Swamp Thing Winter Special 2018
Swamp Thing Winter Special is an absolutely stunning love letter to writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson, the late creators of the titular character. Tom King writes the first story in this special knocking it out of the park with the help of artist Jason Fabok. King seems to shine brightest when given his own area to work away from main continuity. Once yet again King lands another high quality collaborator in the rising star artist, Jason Fabok.
Bernie Wrightson's legacy on Swamp Thing is made proud by Jason Fabok’s pencils. The intricacy on Swamp Thing for the cover alone is enough to sell this issue. Starting on Batman, moving onto Justice League and recently The Button, Fabok’s name is quickly becoming synonymous with excellent comics and this special continues this trend. The story is a fast read with quick dialogue allowing Fabok to carry the majority of emotional scenes in beautiful fashion. Fabok is quickly rising to master class artist with his total attention to detail. Even with his ancillary characters, Fabok truly displays his flexibility in expression with each different person as emotions run high.
Although the majority of this first story takes place in the snow, Brad Anderson elevates every moment of Fabok's pencils wonderfully. With the story taking place in a blizzard, it allows more focus in each panel highlighting important scenes by creating this focus through negative space. Brad Anderson’s use of red in important scenes also adds a stark contrast to the blizzard motif. King plays with the reader's emotions in this high stakes story while being able to lean on the artwork to do the heavy lifting.
The second story was an unfinished script from the late Len Wein and artist Joelle Jones. This unfinished tale would have launched a brand new ongoing series from this creative team. Portrayed without any text, this silent story simply oozes classic Swamp Thing. Joelle Jones’ art truly adds a fitting aesthetic approximating old DC back issues. Another fast paced story, Jones’ art allows the reader to follow along without dialogue even if it was never meant to be done in this way conceptually.
The Swamp Thing Winter Special is a monument to the late creators and their legacy while displaying the newer talents of King, Fabok, and Jones. Eighty pages has never felt so short as it leaves the reader wanting an ongoing series that isn't coming. Truly bittersweet, this special is not one to go under the radar. Master class comics at it's finest.