"Swamp Thing" is a book that it's easy to take for granted these days. Charles Soule and Jesus Saiz's take on the character has been entertaining and witty, and after a while you just start to assume that you know what's coming next. But "Swamp Thing" #30 and "The Gift of the Sureen" storyline in general are a reminder that the series is anything but predictable. "Swamp Thing" #30 continues to build on the mythology of the Swamp Thing while still moving the series forward in a quick and interesting direction.
When the cliffhanger from last month's issue hit, Soule quickly showed readers should never be too complacent. What looked at first to be a simple addition to the title ended up having far larger consequences and secrets than any of the characters foresaw. That continues in "Swamp Thing" #30, as readers learn the truth about the present-day Sureen as well as start to find out what's happening with other forces related to the Green. Soule juggles several storylines; the plans of the Wolf and Lady Weeds, Alec's desperation to survive, the new organization looking to use Swamp Thing's powers, and the Sureen of course. What's great is that you never feel like it's too much; Soule moves swiftly from one piece to the next, making sure they're all integrated while not losing sight of the big picture. The subplots don't take away from Swamp Thing's current predicament, and gives hints on what's still to come.
Saiz is joined on some pages by Javier Pina, and the two working together gives a great end result. The pages finished by Pina are hard to distinguish from those where it was just Saiz, their styles meshing effortlessly. (With both having worked on the DC Comics series "Manhunter" it's also a nice little quasi-reunion.) Both Saiz and Pina are good on the finer details -- the aftermath of the fire in the house with all of the embers and charred fragments, or the whisper of plant life coming out of the cut to the arm -- but they can also tackle the big moments. The fight between Capucine and Vandal Savage is drawn excellently, with the jumping and tackling around the helicopter easy to follow while still inventive and fun to watch. You might not think of "Swamp Thing" as an action-oriented book, but it certainly knows how to tackle that particular hallmark.
"Swamp Thing" #30 is a solid, dependable comic. It's fun, it's surprising, and once again there's a great twist at the cliffhanger that promises all sorts of excitement next month. For those reading the Soule and Saiz version of "Swamp Thing," this storyline is a great place to start.