Since taking over Swamp Thing last year, Charles Soule has built a sprawling narrative around Alec Holland’s struggle to maintain his humanity while serving as the Avatar of the Green, the force that bonds all plant life in the universe. Having destroyed the Parliament of Trees at the end of Soule’s momentous “Seeder” arc, Swamp Thing now has the responsibility of tending the Green on his own, a task that is proving too much for a single elemental being to handle.
To make matters even more difficult, two of the three former Avatars that Alec pulled out of the Green, The Wolf and Lady Weeds, are secretly (and not so secretly) plotting against him, hence the name of Swamp Thing’s two-part story beginning next week: “The Wolf And The Lady.” In this preview of Swamp Thing #33, Alec considers what to do with Lady Weeds, who stabbed in the head at the end of last issue to make it very clear that she’s not his friend and not to be trusted. He also learns that the Green is in shambles after recent events, information gained via The Wolf’s suggestion, so it’s probably going to mean bad things for the future.
Rotating artist Javier Piña returns to give Jesus Saiz a break after his lush work on the last arc, and as usual, there’s almost no discernible difference between the two artists. The attention to background detail and character expression is as strong as ever, and Piña brings unexpected cutesiness to the horror title with his adorable lil’ Green. The transition between artists is made extra smooth by colorist Matthew Wilson, whose organic palette finds incredible variation in constantly appearing greens and browns. Wilson gets to let loose when Swamp Thing enters new environments (see: his beautiful work on last month’s underwater issue), so it will be fascinating to see what he does in the infernal setting promised by next week’s cover.