Charles Soule embraces the Green with 'Swamp Thing'
(CBR) Charles Soule is a busy man. Sure, he's not protecting all plant life as the avatar of the Green, being fueled by rage and operating as a Red Lantern or mixing business and pleasure with an Amazon princess, but the New York-based lawyer/musician/scribe is writing monthly adventures featuring all of these diverse storylines for DC Comics in the pages of "Swamp Thing," "Red Lanterns" and "Superman/Wonder Woman."
With his Oni Press creator-owned series "Letter 44" yielding positive reviews and his workload at Marvel increasing too, you would think something has got to give. But if Soule has his way that something won't be "Swamp Thing."
CBR News recently connected with Soule as his first major arc on the title comes to a close this week in "Swamp Thing" #27, which features art by Jesús Saiz. Soule told CBR News that despite his increasing writing commitments he has zero intentions of leaving "Swamp Thing" and spoke passionately not only about his own current run with Alec Holland but also the long history of brilliant stories from the character's past written by industry legends like Len Wein, Alan Moore, Brian K. Vaughan and Andy Diggle.
Soule also teased Swamp Thing's epic battle with Seeder for Green supremacy will be resolved in "Swamp Thing" #27, why Capucine needs the avatar of the Green's help will be revealed in "Swamp Thing" #28 and that a brand new arc titled "Gift of the Sureen" will expand the title's mythos beginning in "Swamp Thing" #29.
CBR News: Scott Snyder's run on "Swamp Thing" received a great deal of publicity and critical acclaim. Not easy to follow his run, but you jumped in headfirst and delivered something readers believe is equally strong yet quite different. Specifically, Swamp Thing's voice reads differently to me. Would you agree that your version of the avatar of the Green is different than Scott's?
Charles Soule: I have been trying to do two distinct things with Swamp Thing's voice since I started writing the book. The man inside, who is Dr. Alec Holland, has become the avatar of the Green -- the champion of plant life on Earth -- without really having a full understanding of what that means. He thinks he knows what that means, because he has the memories of all of the other avatars that have done the job. He's familiar with the plant version of the Swamp Thing, which we've seen in so many other great "Saga of the Swamp Thing" stories, so he thinks he knows what the job is. But when he is actually doing it, it turns out to be a more difficult and complicated thing.
For his external voice, which is him trying to live up to the role of what he thinks the avatar should be, he talks sometimes in a more dramatic way and doesn't use any contractions and so on, but inside his head, he's still just a dude. He has a lot of the same fears and worries as us and sees the humor in things. He has the same sort of wants, needs and desires that any person does. It's a way to simultaneously show the human side opposite the more acceptably recognized giant, swamp/plant god. It's kind of like eating my cake and having it too.
The cover for "Swamp Thing" #27 shows Alec Holland in his human form bursting from a sea of swamp things. Will we see even more of Alec's human form come to the forefront during your run?
I think that cover is an interesting metaphorical explanation of what happens in that issue. "Swamp Thing" #27 is sort of the wrap up of the big Seeder story that I've been telling basically since I got onto the book so I would be foolish to spoil it other than to say that it is full of a lot of really cool resolutions to plotlines that I have been building since the very beginning.
Alec Holland does some very dramatic things in that issue that I think are really going to surprise readers and at the same time, I think are going to feel very consistent with what I've been saying and how I've been establishing the title in my entire run so I can't wait for it to come out. It's beautiful too. Jesús has been doing incredible stuff on this book like the other artists have, as well.
After replacing Kano, Jesús is continuing his run on the book into the next arc, "The Gift of the Sureen." What does he bring to the project?
It's amazing with him, Javier Pina and Kano before them, every artist that I have been working with on this title has delivered not just their A-game but their A+ game. And they're all really cool guys. "Swamp Thing" is kind of a weird title. You have to be able to embrace odd things happening. If you're an artist, you have to be willing to draw a lot of leaves and vines and such. I've spoken to Jesús about this, and Matt Wilson, who is doing the incredible colors, and I know that we all like being able to tell stories about this guy and these kinds of stories. Right now, everyone is really firing on all cylinders and I think that comes across in the quality of the final product. It feels like a team that's really in sync and working really hard on it.
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