DC Universe’s ‘Swamp Thing’ – Series Pilot Review

The past 9 months have shown that streaming services outside of Hulu and Netflix can work on their own, and DC Universe has proved this. So far, it released some remarkable content such as this past fall’s Titans (based on the Teen Titans team from the DC comics), Young Justice: Outsiders, and this spring’s Doom Patrol (a spin-off of Titans).

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This weekend, the streaming service released a new live-action series titled Swamp Thing, which exists outside the fictional universe shared between Titans and Doom Patrol. This show will consist of 10 weekly episodes, a tad less than the previous two series, the former with 11 episodes and the latter with 15.

The pilot is beyond magnificent in terms of its storytelling and its horror and environmental themes. The first episode of Swamp Thing follows CDC doctor Abby Arcane (played by Crystal Reed) as she investigates a deadly epidemic virus plaguing her hometown of Marais, Louisiana. Upon returning there, she encounters a scientist named Alec Holland (played by Andy Bean), who shares a similar goal. The two both look into a case involving a father and his daughter who were infected but by the end of the episode, Holland is put in harm’s way due to his involvement in the investigation.

The Swamp Thing premiere episode sets the tone for the series as viewers learn about each character and their involvement with the swamp-borne virus. Arcane and Holland both show that they truly care about the town and their investigation with hopes that they find a resolution to the conflict at hand. Avery and Maria Sunderland, affluent parents of Arcane’s childhood friend Shawna, interfere in the matter by involving themselves in finding a resolution, although they intend to make a profit out of the swamp.

Reed does an excellent job of playing the lead female protagonist. If you haven’t yet seen the actress in Teen Wolf or in Gotham‘s penultimate season, you may want to do so now. Swamp Thing is her second DC gig, and this pilot best illustrates her prowess when it comes to her role as Abby Arcane. She deserves more praise as the show progresses.

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Bean demonstrates the mere idea that, indeed, not all heroes wear capes. Alec Holland is a scientist who wears open-toed shoes and khaki shorts in the field. His love for the natural world sets up the birth of his superhero counterpart, Swamp Thing, and I’m excited to see what the future of this show holds. (Bean will also portray an adult Stanley Uris in September’s It: Chapter Two, so this series is good preparation for that.)

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Horror works hand-in-hand with the environment as the series shows that Mother Nature does not hold back. We see vines protruding through the swamp’s victims, and one of them is actually brought back to life in one scene. Overall, the episode’s final scenes show that the earth is not the true villain of the story. Like other films, television shows, and books, the main cause behind this virus is humanity. The pilot brings to light environmental issues such as toxic waste, trash dumping, pollution, and the diseases that come out of these.

DC has not put out a show like this, and I wish nothing but great things for this show going forward.

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Will you face your fears and check out this new series? Let us know! Swamp Thing is a new weekly live-action series on the DC Universe streaming service. Its pilot episode is out now. For more Warner Brothers and DC-related news and reviews, follow The Cinema Spot on Twitter (@TheCinemaSpot) and Instagram (@thecinemaspot_).

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