At the finale to ‘Swamp Thing’ #12, Swampy and Animal Man lept into a portal into The Rot to confront Arcane on his home turf. A few moments after their arrival, they learn that The Rot has invaded Earth. To make matters worse, The Rot has played a trick on them. Since time passes differently within The Rot, while they’ve only been in that world for a few minutes, an entire year has passed on Earth!

When Swamp Thing returns to Earth, the first people he encounters are Poison Ivy and Deadman. The duo immediately attack the Swamp Thing and he tries to tell them that he’s Alec Holland. Since (at least to them), Holland has been missing for a year, they don’t believe him… until Deadman leaps into Swamp Thing’s body and reads his thoughts.

After learning that the real Swamp Thing has returned, the pair explain to him what has happened in the year that he was away. Shortly after Swamp Thing and Animal Man went through the portal into The Rot, the creatures from The Rot poured out an invaded Earth. They either killed or transformed nearly every living creature on the planet. The only people who survived the onslaught were people who either had a connection to The Red or The Green (like Ivy and the Floronic Man) or rare cases like Deadman (who seemingly survived because he was already dead).

While the world is nearly decimated, there is still hope since the Parliament of Tree has somehow also survived The Rot’s invasion. Ivy and Deadman take Swamp Thing to the Parliament. The Parliament tells Swamp Thing that, in addition to the small realm where the Parliament survives, there is also a City of The Red on the west coast and that Arcane has built a fortress somewhere in the middle. Before they can tell him any more, creatures of The Rot appear and attack and it’s time for Swamp Thing to do battle… against the Teen Titans!

As an opening chapter, this issue does pretty much the same thing that ‘Animal Man’ #13 does this week and sets up the rules of the Rotworld storyline. While both intros are fun and well written, this one gets a little bump because of the artwork of Yanick Paquette. Paquette’s pencils are yet again perfect for this title. He can leap between the natural look of The Green to the horrid twisting decay of the Rot without missing a beat and make both beautiful to behold.

Like ‘Animal Man’ #13, my only complaint with ‘Rotworld’ is continuity. If 99% of the world’s population was dead, why is this story no leaking into every other title in the DC universe? I’m going to take an early guess here and say that, despite the characters repeatedly stating that this isn’t a dream, that it is still a trick of The Rot and that Alec and Buddy are trapped in a false world created by Arcane.

Final Score:


Story by Scott Snyder
Art and Cover by Yanick Paquette