Animal Man/Swamp Thing #17
Writers: Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder
Artists: Steve Pugh, Timothy Green II, Joseph Silver, Lovern Kindierski, Andrew Belanger, and Tony Avina
Cover Artists: Steve Pugh, Yanick Paquette, and Nathan Fairbairn
In an effort to not sound repetitive, it seemed necessary to review these final two issues of “Rotworld” together. With the final showdown between the Rot and forces of Red and Green well underway, the heroes Alec and Buddy finally meet up once again. Together, and with a farewell present from Batman, they are able to unleash a cure upon those affected by the Rot’s poison. Unfortunately, even with all the help they received, Anton Arcane was able to escape. As far as conclusions go, these two issues were both satisfactory and unfulfilling at the same time. On the one hand, the final battle was excellent. It was exciting, it was surprising, it was well illustrated. However, this entire arc, it would seem, is really just one large “What If?” story. While that pretty much could have been assumed from the very first issue, there was always a glimmer of hope that something from the last 12 issues (between the two series) would stick. Lemire has hinted that not everything will be exactly as it was, and if that is the case then this arc will be that much better for it. As it stands, it doesn’t feel like much of anything has come of “Rotworld.” 3/5
John Layman has this remarkable ability to make Batman sound funny. And not funny-weird, like Layman’s writing him wrong, but humorous-funny, like Batman has a softer amusing side. This is worth noting because in the seven or eight books Batman appears in every month, he’s generally portrayed as this humorless stick in the mud, and it’s nice to have a book that strays from that. Not only does Layman write a funny Batman, he writes a pretty damn kickass Batman. While everyone is still focused on Joker, Layman’s “League of Smiles” draws on the attraction people have to the Joker and warps it into a fascinating story. Jason Fabok continues to demonstrate that he’s the perfect man for this job. Along with colors by Cox, this artistic team brings yet another gorgeous book to the Bat-Universe. 4.5/5
It’s a new day for the Emerald Archer as the new creative team of Lemire and Sorrentino takes over. While the series may have started off decent enough, it has struggled for the better part of the last year. Thankfully, if this issue is any indication, things are looking up for Ollie. With the first pages of this issue, there is an immediate tonal shift from the rest of the series. Lemire’s story feels more intense, more dark and gritty than issues before it, which were much more whimsical in nature. As such, Sorrentino’s art, which is absolutely gorgeous but also has a very dark feel to it, is perfect for this series. This first issue is a great start in this new direction. There’s a nice bit of a recap for new readers, there’s an adequate amount of action and adventure, and best of all, it was a fun read. Here’s hoping this team can maintain that for a long while. 4/5
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