So yeah, my expectations for this were not all that high after the “Animal Man” half of the “Rotworld” crossover. Seeing as how almost half of the content here has been re-printed from that other volume, it would seem that picking up this volume is more of an act of masochism masquerading under whatever duty I feel as a reviewer here. That’s borne out here, mostly, as Scott Snyder doesn’t fare much better in making Swamp Thing’s journey through Rotworld particularly imaginative or creative. We get lots of fighting with rot-ified versions of superheroes like the Teen Titans, another showdown with little Billy Arcane, and find out that Batman even had a plan for this even if it didn’t do him much good in the end. It’s all fairly predictable and straightforward, without much fun to be had even from Abby’s travails in returning home to stop her uncle’s madness permanently. At least the art from Yanick Paquette and Marco Rudy, beautifully detailed with creative layouts, keeps this side of the story visually interesting
What I will give Snyder is that he manages a far better final issue to his volume, which is also his last for the series, than Lemire did with “Animal Man.” Granted, all he had to do was not break Swamp Thing as a character, but the final confrontation with Arcane feels appropriately dramatic. I also liked the change to Abby’s status quo which not only allows her to be pretty badass in that moment, yet also adds an element of tragedy to her relationship with the title character. It’s a good note for the writer to go out on and makes for a convenient stopping point for the reader as well. I’m inclined to do that too, though morbid curiosity does have me wondering how incoming writer Charles Soule will fare with this relatively intact setup compared to the work Lemire is going to have to do to rebuild his character.
Hmm… “Morbid Curiosity.” Sounds like a good name for a podcast. Expect my thoughts on both volumes in that form sometime in 2014.