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Anarchy in the US
- Publié sur Amazon.com
So it has finally come to this. The moment most has been waiting for since the New 52 started with Jeff Lemire's Animal Man and Scott Snyder's Swamp Thing. The eventual crossover with both characters over the shared villains known as the Rot finally has happened after waiting so long and it has become an all out war over the fate of the planet. Does Rotworld make for a triumphant conclusion? Better than Animal Man's ending, but it's still an action packed ride none the less.
SWAMP THING VOL.3: ROTWORLD: THE GREEN KINGDOM collects issues #12 - 18 and ANIMAL MAN issues #12 and #18.
Picking up where volume 2 of Swamp Thing left off (or volume 2 of Animal Man), Buddy Baker and the Baker family have finally caught up with Alec Holland, AKA Swamp Thing and Abigail Arcane. It comes down to Buddy and Swampy to head into the heart of the Rot to end the madness of Anton Arcane and his Rot army. But something happens when Buddy and Alec go through the portal. The Rot starts invading the Earth because both the Red and Green avatars are gone, as well as both Alec and Buddy windup one year into the future, split apart from one another, and the Rot have desecrated the Earth. What happened? How can this be? Either way, Anton Arcane is the root of this madness and Buddy Baker and Alec Holland need to put an end to it all and find out what caused the Rot to win.
The first thing to know is although this might sound like a massive crossover, both Animal Man and Swamp Thing are, for the most part, stand alone series and interpretations of Rotworld. The most vital crossover issues of Swamp Thing with Animal Man are thankfully collected here as issue #12 and #17. The rest of the little cameos and names drops are not necessary and can be found in Animal Man volume 3 if you like.
Besides that, Swamp Thing vol.3 is a great book by itself. Rotworld is an action/horror theme event more so than the previous two volumes, but Snyder does make for some good character moments with Alec and Abigail's love each other. There are equal parts of Alec fighting the Rot in the future and Abigail fighting the Rot in the past while the narrative chugs along toward its climax. Which, thankfully, is a great payoff for this series since Snyder really has focused on the Alec/Abigail love angle the whole 18 issues and it does end on a emotional note. But the event is about Rotworld and action/exploration that Swamp Thing finds like numerous characters still alive to join Alec's cause, fellow super heroes and villains now controlled by the Rot, and some other surprises that await Swamp Thing on his journey to stop Arcane. And yes, Animal Man and Swamp Thing do team up at the end to take down Arcane, so prepare for a bloody war.
Mention of artist Yanick Paquette and Marco Rudy continue to make a horror/plant-like setting.. Snyder allows their imaginations to run wild for Rotworld and it does look utterly dreadful for the horror that it's supposed to represent (I mean that in a good way). Blood flies everywhere, twisted and contorted bodies make up fortresses, cities are drowned in dead plant life, panels of rotting flesh and green overgrowth, and the final battle against Arcane is wild. And Steve Pugh does Animal Man #12 very nicely.
Possible complaints toward this collection might be the tonality shift from previous volumes. I loved the first volume Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones (The New 52) because it focused on Alec Holland the human side of Swamp Thing that never gets talked about, but since then, Swamp Thing has been all about setting Rotworld and the action that might not seem so interesting as it once was. The second qualm might be Swamp Thing #17 because of the fill-in artist, Andy Belanger. I think its good, but it doesn't belong with either Animal Man or Swamp Things art styles. It's cartoony and messes up the tone that artist Pugh and Green setout upon. And some of the transitions from Alec's travels throughout Rotworld feel a bit disjointed, I think. Alec will fight some monsters, then cut to Abigail, then he's on a whole other continent feel like Swamp Thing jumps to one place in a hurray. And the last flaw is the ending: Yes, it is far better then Animal Man's ending and is a decent ending at that. But Snyder closes a lot of doors from fallout of the event. I know it's to give the new writer a clean slate, but it just makes the event feel glossed over considering all the build up.
