Swamp Thing
Spontaneous Generation

Author: Rick Veitch
Artists: Rick Veitch and Alfredo Alcala
Titan Books
RRP 12.99
ISBN 1 84576 860 6
Available 24 March 2006

After returning from the endless void of space, the elemental force known as the Swamp Thing discovered that, in his absence, a replacement had been created to take his place as the avatar of earth's plant life. Unwilling to kill this new, as-yet unborn spirit to restore the delicate balance of nature, Swamp Thing instead resolved to find a way to coexist with his would-be successor. His first attempt, however, proved less than encouraging - and set an unbalanced doppelganger of himself loose on the world. Now, with the embryonic elemental growing more corrupt with each failed incarnation, Swamp Thing is about to find a new way to look at the problem - a way that points to John Constantine as the pivotal, yet unwitting agent of success...

Spontaneous Generation is a bit of a winner. It takes a look at how each Swamp Thing is created - and why the humans that are chosen all have similar sounding names. It also examines the importance of the "sprout" and what power this small item contains.

Who are the two criminals being chauffeured around in a Limousine by an alternate Swamp Thing? Why are they being driven around and why don't they call the police when they realise that they are slowly being starved to death? Abby and Constantine also have to perform a certain act, I won't spoil what, but I was sure that the whole thing would turn out to be a sick Constantine gag.

There is so much crammed into this collection, that I'm itching to read this collection again - to pick up the subtle elements (no pun intended) that I no doubt missed on my first read through.

The only slight moan I have is the fact that the illustrations certainly show their age. This collection was originally printed in comics form back in 1988, and it's obvious.

However, that's only a small quibble in what is an otherwise faultless collection. Swamp Thing fans will be in their element.

Pete Boomer

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