by Maggie Stiefvater &
Morgan Beem (illustrator)
Happy release day to Swamp Thing: Twin Branches!
From #1‑New York Times‑bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater (the Raven Cycle series) and artist Morgan Beem comes DC’s newest young adult original graphic novel, the spine-tingling saga Swamp Thing: Twin Branches. In the pages of this haunting retelling of the Swamp Thing origin story, teenage twin brothers Alec and Walker Holland arrive in Virginia for their last summer before college, but while Walker thrives in the light of parties and social life, Alec recedes into the cool darkness of the lab, driven to finding answers in his plant experiment on consciousness and memory. But what Alec comes to realize is that the experiment isn’t about solving nature’s riddles, but about finding out who he really is. And though these twin brothers have grown apart, they share the same roots – and will unite once more before splintering apart forever.
I didn’t quite know how to react to Swamp Thing, but I feel like it’s the perfect atmospheric, spooky read for this time of the year. Swamp Thing is about two twin brothers who can’t be more different than one another. Alec is working on a science project that he’s hoping will allow him to cultivate a plant’s consciousness so its memories can be handed down to the next plant generation. Walker just wants Alec to get out, go to parties, and have fun.
I wasn’t a big fan of the art in relation to the human characters, but the style for the eerie plant elements fit the story perfectly. Although the plot was a little disjointed and jarring, I think it added to the atmosphere of the story leaving the reader adrift in a nightmarish landscape as things turned into grotesque plant versions of themselves. Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the art, I think it fit the story well.
Like the other books in this collection, this story is meant to be the origin story of Swamp Thing. It introduces us to the character as a normal person and only in the last few pages do we see a glimpse of the character they become. This style was used in Beast Boy, Raven, and now Swamp Thing. Ultimately, I felt that Beast Boy and Raven both had interesting and engaging stories to follow so I absolutely loved those graphic novels. Swamp Thing had a more meandering plot where not much happened. As a result, I finished reading the graphic novel and couldn’t quite figure out how I felt about it.
Disclosure: Thank you to DC Ink/Warner Bros for sending me a digital and physical copy for review.