Warning: Read ‘Animal Man’ #12 before reading this issue. The “Rotworld” crossover between these two titles begins this week and this issue is actually part 2 of the arc. At the end of ‘Swamp Thing’ #11, Buddy Baker (Animal Man) had shown up to help Swamp Thing by leaping into a portal directly into The Rot. That story picks up over in ‘Animal Man’ this week before continuing into this issue.
Read “Rotworld” part 1? Good. Now on with the story.
This issue picks up with Animal Man and Swamp Thing already inside The Rot where they’re promptly attacked by Anton Arcane’s unmen, a group of horrible creatures that were once humans that worshiped The Rot. After quickly dispatching the unmen, the elemental duo discover an opening that leads deeper into The Rot. I’ll give you one guess where these guys are headed.
Back on Earth, Abby, Maxine, and Ellen are having troubles of their own with a small squad of Rot minions. After taking out the Rot beings, Abby seals the portal… except for the small opening where the Swamp Thing has left a literal root back to Earth so that he can find his way back out of The Rot.
Inside the deeper levels of The Rot, Swamp Thing and Buddy find a ladder of bone that seems to spiral down into an infinity but, with no other option, the pair head down the gruesome path.
On the ladder, Swampy and Buddy encounter Anton Arcane and get some shocking revelations about how Arcane was able to return to life after all this time. To make matters worse, Arcane reveals that time doesn’t work the same in The Rot as it does on Earth. In the few moments that Swamp Thing and Animal Man have been in The Rot, an entire year has passed on Earth. So what will the pair have to come back to once they make it home?
Scott Snyder took what Jeff Lemire began last issue and ramped up the action and horror to new levels with this second chapter in the “Rotworld” story. I think that the time differences were a great nod (intentional or not) to Arcane’s time in Hell back in Alan Moore’s legendary run on ‘Saga of the Swamp Thing’ where Arcane is in Hell for days and thinks he’s been there for years.
Either way, after the final page to this issue, I can’t wait to see where “Rotworld” is going! If you like supernatural horror stories, you owe it to yourself to go grab these issues.
Bonus: The covers to ‘Animal Man’ #12 and this issue can be set side by side to form a wonderful panoramic image (below) of DC’s elemental heroes set against the back drop of The Red, The Rot, and The Green.
SWAMP THING #12
Writer : Scott Snyder
Artist : Marco Rudy