DC Universe launches its third live-action series, Swamp Thing, on Friday, May 31st. This April, the originally thirteen episode order was shortened to ten, mid-production. Rumors swirled about the impending demise of the DC Universe platform, but the alarms turned out to be unfounded as more content is added to the app.
The comic version of Swamp Thing has been retconned and rebooted several times, each with very different vibes. The original Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing was a Mary Shelley on the bayou, while the Alan Moore version was Faulkner on bad mushrooms. I was curious which way the new series would lean, and while it will probably evolve as the series goes on, the producers have drawn on their horror backgrounds to make a gumbo of the two.
The show’s lead character is Abby Arcane, who is not the psychic Transylvanian she was in the comics. She’s a medical doctor, sent by the CDC to her hometown in the swamps to investigate a mysterious epidemic. She meets Alec Holland, a rogue research scientist with some theories about the local flora. Shady corporate shenanigans are afoot, a decades old tragedy resurfaces, and there is murder in the swamp. Who doesn’t love a good swamp murder? There are easter eggs aplenty for the comic reader that may hatch as the series unfolds.
The creature designs are Wrightson-esque by way of Carpenter’s The Thing, with a dash of Evil Dead. The first two episodes spend a fair amount of time in the night swamp, building an eerie dread that is best appreciated on a screen larger than the one in your pocket. Run this one through your Roku or Xbox, pop some popcorn, and turn the lights off. There’s weird science and voodoo out there in the dark. Enjoy.
Swamp Thing stars Crystal Reed, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Henderson Wade, Maria Sten, Will Patton, Virginia Madsen, Jeryl Prescott, and Kevin Durand. It debuts on DC Universe on May 31. Members can watch a new episode every Friday through the finale on 8/2.