Swamp Thing Episode 1 “Pilot” Review

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Have you been waiting for the opportune time to subscribe to DC’s streaming service, DC Universe? Were the dark Titans live action series just not enough of a convincer? Maybe DC’s second live-action series that revolved around the dark tongue-in-cheek humour of Doom Patrol didn’t cause you to flip that switch. Both of these are wonderful series in their own rights. But hopefully, DC Universe’s newest live-action series will entice you to subscribe. With the advent of Spring upon us, what better time then any to welcome the new Swamp Thing series. This is our spoiler-free review of DC’s Swamp Thing premiere episode aptly entitled “Pilot”.

Swamp Thing 100-Page CoverThe Swamp Thing character is perhaps one of DC’s lesser known characters to the general viewing audience. Of course the same could have been said about the Doom Patrol fourteen weeks ago. DC enthusiasts know the Swamp Thing to be an often misunderstood, “avatar of the Green”, occult/supernatural based character. Swamp Thing has been rising in popularity in the comic book canon world of late. He’s had his own comic book series in the past and has been scripted by some of DC’s exceptional past and present talent including Len Wein (creator, who actually passed away in September of 2017), Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Charles Soule and Scott Snyder, to name a few. He’s most recently been in the stable monthly Justice League Dark comic and has even earned his own “100-Page Comic Giant” monthly series sold exclusively currently through Wal-Mart.

The premiere episode focuses around an unnatural happening in the swamps outside Marais, Louisiana. After a mysterious illness strikes the town, CDC investigator, and former Marais native, Abby Arcane, played by Crystal Reed, is sent to investigate. DC television fans might recognize Reed from her role, not so long ago, in another DC TV series called Gotham where she played “Sofia Falcone”.

Swamp Thing Abby

Swamp Thing — Ep.101 — “Pilot” — Photo Credit: Brownie Harris / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

At the hospital, she encounters biologist Alec Holland, played by Andy Bean, who believes the illness might be connected to his scientific work in the swamp that he is doing for the powerful local businessman Avery Sunderland (Will Patton of Falling Skies fame). Of course, mystery and investigation ensue as Abby and Alec try to uncover what is happening to the town and why.

It’s evident as soon as the opening scene begins that this series, slated for ten 60 minute episodes, aims to look to be dark and balancing on a horror foundation. But not as “brutally” dark as the aforementioned Titans series. Swamp Thing appears to be more aptly “rooted” (pun intended) in the horror category. There were only one or two F-bombs dropped. But even so several of the action scenes are filled with enough horror that this is definitely not a show for little ones.

Swamp Thing - Alec Holland

Swamp Thing — Ep.101 — “Pilot” — Photo Credit: Brownie Harris / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

As this episode begins it only takes two minutes before the action unfolds. The tone of the series, based on this episode, leaves it firmly ensconced in the sci-fi/horror genre. It was filmed with that horror feel in mind being mostly dimly lit amid murky, humid like swamp air.

Newcomers, as well as DC veterans, will find a lot to like in this new series. If episode one is any indication of the forthcoming quality episodes to follow it’ll be riveting to see where the show takes us for the next nine episodes. This being the third of their live-action series, Swamp Thing definitely continues to solidify DC Universe “TV” as being the mature alternative to sister Warner Brothers’ CW superhero shows.

Swamp Thing premieres on DC’s subscription-based streaming service beginning with Episode 1 on Friday, May 31st. Traditionally, a new episode is then released every Friday after that.

Written by
Scott is a comic book, music and gaming nerd since the late 70s. Gaming all began on the Colecovision and Atari 2600. He buys and reads new comics every Wednesday from his LCBS and helps run an online Heavy Metal radio station.

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