With the new Swamp Thing series cancelled, many are asking if DC Universe will bother releasing the rest of season 1. The long-awaited series released its first episode on May 31, 2019 and has now been officially ended less than a week later, despite phenomenally positive reviews from critics and fans.
First published as a monthly series in 1972, Swamp Thing was originally created to capitalize on a revised system of Comics Code Authority rules which allowed for the depiction of monsters and more morally complex tales. Enter Alec Holland - a scientist with dreams of feeding the world with a plant-growth acceleration formula, who ran afoul of a criminal organization who wanted his research for less noble purposes. Holland was doused in his own serum and left for dead in the Louisiana swamp country, with some "thing" being born that was super-strong and capable of controlling the plant life around it.
Despite a promising start and being overseen by experienced horror movie veterans like Aquaman director James Wan and Underworld director Len Wiseman, Swamp Thing's production faced multiple setbacks. The original order for 13 episodes was cut to 10 episodes in April, ending filming early to the surprise of the cast and crew. There has also been buzz regarding budget issues (with the series proving more expensive to shoot than promised) and creative conflicts behind the scenes, even before the show's cancellation. There is also some speculation that these conflicts may involve AT&T's plans to launch a WarnerMedia streaming service, which may not account for DC Universe's continued existence.
Despite these troubles, there is no reason for DC Universe not to air the completed episodes. While some may be reluctant to watched a doomed show and those Swamp Thing fans not already subscribing to DC Universe might not be willing to sign-up now that the series has been cancelled, it would be an even greater waste of money and resources for DC Universe to scrap the series completely at this point. It would be another story had the series been cancelled because of poor ratings or public outrage. With Swamp Thing having earned a 92% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, however, it's safe to say that this isn't a factor.
In any case, this news is only the latest in a series of blows for DC Universe, despite the streaming service reportedly exceeding expectations in regards to its ability to attract subscribers. This also raises questions regarding the status of the upcoming Stargirl series, a Harley Quinn animated series, and the second season of Titans. Time will tell if Swamp Thing was an exception or if the whole of DC Comics' streaming service is doomed to be a collection of one-season wonders.