Swamp Thing made its long-awaited debut on the DC Universe streaming service this Friday. Swamp Thing is third live-action DC Comics TV show to debut exclusively on the platform. The show continues in the tradition of its network siblings, bringing much more of an edge to DC television than its CW cousins.
The Swamp Thing character debuted in the 1970s as a stand-alone horror story in House of Secrets. He would later be introduced into the main DC universe. The character has been in movies, a live-action television series on the USA Network in the ’90s and a short-lived animated series.
Swamp Thing follows Abby Arcane as she investigates what seems to be a deadly swamp-born virus in a small town in Louisiana but soon discovers that the swamp holds mystical and terrifying secrets. When unexplainable and chilling horrors emerge from the murky marsh, no one is safe.
The episode opens with three guys in a boat in the swamp making some sort of drop when they are attacked by the swamp itself. They are taken out with one of the guys being impaled by vines as they grow into a giant tree. The next scene is with a little girl coughing up some globby crap in the middle of class and collapsing to the floor.
CDC doctor, Abby Arcane, is sent back to her hometown of Marais, Louisiana to investigate an unknown viral outbreak. She has the usual story of left her hometown after a tragedy and hasn’t been back since. Alec Holland is your big city, bad boy know it all in designer flip flops and cargo shorts. He is a disgraced scientist working for the Sunderland family. The Sunderlands are the richest (and most powerful) family in the town of Marais. The two team up and form a bond as they try to solve the mystery of what’s going on with the swamp and the infection affecting the town.
While Titans works to show it’s oh, so edginess and Doom Patrol works its quirky humor to death, Swamp Thing at its core is a horror story. The use of practical effects add to the horror element. The cinematography is terrific. I expect nothing less from a team that has James Wan on board as one of its Executive Producers. I was blown away by the lightning and the color. There are some pitch black scenes that are perfectly viewable unlike a certain Game of Thrones episode. The scenes that show the plant-based threat build the tension and give a great payoff each and every time.
Swamp Thing had some grotesque scenes that were incredibly fun and refreshing. I enjoyed Titans, but fell out of joy with the oddity that is Doom Patrol. Swamp Thing feels just like the right recipe for success with its Southern gothic mystique providing for a murder mystery thriller that has me excited for episodes to come.
New episodes of Swamp Thing air weekly on DC Universe.
Swamp Thing Pilot Episode
The episode moves a little slow, but it builds the story and universe for the viewer. I could have waited for one more episode for the big reveal to properly build up the relationship between Abby and Alec.