What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Future State: Swamp Thing #1! Compared to the other Future State stories, this is the one I just so happened to look forward to most. Swamp Thing more than most makes sense to know the future of. This is the champion of the Earth and the avatar of The Green. No matter what happens to the world of heroes, there is always going to be the existence of powers like The Green and other elemental forces. Considering the kind of world we’re about to step into, I for one couldn’t help but be anxious to see what kind of avatar would be chosen next.
Now while it would take some time to peel back the layers to this “Green Father”, interest definitely lied with exploring this world which was scarce of human life. When you read that this story would take place from the ashes of a terrible war, it did make you wonder just what that was supposed to mean. Some of the other Future State stories give you the impression that those heroes are existing around the same time. Though in the case of Swamp Thing, we are taking a journey much farther down the road in the future. Not that I find a problem with this either. It’s hard to argue with the idea that if for the most part a war happened which would wipe away practically all of humanity, plant life would continue on. And it makes sense that if Swamp Thing were around to bloom life anew, it would be in his image. So I admired this creative team making the bold move to build a world where plantlife is the new majority.
Which brings us to Swamp Thing himself. There was definitely some confusion about who exactly this avatar was, but you could probably make your assumption based on the consistent focus throughout the issue. After you get past this, there was just the Swamp Thing you knew you could get when there wasn’t the coldness he gives off around people. The version of him who could play hero, have people look up to him, and just have his voice heard in general. It was refreshing in contrast to the Swamp Thing you see in the present with the Justice League Dark.
Where the main story is concerned,I was taken back by the direction things took by the end of the issue. Before you flipped open to that first page, they gave you this impression that the problem was going to be humans trying to take back the world from the plants, or the plants rebelling against their creator. Yet there was actually much more to this than we were seeing on the surface. There was a whole different plot stirring that we just had to be patient to see unfold. And even then you wouldn’t be too sure of how things play out because of the different views everyone takes towards their own people. What you do know is that it probably is a problem that Swamp Thing could be so consumed with the idea of finding someone still living. To have your own people, but consistently seeking out another peoples? That feels like something which can turn into something more easily.
My only critique would be that if the plant people are speaking their own language which humans can’t understand, there should be some distinction to make the statement that two different languages are being spoken and understood.
That said, the art team of Mike Perkins and June Chung was perfect for Swamp Thing. Together they brought out the natural beauty which immerses you in a world where plants thrive. It helped having an artist like Perkins who does not skip a beat. The characters are detailed from head to toe, the same can be said for the settings from the ground up. There is even distinction in every person who is clearing put together from different types of flora, and different colors too. This could have also been colored bold and vibrant, but it was brilliant that we have a colorist who met you halfway with an understanding of the kind of world this is still taking place in. The Green is flourishing, but this is still overtop the ashes of a fallen world. The most creative thing they produced had to be the pages in which Swamp Thing detailed his creation of the plan people. Pages like this I find so creative because you are seeing the artists and writers really show how much thought they put into what’s being visualized. It’s easy to just say these are plant people just like Swamp Thing, but it is another thing to take the time to explain how. Every muscle, bodily function, and variety in plant used to put these people together was believable through the rendering in each page of their physiology.
If there was any Future State book that I would recommend most, it would have to be Future State: Swamp Thing. This one is fueled by imagination and undeniably can stand on its own. You don’t need to know anything extra about Swamp Thing to just jump right into this story.