Ravingnerd Reviews: Arcane #1

I will start today with a bevy of comics written by DC’s new go to man, Charles Soule. After hopping on board Swamp Thing once Snyder departed, Soule as appeared everywhere from the Dark line to the Green Lantern line, to even Superman/Wonder Woman. The guy has talent, so I’m pleased to have him in so many corners of the DC Universe. The first review today is the one series that Soule writes regularly, Swamp Thing. Soule has done his best to keep Snyder’s reinvigorated Swamp Thing exciting, and has done an excellent job thus far. To make it even more exciting, he harkens back to Arcane for a villain one shot on the former avatar of the Rot. Here is what I liked about the issue.

1. Jesus Saiz’ art is really well done, multiple panels seem to spring to life, and it helps drive the book forward.
2. We see Abigail in her new role as Avatar of the Rot.

Rating before reading: 6Rating after reading: 4

 This book was extremely disappointing. Nothing happened, and the issue was focused primarily on Abigail’s mother. The issue is of course told from Arcane’s own twisted point of view, but that means the book is nothing more than an arrogant villainous monologue. The book started off excellently, as we see Arcane in his own personal hell; A vibrant garden where nothing dies. After failing to kill a rabbit, Arcane kills himself. Only to wake up again completely unharmed. The panel zooms out and we see dozens of Arcane bodies lying around, indicating he’s tried to kill himself numerous times. Had the book stayed like that, seeing Arcane trying to cope with his hell, it could have been interesting. But instead we get a villainous rant about how Arcane tried to “save” his family by introducing them to the Rot.

The entire issue screamed of villainous rant, and not in a good way. Arcane considers himself a good guy, as he is just trying to save those he loves from living. DC has great villains, most of which are victims of circumstance. That is to say, they are only villains in the eyes of the heroes. Lex Luthor, Sinestro, and others all have a great propensity for good, but that good comes in conflict with our heroes, thus they are bad guys. Arcane has no such luck. He has no depth in his character, no quirky twist that puts him on the opposite side of good. He is just bad. Plain and simple. And while that is fine, it prevents stories involving him from becoming anything greater.

And of course, it is revealed that Abigail inadvertently let a piece of Arcane escape into our world. So you know, there’s that.

Until the next time,



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