

In the 40-years since its debut, Swamp Thing has been graced with some of the best writers in comics from Len Wein to Alan Moore and now, as part of the DC Comics—The New 52, ‘American Vampire’ scribe Scott Snyder brings his talents to an all new Swamp Thing series set in the DC Universe.Following the events of ‘Brightest Day,’ Alec Holland has his life back…but the “Green” has plans for it. A monstrous evil is rising in the desert, and it’ll take a monster of another kind to defend life as we know it!This hardcover collection includes issues 1-7 of the monthly series.

For starters, I have not read any Swamp Thing related title before, and until I saw this series on Comixology I did not even know that Swamp Thing existed. After some thought and some good feedback from regular sources, I ended up picking the first issue up digitally. And I wasn’t that impressed with it, mainly because I was left wondering what the hell was going on.

So I was essentially taking a huge risk with Raise Them Bones. And did it pay off? Yes, yes it did. The first issue was much clearer when read with the other six contained within this volume, and I really got into the great atmospheric tone created by Snyder and artist Paquette alike. Although the series was a bit confusing to start off with, Snyder does a great job at establishing the series for new readers and by the end of the graphic novel I wasn’t too lost. I knew about the Rot and the Green, the two warring factions, I knew about Alec Holland, and I knew about Abigal Arcane and her younger, evil half brother William. Everything sort of fell into place in the last few pages, and I was left thinking – “Holy Crap. This is brilliant.”

I’d even go so far as to call it among the top 5 of DC’s New 52 series, right up there with Batman and three others. It’s awesome. The art is dark, green, moody and atmospheric, which is essentially the tone for the whole story as well. There’s a lot of darkness happening here, and we never quite know where this story is going. Sure, it moves along slowly and is best read in collected edition format, but I love how Snyder has developed his portion of the world and the characters within it. Whilst I’ll admit I took a bit of a risk with picking up this first volume because I wasn’t sure whether I’d like it or not, I now am eagerly looking forward to the release of the second volume.

If you’re considering about picking up these issues individually, I recommend that you buy the trade paperback instead and read it as a collected edition, particularly if like me – you’re a newcomer to Swamp Thing. This story is best to be read as a collected edition – so take advantage of that. The art is stunning as well, and there isn’t any complaints from me there as Yanick Paquette has done a stunning job with this. If you like your horror and you like your graphic novels, then Swamp Thing is the book for you.

Verdict: 4/5

Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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