Swamp Thing: Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, Marco Rudy, Dan Green, Andy Owens, Val Staples, Travis Lanham, Yanick Paquette, Steve Pugh, Nathan Fairbairn
So I was worried that this whole Rotworld thing would be drawn out and it would take several issues to get to the meat of it…the same way it did for the characters to finally team-up and enter the Rot. Well…this issue dashed all of those fears, and threw me right in. I was also wondering if any of Maxine’s or Abby’s visions of the desolated future would come to pass. Turns out I didn’t have to wait long to find that out either.
Swamp Thing picks up quite literally where Animal Man left off, and we find them together in the Rot fighting off the Un-Men. They decide to venture further into the Rot and try to strike while the Rot is weak from fighting them. It turns out the Rot is quite manipulative as a whole, and were hoping Swampy and Buddy would do just as they are. Arcane shows up and laughs, severing their lifeline back to the world. He taunts them with revelation after revelation about how the Rot was planning for exactly this.
He reveals to them exactly how long they’ve already been in the Rot.
Meanwhile, we see Maxine, Ellen, and Abby fighting off the Rot creatures that escaped and, what’s really cool, is Maxine and Abby are finally using their powers against something. Maxine uses her Red powers to melt flesh, and she just looks so sadistic while she does it…like she’s really enjoying it. Abby uses her Rot powers to control the Rot the creatures are made up of. I love it. Ellen doesn’t get left out when she gets a shotgun and starts blowing them away. I love this Ellen! More of this, please!
Abby says to Socks how she knows where the Parliament of Decay is hidden (the Green and Red never actually knew), and will be going off on her own to end them. I was hoping Maxine and Ellen would go too, but they do have a Cliff to get back to. The last page of the issue is pretty spectacular, as Swampy and Buddy see what’s changed in the world upon returning.
Ah. So this is how Snyder and Lemire are changing the Earth into Rotworld. Very cool.
Rudy’s art is good, and definitely fits the style, as it has been. He inks his own stuff in the beginning, but a sudden change in inkers to Dan Green ends up changing the entire look of this ish. That was a bit jarring. I felt the gears grind on that shift. And, very unfortunately, the second-to-last page where we see Buddy in the bottom panel…looks NOTHING like Buddy Baker. At least, nothing like the Buddy Baker we saw earlier this issue. Socks, also, looks more dog-like in some panels. I’ve been liking Rudy so far, so this is kind of disheartening. There are some art problems, I’d say.
Swamp Thing #12, the verdict: Art issues aside, this was a pretty cool one. I liked that things suddenly feel like they’re moving very quickly. I like that we get to see Maxine “unleashed,” so to speak. I was bummed that Abby would be splitting off to do her own thing, but I guess it’s nice to be able to have the characters focused and centralized within their own titles instead of always in the other comic, if you know what I mean. That way the crossover doesn’t feel like we’re getting a lot of the same stuff from each title. With how it looks like it’s going, Ellen and Maxine will do their family thing in Animal Man - which has been a book about family since issue #1 - and Abby will do her thing in Swamp Thing - going after the Parliament of Decay. It’s good that each book will be able to remain true to its theme and tone.
(Photo Source: Shazam Wikia)