Please Keep In Mind That This Article Contains Potential Spoilers For “Pilot” and Events That Occurred Prior
With Titans and Doom Patrol having finished their first seasons, its time for the new kid in town. The newbie in question? None other than Swamp Thing. First off, if you are expecting anything similar to Doom Patrol, you should leave those thoughts behind. This show couldn’t be any more different—in fact it even differs greatly when compared to Titans as well. I applaud DC Universe for (so far) being able to find a unique voice for each of their new shows. That all being said, the quality of Doom Patrol is a hard act to follow. How does Swamp Thing fare? Well the short answer is: extremely well.
Swamp Thing is a very dark and visceral show. So don’t go in expecting humorous quips left and right. Expect something scarier. In fact that’s one of the best parts of the entire presentation—the horror vibe. It’s a vibe that is executed extremely well, and the show certainly does a great job keeping you on the edge of your seat, wondering what nightmare inducing image/scenario may be next. It’s a refreshing and unique atmosphere that the show presents to us, and goes a long way in showing just how genre spanning superhero tales can be.
Going hand-in-hand with the visceral horror, another strong aspect of the show is their amazing SFX work. It’s simply incredible what this show pulls off in regards to both its practical and CGI effects. Not only is it artist talent displayed in its purist form, it’s downright horrifying to see come alive. The morgue scene alone was mind-blowing. With the quality on display, it’s easy to see how the show may have blown through its budget as rumored some time ago. When it comes to the titular character’s look (something that I’m sure you had already seen going into the first episode), that too is quite astonishing. The suit looks tremendous, and is another reminder that respecting the source material is almost always the way to go. While you don’t get to see much of it in the opening episode, what you do see is enough to get anyone excited.
The first episode spends most of its time introducing us to two of our main characters: Abby Arcane and Alec Holland. Abby is a specialist, that works for the CDC, who is sent back to her hometown where a mysterious virus has broken out. Crystal Reed does a great job at introducing us to Abby, and getting us a good glimpse of a traumatic past that haunts her. As for Alec, he is a discredited researcher who is trying to help Abby get to the bottom of everything. While the show may have gone a little fast with the affection between Abby and Alec, their chemistry with each other is palpable and the actors play very well off of each other. There are plenty of other side characters that we see glimpses of, but really most of the focus is on those two. Which is completely fine—building a solid foundation for your main characters right out of the gate is always a good move.
Swamp Thing is an impressive and unique addition to the superhero TV show landscape. It’s a shame that executives behind the show can’t see the treasure that they have at their feet (with the show having already been canceled). With a great first installment having set the playing field, I’m excited to see what comes next. I do find it curious that we don’t have any specific villain right out of the gate. What mysterious force is causing all of this chaos, and will that force be antagonistic? Or maybe it’ll be someone we’ve met, someone who may become at odds with the Swamp Thing himself.
You can catch new episodes of Swamp Thing when they air on DC Universe streaming network every Friday.