Prelude to “ROTWORLD” Review
Writers: Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire
Art: Yannick Paquette , Steve Pugh, Marco Rudy
Reviewed by David Short
Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder are two of the hottest writers in the industry right now. Under their guidance Animal Man and Swamp Thing have turned out to be two of the best books DC has to offer. Since the New 52 began, Buddy Baker and Alec Holland seemed to be on a path to team up to fight their common opponent. With “ROTWORLD” we finally get to see the two warriors combine forces, and these fantastic writers do not disappoint.
Animal Man #12 and Swamp Thing #12 for one story called the “ROTWORLD” Prologue, and YES they do need to be read together. This is a turn off for a lot of readers, but these are books you should be reading anyway.
Since these books read as one gigantic experience we decided to combine the review for the two. The journey into the Rot starts in Animal Man #12. Buddy and his family are reeling after their battle with the Hunters Three and his son (Cliff) is badly injured. Buddy believes that the only way to help his ailing child is to wipe the Rot from the face of the Earth. My favorite character from Animal Man continues to be Mittens the talking cat. It serves as their guide through the supernatural elements of the series, and it’s a clever way to give needed exposition without getting boring.
Buddy and company end up finding Swampy and that is where we leave Animal Man and jump into Swamp Thing #12. This issue takes us deep into the heart of the Rot. Anton Arcane returns and he gives us a bombshell of a twist. I was seriously sitting at my kindle with my mouth wide open at the end of this book. I have no idea how on Earth this is going to turn out well for our heroes, and I absolutely love it.
If you look at the two issues separately, then I would have to say that Swamp Thing is the better individual piece. It really moves the story along, and the ending sets up what looks to be a pretty epic tale in “ROTWORLD”. Animal Man is great, and does some neat things for the connectivity of the Red, Green, and Rot. It sets up a dynamic relationship between them, and that is something that can certainly be built on down the road. Lemire did a great job injecting some good character moments in Animal Man, and it really hits home at the end of part two. Buddy is such a family man, that the reveal could make for a character defining story.
Marco Rudy handles art in Swamp Thing, and Steve Pugh continues his work on Animal Man. Both books are beautifully rendered. Pugh has done a stand up job taking over for Travel Forman, and he keeps it going in #12. The intricacy and detail is some of the best you can get in a DC book. Marco Rudy has done a great job in relief of Yanick Paquette. We get some ridiculously trippy pages in Swamp Thing. Rudy has been stellar, and has really taken on a style that fits in well with what we expect from Paquette. Funny story: I actually thought that it was Yanick Paquette making his return to the book. That does not happen until issue #13, but he does give us awesome covers for both books.
This was the intro to the crossover that Snyder and Lemire have been building to, and they really knocked it out of the park. This is a good jumping on point for new reader, and, by all means, you should be reading both books.