SWAMP THING VOL.3: ROTWORLD: THE GREEN KINGDOM overall does what it sets out to do with making an epic fight for Buddy and Alec, with lots of action, gore, and content for your dollar ($17 for 9 issues impressive). But the art on Swamp Thing #17, the rough transitions, and the ending might seem to squeaky clean. None the less, this was still an enjoyable book and series that faithful readers can still pick up. If it satisfies you, then you may want to pick up Animal Man Vol. 3: Rotworld: The Red Kingdom (The New 52). I do wish DC make a new Rotworld book that includes all of Animal Man and Swamp Thing in one trade though.
New writer Charles Soule takes over for Swamp Thing and as a reader of his work, it looks like it is worth your time to check out the new adventures of Alec Holland in Swamp Thing Vol. 4: Seeder (The New 52) (Swamp Thing: the New 52).
C. Dennis Moore
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Aw, Scott Snyder. It was good while it lasted and it sucks to see you leaving SWAMP THING, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. And I suppose if there’s a perfect way to exit a book, ROTWORLD: The Green Kingdom is about as perfect as there’s likely to be.
This third volume of the SWAMP THING monthly comic, which spans issues 12-18, as well as including ANIMAL MAN #s 12 and 17, is one of most intense and exciting Swamp Thing stories I’ve ever read. Alan Moore’s take on the character had some great stuff, and the old Vertigo stories were thought-provoking and strange. But Snyder’s run on the character has been simply top notch stuff, deserving of every accolade it receives.
In this story, the avatar of the Rot, Anton Arcane, is making a play for power by destroying The Green and The Red, the parliaments of life both plant and animal, respectively, and it’s up to the avatars of those two factions, Swamp Thing and Animal Man, to put a stop to him.
In the beginning, Alec Holland, AKA Swamp Thing, and Buddy Baker, AKA Animal Man, travel into the Rot in order to try to find a way to beat Arcane, but when they emerge, Swamp Thing is accosted by Deadman and Poison Ivy who tell him they’ve been gone for a year, and that in that time, with no champions of the Green or Red to stop him, Arcane, now the champion of the Rot since the Parliament’s original choice, Abby Arcane, didn’t want the job, has destroyed all life on earth. Only a few pockets are left, but the rest of the world is so covered in death and decay that, the further Swamp Thing gets from the grove where the Parliament of Trees reside, the weaker he becomes. However, if he wants to save the world--and Abby, whom everyone claims is dead, but Alec insists he can still feel her presence--he has to travel to Gotham City in search of a weapon capable of reversing the affects of Arcane’s powers.
The journey pits him against a now-evil and monstrous version of the Teen Titans as well as a few of the heavy hitters like Superman, but he is able to team up with Barbara Gordon and uncover Batman’s master plan, conceived just before Bruce Wayne himself was infected by The Rot.
There’s action and adventure, excitement to satisfy anyone, but also a good deal of that thought-provoking material that made the book work so well back in the 90s. And through it all, Scott Snyder reminds us just how deeply he understands not only this character, but also what this character stands for.
And then there’s Yanick Paquette’s art. Holy crap, man. This book could be dialogue free, have no story at all, just a bunch of pages of silent panels, but if those panels were drawn by Yanick Paquette, then it would still be worth full cover price. The artwork is just so gorgeous, which is a strange word to use in describing a story in which the entire world has been overrun by death and decay.
Paquette’s Swamp Thing is a creature of intimidation and great power, but one with a humanity that contradicts the outward appearance. Not to mention his monsters are truly friggin’ monstrous.
My only complaint is that, while the story is supposed to be that the entire world is overrun by decay, it would have been nice to see a little more of that effect on a global scale as opposed to mostly the swamps surrounding New Orleans, and Gotham City. I didn’t really get the sense that this was EVERYWHERE, but more like Gotham was lost and the rest of the world MIGHT still be out there.
But in the grand scheme, that’s a very very minor quibble, because as a whole, ROTWORLD: The Green Kingdom is a friggin’ awesome book and something even the layperson can read and enjoy. Little to no prior history of Swamp Thing is necessary to understand the book as Snyder’s style is up to the challenge of making even new readers know exactly what’s going on and how the characters connect to one another. This is, simply put, masterful storytelling, accompanied by some truly beautiful artwork. I couldn’t rave enough about this book if I had a year to do it. All I can say that really sums it up is buy this book, you’ve earned it. This is the epitome of what a horror comic like SWAMP THING should be.