Swamp Thing is one of the most fascinating characters in DC Comics’ stable, originally created as the monster in a one-off horror story before being brought back for a more heroic ongoing series that took the character in strange, exciting directions when Alan Moore took over as writer. Since then, Swamp Thing has continued to evolve, with Charles Soule wrapping up an exceptional run on the character last year, expanding the elemental mythology of the DC Universe while still staying true to Swamp Thing’s horror foundation.

The new Swamp Thing miniseries doesn’t work especially well as an extension of Soule’s work, but it’s a very successful return to the characters roots (no pun intended) written by his creator Len Wein with striking, atmospheric artwork by Kelley Jones and colorist Michelle Madsen. Wein’s verbose writing style works for the more retro horror angle of this miniseries, and the art team does remarkable work bringing Wein’s ideas to the page with its sinewy linework and bold colors.

This preview of next week’s Swamp Thing #3 spotlights Jones and Madsen’s talent for dramatic, haunting imagery, from the impactful opening splash to the final close-up shot of Swamp Thing’s face as he tells his old friend Matt Cable about his complicated relationship with his ex-girlfriend. Matt isn’t the only familiar face dropping by this issue, and the cover promises an appearance by the magician Zatanna, who, if the cover is to be believed, has ditched her New 52 costume for her classic look. The new Swamp Thing miniseries doesn’t quite fit in the current New 52 landscape, but that’s a big part of its charm as it channels DC’s past.

Cover by Kelley Jones and Chris Sotomayor

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