Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted October 1, 2020 by Amber in Reviews / 2 Comments

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches

by Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: DC Comics on October 13, 2020
Genre: Graphic Novel, Magical Realism
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

Twins Alec and Walker Holland have a reputation around town. One is quiet and the other is the life of any party, but they are inseparable. For their last summer before college, the two leave the city to live with their rural cousins, where they find that the swamp holds far darker depths than they could have imagined.

While Walker carves their names into the new social scene, Alec recedes into a summer school laboratory, because he brought something from home on their trip—it’s an experiment that will soon consume him. This season, both brothers must confront truths, ancient and familial, and as their lives diverge, tensions increase and dormant memories claw to the surface.


Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and DC Comics in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Comics and graphic novels aren’t my usual thing, but as a fan of Maggie Stiefvater’s this one caught my attention – doubly so because of the beautiful cover art.  As book lovers, we tease ourselves a bit about our tendency to fall in love with covers… but with comics, it really makes a difference to enjoy the art.

And so on that note, before I go into the story, I want to appreciate Morgan Beem’s art.  In comics, graphics are 50% of the storytelling (sometimes more) and her illustrations are not only representative of impressive skill, but the mood and ambiance of the artwork works so well with the story.  These two creators were well paired, and I really enjoyed Morgan Beem’s artwork.

The approach to storytelling in short form is completely different than a novel.  Comic books and graphic novels are a sort of extreme short form, where the writer must rely entirely on dialogue to build plot, tension, and character.  Maggie does this so well – we get immediate impressions of Walker and Alec Holland, their wants and needs, relationships with one another, and relationship with the world.  You immediately care about Alec, which is important.

And, lets be real, in a normal day, Swamp Thing is not the easiest character to connect with.  He’s a bit of an odder character, being sentient plant.  There’s not a lot of the science in the graphic novel, but there’s enough to sort of get where the character is coming from.  You don’t need to have a background in DC or know Swamp Thing’s comic or TV arcs to be able to fall into the story, making this accessible to many audiences.  And it is accessible.  This isn’t Batman or Wonder Woman, but Alec Holland aka Swamp Thing comes to life in these pages.

I think that when the full version of this graphic novel is released, it will be a real treat and a great diversion.  I sat down and read the whole thing in less than an hour, and was a bit flabbergasted when it was finished because I wasn’t prepared.  Swamp Thing:  Twin Branches is Alec Holland’s origin story, but it has the potential to be be more if DC wants to continue the series in this format.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Art: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2


Are you a DC Comics fan?  If so, what superheroes (or super villains) are you a fan of? I’m more a Marvel girl, generally speaking… but you can’t beat DC’s villains, who are utterly fantastic!  Tell me your faves in the comments!

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2 responses to “Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. This is such an excellent and detailed review! I’m not normally into the superhero genre but this sounds like something I would enjoy.

    • Amber

      Thanks, Nikki! It’s sorta hard to review comics, if I’m honest. I think this is one of the shortest things I’ve ever reviewed, but it was pretty good! I’m honestly just so in love with the spooky aesthetic art. My ARC wasn’t even colored, so I imagine the real thing is much prettier. <3