Comic Book Review – The Swamp Thing Volume 1 – Becoming (2021)

The Swamp Thing – Volume 1 Becoming (2021)

Writer – Ram V

Artist – Mike Perkins

After reading The Many Deaths of Lailla Starr, I decided to check out other stories written by Ram V,and I decided on The Swamp Thing. I actually have this series on my pull list, and I only read the first issue. I was waiting until all of them were released to dive in, but I couldn’t wait any longer and gave the first volume a go.

Levi Kamei has been having nightmares since he returned home from visiting family in India. Each night when he sleeps, he is transformed into a giant green creature doing battle against a monster killing the residents of a desert town in Arizona. Each dream ends the same – Levi is killed by the monster, and he wakes up startled and scared. Each night, he learns about how he is the new avatar of the Green – The Swamp Thing!

Ram V pays homage to former Swamp Thing writers Alan Moore, Scott Snyder, and Charles Soule by returning Swampy to his horror roots, while paving a new direction for the Guardian of the Green. Mike Perkins helps bring Levi’s nightmares to stunning life alongside Mike Spicer and June Chung and their colors of a verdant realm that only a few have seen and experienced before. I enjoyed Mr. Perkins’ art on Marvel Comics The Stand and the horrors he helps bring to life, like the Pale Wanderer, will be burned into your brain long after you finish reading this four issue volume. The two issue Future State – Swamp Thing tie-in is also included in this collection. I ended up re-reading this short story and it still amazes me what Ram and Mike were able to accomplish in just two issues.

Levi’s transformation into the new Swamp Thing does not go unnoticed as heroes and villains in the DCU cameo in each of the four issues. Some are surprising, while others are characters long associated with Swamp Thing that haven’t been seen or used in a while.

For those asking what happened to Alec Holland, you’ll get your answer by the end of this volume. Some mysteries still linger like how did Levi become the new Swamp Thing and how is it connected to his family? What is the Holland Phenomenon and why does Levi’s company, Prescot Industries, have this information and what will they do with it? As soon as I find some spare time, I will be looking for the Swamp Thing issues I already own so I can find out the answers to these burning questions. The Swamp Thing Volume 1 is currently available on Hoopla. Volume 2 will be released on Tuesday August 16th, so you have some time to get caught up.

It has been seven years since the last run of Swamp Thing, and I am so glad he is back in the DC Universe. Ram V’s run was a ten issue limited series that proved so popular that it was extended a few additional issues. Fingers crossed that it becomes an ongoing or we get another volume once this one ends.