With almost half of its 10-episode season aired, it's apparent that Swamp Thing is the best original series to come out of DC Universe. While Doom Patrol and Titans are fine programs, they cannot compare to the cinematic quality of the craft that went into bringing one of DC Comics' most unusual heroes to life.
Swamp Thing was poised to be a monster hit for DC Universe. The show earned a 92% fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and fan enthusiasm for the project was high, given that Aquaman director James Wan was the show's executive producer. Unfortunately, Swamp Thing was cancelled after only one episode had aired and this killed much of the series' momentum. Now many are wondering if it's worth getting invested in the series (or indeed subscribing to DC Universe) while others have launched a petition drive to save the show and bring about a second season.
The cancellation is unfortunate because Swamp Thing presents a graphic novel adaptation unlike anything else that has been produced for television. While Swamp Thing is nominally a superhero, he isn't a traditional one, having been born of the 1970s horror revival that saw comic books with monstrous heroes flourish. This was due to a revised set of Comics Code Authority guidelines that allowed vampires, werewolves, and similar monsters to be depicted in CCA Approved comics and portrayed as the good guys.
Swamp Thing is unique because it's a horror show first and a superhero story second. The series' emphasis is upon the many developments that arise in the town of Marais, Louisiana, and the stories have covered a wide variety of horror and thriller, from medical, as Dr. Abby Arcane fights a strange new disease, to good-old-fashioned monsters fighting monsters. The body horror aspect of Dr. Alec Holland's transformation into the Swamp Thing is another element of the show that has hovered in the background of every episode since the pilot.
Another thing that separates Swamp Thing from the other original programs made for DC Universe is its movie-quality production values. The show boasted an $80 million budget, with $2 million alone being spent on the development of the show's realistic Louisiana bog sets. Rumor has it that the show's extravagant costs were at the heart of the reasons for its cancellation, but DC Universe and Warner Bros. have yet to issue a statement on why the show's run was cut short.
Whatever the reason, it was a sad day for horror fans and lovers of quality television alike when DC Universe announced that Swamp Thing was being cancelled. Hopes are high, however, that an 11th-hour miracle might bring the show back from the brink of death, like Alec Holland himself. It may seem unlikely, but many dismissed similar hopes regarding Matt Ryan's John Constantine appearing on TV again, after NBC cancelled Constantine, before he found new life in the Arrowverse. Perhaps Swamp Thing may rise up again and make an appearance in Legends of Tomorrow?