Comics: Deep Roots #1 - Reviewed

Deep Roots #1 was originally published on April 25, 2018 and was quickly greeted with critical acclaim and ended up selling out on the same day. Vault Comics has quickly turned around to release a second printing on June 6th, the same day that issue 2 is set to come out. The second printing of issue 1 features a special new cover from artist Nathan Gooden and designer Tim Daniel that pays homage to DC Comics’ Swamp Thing #7, the iconic cover that was illustrated by Bernie Wrightson. It’s no wonder that Vault has opted to pay homage to Swamp Thing, as this book closely mirrors various themes and imagery that you would typically expect to see in a Swamp Thing book. Co-created by writer Dan Watters and artist Val Rodrigues, Deep Roots #1 is a true tour de force of literary and artistic flavor that blends the sci-fi and fantasy elements of Swamp Thing and The Day of the Triffids with the current real-world environmental issues and concerns.

Written by Watters, Deep Roots sees plant life take arms against humanity to finally defend itself, similar to an alien invasion. A group of vegetable homunculi rob a bank and a military veteran comes to the aid of the hostages, disarming and killing most of the evil veggies. Meanwhile, a millennium old Sentinel has awoken from his slumber in order to protect the creatures of old folklore that exist in the Otherworld. The narrative is purposely confusing and introduces us to several human characters who may or may not be important, much like a horror movie would do with presenting possible red herrings. This may be confusing to some readers, but it should be resolved as the story progresses further in later issues. It focuses on themes that deal with nature rising up against the tyranny of humanity, who has been destroying and abusing the planet for centuries. It’s an interesting idea that was explored frequently in cinema, especially during the ‘60s and ‘70s.

The artwork from Rodrigues and colors from Triona Farrell are sublime and contain highly inventive panels and pages, with compelling panels that are Vincent Van Gogh-esque in style. There are very detailed scenes and environments that will have you examining each page and panel. The colors are a huge part of the art and story, with a selection of soft and subdued earth tones mixed with pinks, oranges, blues, and purples. The colors change for specific scenes and locations, employing that Van Gogh style only during certain parts of the story. The art is really something special and you could easily find yourself getting wrapped up into it, further exploring all of the details.

If you’re a fan of sci-fi and fantasy or Van Gogh and fine art, then you must get your hands on this book. It features an interesting story pitting man against nature and superb artwork and colors.