June 19, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: Swamp Thing: Green Hell #3 (March, 2023)

Alec Holland and a handful of allies deal with the Court of the Green once and for all.

I wasn’t sure if this Black Label mini-series was three issues or more.  There seemed to be too much story for there to be three.  Four might be better.

Nope, it was three.

Issue:  Swamp Thing: Green Hell #3, March 2023

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artists:  Shawn Moll and Doug Mahnke

The Plot:  Alec Holland makes his final stand!

Commentary:  Effectively, this is Alec Holland trying to save the last of humanity, and he has some help.  Even though the Green stripped him of almost all of his powers and that if he dies in this body he won’t get up again, he does have some help against the army of Green Avatars in the form of the last few survivors, former Avatar of the Red Maxine “Animal Woman” Baker, and whatever John Constantine has left.  All Alec wants is to go back to the spiritual realm where Abbey and Tefe are.  If he dies, he probably can’t.  If Constantine dies beforehand, he probably can’t.  And he doesn’t have much left in the tank.

Anyway, it’s not a bad conclusion when all is said and done, but honestly, this one is rather overstuffed.  A lot happens in very little space, and while the endings for characters like Alec Holland and John Constantine feel earned, it probably could have worked better with maybe one more issue or at least an extra long last one.  And these are extra-sized issues as it is.  The fact that it seems to cram too much plot into too short a space doesn’t work for me as well as I might like it to.

That said, the ending is also a bit ambiguous.  I think that’s a bit of the right call as all the heroes needed to do here is prevent the death of the last humans.  Much beyond that is probably a bit beyond what they needed to do.  However, I also find it a bit weird that the Red and the Green are dealt with, but the Rot is basically just relegated to a throwaway line.  As it is, the first two partsof this story worked very well, but this last one?  Not so much.

Grade:  B-