Artist: Andy Belanger
WARNING: MAY SPOIL ANIMAL MAN #17!
(Will still try to avoid SPOILING, but just in case you've been warned)
I have been following this series since the start of Rotworld, and have also read the first volume, Swamp Thing: Raise Them Bones. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series and am sad to see the story end, and Scott Snyder depart the series.
This issue sees the continuation of Swamp Thing, and Animal Man's fight against the Rot, and following Anton Arcane actions at the end of Animal Man #17, Animal Man, and Swamp Thing aren't going to hold back.
This issue was actually a bit disappointing, and the worst Swamp Thing issue I have read so far. I was expecting so much in this issue, especially after the Animal Man #17 being brilliant.Despite this Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire did a decent job of ending this story, and they did it in a way that leaves the reader asking questions, and wanting more, which I always like. Although I liked the questions and the fact the doors been left open, I still think that the issue went a long a little too quickly, and that the end came a bit too sudden.
Although the art in this issue wasn't as bad, it wasn't to my taste, and I personally didn't like it. It's bad enough that Yanick Paquette isn't drawing this issue, but I'd have still hoped that DC would have put a decent artist on it, as I'd have been more than happy to see Marco Rudy who's done most of the art in Paquette's absence do the art for this issue, especially considering it's the finale. At the same time it could have been much worse, and I have to thank Andy Belanger for stepping in as he did make a very good effort, and there will be some people that like his art. I however thought that his cartoon style didn't suit either Swamp Thing or Animal Man, and that some of the art looked too stiff, making the more elaborate things created by the Rot, and Green look unrealistic. It was also a let down as the art from Steve Pugh, and Timothy Green II in Animal Man #17 was outstanding.
The issue started very dramatically, with both Swamp Thing, and Animal Man in the thick of battle. Although it's still possible to read this issue without reading Animal Man #17, the introduction makes it hard, and can easily confuse people who haven't read Animal Man #17. It also has both Swamp Thing and Animal Man reeling from the shocking end of Animal Man #17. I really liked this as it gave Arcane a chance, as after Swamp Thing and Animal Man coming close to success at the end of Animal Man #17, continuing the fight otherwise would make the story drag. This also showed more of Swamp Thing, and Animal Man's feelings, and if anything gave them more drive to stop Arcane, even if slightly hindered.
I liked that everyone was evenly involved in this issue, and that despite Swamp Thing, Animal Man, and Arcane taking center stage, they still played a vital part. I especially liked seeing Barbara Gordon involved in this issue, as she's played a vital role in helping Swamp Thing throughout the last few issues. It was also interesting seeing both Swamp Thing and Animal Man's armies come together, as although they've encountered each other previously not all of the others will have.
The thing I've found most interesting about this story is that despite being converted by the Rot, Batman still behind the master plan. There will be some people that will think that the story should have just been left to have Swamp Thing and Animal Man come up with a plan, but considering all they've been through it'd be hard. Also Batman lives to make contingency plans for any given scenario, so it was natural for Batman to start something that Swamp Thing could finish. It is however also nice that the design is based on Swamp Things old work.
WARNING: NEXT PARAGRAPH CONTAINS A SMALL SPOILER!
I also enjoyed seeing the Parliament of the Rot in this issue, as I personally haven't seen them, and have only seen the Parliament of the Green. They may have appeared in previous Swamp Thing, or Animal Man issues, but I don't know, and it was new to me. What was interesting about their appearance was that it showed that their objectives and goals weren't the same as Arcane's, and that they wanted to help Swamp Thing, and Animal Man. They could easily have been setting a trap for Swamp Thing, and Animal Man, but I hope not, as I like the idea of a rogue agent, not following his chosen path, something which suits Arcane's character perfectly. It will however be interesting to see how this pans out, and where it leaves the future of both this series, and Animal Man.
This was a decent end to the Rotworld crossover, but was still disappointing. I wouldn't recommend it to newer readers, as it would give you a bad image of the series, which is brilliant, so I'd recommend them waiting till the next issue, or even the issue after that when there's a new writer meaning a fresh start. I'd still however recommend the series overall to newer readers, and would also recommend this issue to anyone who's been following the series, or Rotworld already.