I have to admit, I am not completely certain what to make of the Swamp Thing Winter Special. I suppose that is my own fault. I don’t like knowing anything about the books I read before I read them, so I avoid a lot of promotional stuff. Had I read all that, I might have understood what they are doing in this volume.
There are two stories in the book, which is pretty evenly split between them. The lead story is by Tom King and Jason Fabok, and features Swamp Thing trying to protect a child from a snow monster during the winter.
The most interesting element of the tale has Swamp Thing getting dumb when trapped in the frozen lands. The plants are all dormant, and he is not able to connect with the green because of that, which limits his capacity to think. That has not really been explored before, and I like the concept. It bodes well for the upcoming series, and the insights King will have on the character.
On the down side, the story goes on a bit too long for its weight. It becomes too obvious by the time the ending is reached. A shame, were it a bit shorter, it would have worked better.
It’s the second piece in the book that leaves me mystified. We get to look at what seems to be a silent story by Len Wein and Kelly Jones. Solomon Grundy plays a role, but it’s hard to precisely follow all the events. Then we get to read the script for the pages that we just got to look at, a script with captions and dialogue and everything. And it seems this is the script for issue 7 of the upcoming series, maybe?
So will issue 7 reprint the pages we have already seen, but with the captions and dialogue? I’ll be a bit less than engaged with issue 7 if this is the case, having already seen it. If that is not the plan, then for what reason was it considered desirable to separate the art and script for the reader?
Considering that fully half of this book is devoted to the second tale, that really drags down the overall book. I know I would have loved a normal length story, edited down from King and Fabok’s tale, more than the volume we are presented with.