Goodbye Swampy-By Hank Van Hawkins
Noooooo. So Swampy gets cancelled in March?!! Thanks alot Convergence. Truth be told I am distraught! By now you have also read this head line. Personally I have refused to believe it. It has me holding back the current issues of Swampy out of both fear and excitement. So, I have been grappling with this decision for a little while now. Then I decided to write a review about the Justice League Dark where so many of favorite axed characters (Swampy included) are currently residing and working only to discover a few days after posting that article, that it too is getting cancelled ! What is going on ?? DC, are you trying to mirror Marvel’s Disney excesses now? Who knows how long I will be blaming this Convergence event for putting out to pasture some of my favorite titles. I also dislike the choice to cancel Aquaman and the Others, but I will be addressing that in my next article. For all the success that the DC TV shows are breeding, they have also been holding their own with the brevity of many of their current comic book titles. I have no idea why they are throwing out so many babies with the bath water.
Swamp Thing is by far my favorite title ever and with its most current run, it adds yet another stellar chapter to his history in the comic books as well as further establishing his place in the DC universe. I have never picked up a title or issue of swampy that I wasn’t thrilled and enthralled by. I have too many good things to say to be objective. In fact, that’s why I have never attempted to review it because I love it so much.
I read and heard some rumblings about Swampy being a part of the Convergence, but I have yet to hear the title under which he will now dwell. I’d be delighted if anyone could share this info with me. From the very beginning of the New 52 Swampy has been right on and has been a fantastic vehicle for a slew of awesome writers! I cannot say enough good things about the Rot World arc, because it was a difficult battle for Swampy and he had to call on a lot of friends to eventually get the dirty work done. I find little fault in Swampy’s adventures, so I had no need to review something I already loved? Yet with the sudden developments I knew I had to do this review/obituary to indeed to not only confess my love for Swamp Thing as well as clearly express my doubts about this so called Convergence event. Which, at first glance appears to be nothing close to the success, mystery, and excitement of the Blackest Night event which accomplished a lot creatively and set the stage pretty solidly for The New 52 relaunch.
Now this is less of a review and more of an obituary. I also felt the need to share my disgust in a scathing criticism of the current state of affairs with DC. It appears to be somewhat chaotic and scrambling and for what reason? Why is DC compelled to reboot everything ? Personally I think this will work to get the smaller presses and their titles into the hands of readers and comic book lovers. Dark horse has always been adept at doing so, thus their longevity. Same with Boom and IDW, because they all have pretty strong rosters these days and I think they will all do even better this year than all the years previously due to all the confusion DC and Marvel have now started to seed on a weekly basis. With big promises and promotions that never really deliver on what they say they will, Over promising and under delivering is bad for any business. It is a both a compelling and sad state for the big boys of the comic book world however we can never underestimate the power of the little guys that have now an opportunity to by pass up the big boys. Yet on the other hand, we might have just flown past the current sweet spot comics has been in for a few years now. Alot of that success has been a byproduct of branching out and giving some of the lesser heroes their own titles. Doing so also helps to break in a lot of good writers who would otherwise never have a chance to break in with the big boys. I also like it when the titles keep it simple.
Swampy has always kept it simple and straightforward even when juggling different battles in different worlds, all the while sharing the pages with other DC characters. He has never gotten too busy. In fact Swamp Thing has always been accessible and relate able in any one issue no matter where it happens to be in a particular arc. So it’s sad by all means yet at the same time it seems to be a fertile field this year where the smaller guys are set up to make leaps and bounds over the big boys. Hopefully this will lead to a breath of fresh air in the comic world while giving birth to some new heroes and new titles. And until then if you get a chance show Swampy some love by telling DC they are making a huge mistake by removing one of their most iconic, popular, and useful hero’s from their universe.
-Hank Van Hawkins