Comic Review - Swamp Thing: Green Hell

In a world where mankind has dwindled down to a couple of small groups and the ecosystem is out of balance, the various parliaments agree that it is time to wipe the slate clean. When a new elemental avatar is selected, the last pocket of humans turns to the one man crazy enough to do anything - John Constantine. And he in turn will bring back Alec Holland to the world of the living to fight back against the forces of life and death. That’s right - Constantine, the bastard himself, pulled Alec away from his own personal heaven to return to the Hell that the world has become.

When it comes to story-telling regardless of mediums, one principle comes to mind. Just because a story has been told before, doesn’t mean it can’t be told in a different way. Or at the very least, still be entertaining. There have been several post-apocalyptic stories (comics, movies, shows, etc.) that are at least vaguely similar to this one. I say vaguely because, even though it is implied the state of the world is caused by humans causing damage to the environment, it is never explicitly stated if that is true. But I actually like that it is kept vague. I don’t think knowing would actually contribute anything to the story. It might even just get in the way of what we want to see. You can also argue there are a few Swamp Thing stories from the past that have had conflicts that touch on similar ideas and motivations. That people should be wiped out in order for life to keep going. Of course, Alec doesn’t agree with that and still protects the last group of humans. And I think this story might have accidentally touched on an idea that other similar stories often ignore. Humans are a part of the ecosystem and part of keeping the world in balance. Sure, some of the things we do are inherently destructive and evil. But people in general are not. I’m not sure if the book actively put that in but it is what I picked up.

Another thing I appreciate about this Black Label book is while it is an out-of-continuity story, the characters are still kept in character. Alec Holland still feels like the version we know from the main DC universe. John Constantine still is a bastard but he is also still trying to do the right thing in his own arrogant way. I also enjoyed seeing an older version of Maxine, the daughter of Animal Man. Honestly, the only criticism worth noting from a writing or character perspective is that it can’t do more due to it being a mini-series. I would have loved for this to be an ongoing title. From an art perspective, there are great shots in here. I do want to point out one error though. Early on when the parliaments are talking to each other, one of the text bubbles is grey. I initially thought this was to represent that The Grey was a part of the conversation. But later on, when it pops up again, it seems to be just another text bubble for The Green…even though the comic had already established that the green-colored text bubbles are for The Green. I think this is part of DC just not really knowing what to do with The Grey. They played a big role during the Saga of the Swamp Thing volume and did appear again during the New 52 title. It feels weird that they were seemingly not a part of this book and that they haven’t really been utilized in the main universe either.

But that doesn’t get in the way of enjoying a dark yet hopeful book. A highlight in Swamp Thing’s publication history that every fan should check out.


It’s such a great series that I, unfortunately, remember more for its #2 and #3 being back pushed for 2 years! I enjoyed it now that all it’s available to read as a full set on the infinite app.

You were right about the story being familiar. Heck this story ain’t that different from the future State Swamp Thing a few years back. However, whether we’re talking about Wonder-woman, Batman or Superman. Superhero Post-apocalyptic stories are a dime and dozen, yet it’s always interesting how familiar stories can still be interesting. In this case, the story about humanity screwing up the planet, has made the Green and Red seeking to start over by killing the few pockets of humanity left with the only one who can stop them is a dead Alec Holland Swamp Thing is certainly a interesting premise. (Is it wrong to say if it’s only a few dozen of us left, I’m siding with the bad guys :sweat_smile:.)

There is plenty of grotesque monster action here, I wouldn’t call this body horror as there is hardly anything scary or really creepy about it. Just zombie looking monsters that are impressively drawn by Doug Mahnke.

His art was great in the first issue, but it was slightly diminishing by #2 and #3 which is understandable considering this book release schedule was in it’s own hell.

As the parliaments decide to rid humanity, one of the characters, George, decides to seek the one man who can potentially save them all, and that’s John Constantine.

While the story is certainly a Swamp Thing narrative, the real hero in Green Hell is Constantine.
He’s the one who pulls every single con trick he can to make sure Swamp Thing and humanity have a fighting chance. I don’t normally like Constantine, but I think the ending while might be upsetting for some, does show John Constantine best traits and that was being the ultimate humanitarian till the very end.

If this series was a longer book with maybe three more issues, I think I would love it more. It felt kind of rush, and I won’t lie, that was disappointing. I give a positive review, but it ain’t no masterpiece. I think if you’re a fan of Swamp Thing, this big green giant, you’ll definitely enjoy it.

Also I recommend people to check out the Future State Swamp Thing series. It’s pretty great too. You could read this and those issues as an companion series.


Man, Swamp Thing is my favorite full stop. I’ve read his Future State stories and probably at least 90% of his appearances. The only stories I might have missed are if he showed up in someone else’s book