This is the first issue in the aftermath of “The Button” crossover with the Flash. I picked it up primarily because I’d never purchased a Batman comic before, and the tag line of “The Strangest Team-Up in History” caught my eye. How does it stand up? Here we go!
This one is kind of neat. It’s very dark, both in colouring and tone. It pictures Batman with vines bursting into(out of) him? It appears very well textured, almost like you could feel the contours on his glove, despite it being smooth as the paper it’s printed on.
Mitch Gerads does the duties on pencils, inks, and colours, both inside and out for this issue. It’s a very dark and gritty looking issue, with the vast majority of it taking place at night, though the few lighted scenes(both indoors) almost feel like they’re under a layer of dust. One particular scene during which Bruce Wayne and Swamp Thing sit down to have tea and discuss the case in Wayne Manor has a very old time feel to it. Bruce looks like he’s been plucked out of the 70’s. Little things like this give the book a bit of a nostalgic vibe, even though it is very much set in a modern setting. At times it felt a little jarring, but the art still fit the comic.
We begin with a murder, an old man singing an old Irish folk song is shot twice. The very next page we see Batman and Gordon investigating, only to have Swamp Thing appear on the scene and advise that this was his father. As a result the strangest team up begins as they search for the killer. The book is broken up into chapters, some multiple pages, and others lasting only one. They work as a great narrative device and allow the story to jump around a bit without any downtime between acts. It also allows the scene in which Batman and Swamp Thing are driving to confront the killer to take part. It only lasts a page, but it allows a brief moment of humour to be interjected into an otherwise dark book. I won’t give away the ending completely, but will say this: Don’t piss off Swamp Thing. I enjoyed these two characters together. They seem an unlikely pair, but somehow this worked. It also means that a full half of the DC books I now own have Swamp Thing in them in a cameo or supporting role.