Swamp Thing Volume 4: A Murder of Crows

“Do you trust me?” Textbox asked. Kirin crossed her arms.

“You didn’t answer my question,” Kirin said, visibly annoyed. Her body stood tense, preparing to argue with him.

“You didn’t answer mine. Do you trust me?”  Textbox repeated. The worry in her voice made her pause.

“You’re serious, aren’t you?” she marveled. She’d never heard him sound so grim.

“Yes,” Textbox replied. Kirin uncrossed her arms and relaxed, but didn’t smile. She took a deep breath.

“I trust you Textbox, but what’s wrong? You haven’t been your usual annoying self lately,” she asked concerned for her friend.

“I should just show you, but first, I need you to review something,” Textbox instructed. Kirin’s jaw dropped.

“You want me to do what? Textbox, our friends our missing. They could need out help. We’re caught in some sort of dimensional highway with no idea how to find them, and you want me to review something?” she asked incredulously.

“Yep. Pretty much. And I have just the thing for you to review.”

Hello, I’m a unicorn, and Textbox, is this really necessary?

For the forty-sixth time Kirin, yes, it is. This will give you an idea of what we’re up against.

You’re not wasting my time like you did with TMNT#16?

Absolutely not, now get to summarizing.

Okay, so Alec Holland is a scientist studying the swamp in the hopes of finding a bio-restorative formula when an explosion goes off in the lab, and he is covered in burning chemicals. He instinctively runs into the swamp, but when the flame is put out, but it isn’t Holland that rises out of the primordial ooze. Instead, it’s the Swamp Thing, a plant elemental with all the memories of Holland. Well, that’s the gist of the character’s origins. In this volume, we find the Swamp Thing nearing the end of a journey of self discovery with the Occult Detective, John Constantine. He is trying to understand the nature of evil after seeing so much of it on his journey with Constantine. Meanwhile, the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths are occurring and an evil society of male witches known as the Brujeria plot to destroy heaven with a chaotic entity so ancient it precedes time itself and so large that it is beyond understanding. It is up to the two, along with Etrigan, the Phantom Stranger, Deadman, the Spectre, Zatanna, Sargon the Sorcerer, Dr. Fate, and other mages and occultists to prevent this evil from destroying everything. Being a trade collection, there are other stories, my personal favorites being Windfall and Ghost Dance. Ghost Dance is especially entertaining if you have heard of the Winchestor House, which I highly recommend looking up because the history of that house is fascinating.

Overall, this is very, very highly recommended especially if you are a fan of horror comics. This book is, in a word, amazing which is to be expected from this legendary team. The artwork, by Stan Woch and Ron Randall, is great, and it’s beautifully written by Alan Moore, the genius behind Watchmen, V for Vendetta, among other stories mentioned in documentaries on the history of comics. I will warn you though, this book is not for the faint of heart, or the weak of stomach. It is full of terrifying imagery and nightmare fuel galore. But if you feel that you are brave enough to face the horrors of humanity and the gods, what are you waiting for? Read it now, but be warned, if answers are what you seek, they may be “black and unbearable”.

“Don’t I know it,” Kirin muttered as she finished reading the comic. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” she asked Textbox.

“Shh. It might hear you,”  Textbox warned. “Even talking about it will get its attention, so untie the rope. I need to show you something.”

“What? Are you crazy? How would we know how to get home?” Kirin protested.

“I am, in fact, bonkers, but you’ll just have to trust me,” Textbox replied.

“Yeah, that’s really comforting,” Kirin muttered ash she untied the rope. She felt the familiar pull at her naval, and felt herself be yanked around like a rag doll. Blinding colors filled her vision, and she felt dizzy. When it finally stopped, Kirin fell to her knees.

“Still not fun,” she gasped. She stood up unsteadily and looked around. Instead of the brightly colored planets and stars against the night sky, there was nothing but whiteness. In front of her, there was the outline of a shattered mirror. “Textbox, where are we?” she asked.

“My home planet.”

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