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'Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder' gives DC's character more humanity

Cover art for 'Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder.'
Cover art for 'Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder.'
DC Comics

'Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder' Graphic Novel

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DC Comics releases "Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder" onto fans of super hero and horror titles. The graphic novel collects issues 19 through 23 and 32.1 of the monthly series. Four different adventures guarantee a lot of action and suspense is found in this book.

In "Urban Jungle" and "This Green Hell," Swamp Thing is lured to Metropolis by the Scarecrow. When the evil Doctor Crane doses the creature with his fear toxin, plants of all shapes and sizes begin destroying the city. Only one hero can save Metropolis from certain doom - Superman.

"The Murder Poet" brings Swamp Thing in contact with a woman named Capucine. She claims he's to give her sanctuary from evildoers who have targeted her for elimination. To fully understand her purpose, he must make contact with the Parliament of the Trees and learn about the dangers of the past.

"The Whiskey Tree" Parts One and Two focus on a wanderer moving from town to town granting their wishes through unnatural seeding. After one town wishes for their whiskey business to return, he plants them a tree which produces the drink. His actions cause an imbalance in the nature of the Green. Swamp Thing arrives to set things right, but comes up against a powerful man who seems to disagree with the negative effect the tree is having on the villagers. His name is Constantine and he wants to be king of the village!

Lastly, "The Patchwork History" sees the return of Anton Arcane. Banished to his own vision of Hell, Arcane is nothing more than a pure evil shell of himself. He reflects on his past sins and relationship to Abigail Arcane.

Writer Charles Soule has taken the Swamp Thing character out of the hands of Scott Snyder and done something completely different with him in "Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder." He's more vocal and personable than he was in the first three volumes. I also like the emphasis on the character's abilities to transform and adapt to his plant surroundings. Soule wasn't afraid to grab the reins of this series and shake things up a bit.

Artists Kano, Jesus Saiz, Alvaro Lopez, and David Lapham bring our plant hero to life in "Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder." There different styles are noticeable, but not in an intrusive manner. Their illustrations capture the spirit of lunacy and air of evil found in writer Soule's narrative.

"Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder" includes eight pages of bonus material. We get character designs by Kano and Jesus Saiz. Original penciled pages before inking are provided by Jesus Saiz and Kano. It also features cover sketches by Guillem March.

Rated "T" for Teens, "Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder" contains some disturbing imagery which would scare younger children. I consider the Swamp Thing title to cross into the area of horror comics. There's some adult content as well, but no nudity.

"Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder" takes our hero in new directions both in regards to the story and character development. Writer Charles Soule brings the humanity of Alec Holland out from underneath the mossy exterior of the creature. He's continued what Scott Snyder started by raising the stature of the monthly series to a level of essential reading.

"Swamp Thing Volume 4: Seeder" is available in paperback and Kindle editions.