The death of a Man, the rebirth of a Thing.

The first week of the month is always small, but also packs one hell of a punch! As usual, the only books I’ll be taking a look at this week come from the ‘dark’ area of the New 52 titles, Swamp Thing and Animal Man. Let’s jump right in!

I’m going to take a moment to say goodbye to Swamp Thing. I started buying and backreading the title when it crossed over with Animal Man for Rotworld, but Rotworld is over. Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette are leaving the title. And so, my friends, am I. As a matter of fact, this final issue is all about goodbyes. The Parliament of Decay dumps Alec at the exact moment he’d needed to be in, in the past, and he was able to stop Anton Arcane from killing Abby. Unfortunately, Arcane is still able to regenerate, so Abby and Alec confront the Parliament, where Abby confesses that she knows the only way to stop her uncle forever…is to become the Avatar of Decay in her own right, as she was supposed to. In order to fo that, however, she needs to die. Alec obliges her, just as Arcane breaks into the chamber of the Parliament. Arcane kills Alec Holland’s human body, but is finally destroyed by Abby, in her visually stunning Avatar of Decay form.

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Wow. Unfortunately, Abby, in embracing her destiny, has officially lost the ability to ever be with Alec again. She is purely decay now, and he is made entirely of the Green. So they say their goodbyes, and Alec gets ready to take his place among his Parliament, his tenure as Swamp Thing over. But the next avatar isn’t ready yet, and Alec still has some fight left in him, so he chooses to continue being their Swamp Thing until they no longer need him. And thus ends the Swamp Thing run of Scott Snyder. All in all, the 20 issues he penned (1 through 18, #0, and the annual) make for an amazing and, ultimately, complete story. Anything anyone else does from here on out is inconsequential to me. Just as Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing was considered the definitive story for the character pre-reboot, Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing is the post-reboot zenith for the character, at least to me. Well done, Mr. Snyder. You crafted a hell of a tale.

You may recognize the cover of Animal Man #18. It’s a direct homage to not one, but two Flash covers:

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Ah, cover homages. Gotta love ’em! In any case, where Swamp Thing was a proper ending for the Green side of the Rotworld storyline, Animal Man is more of a continuation. Rotworld has ended. Buddy and Alec both stopped the Rot before it began, and both lost someone in the process. Alec lost both the chance of a future with Abby, and his own human body, and Buddy lost his son. Remember how, last week, I said that I was sick of seeing kids die? Well, that feeling hasn’t faded. Cliff, Maxine, and Ellen Baker have been used as author tools to fuel Buddy’s resolve, to give him strength through grief. And now is no exception. In the reboot, DC has been all about breaking up marriages, but damnit, I was really rooting for the Bakers. If Cliff’s death doesn’t shatter this family, I’ll be more than relieved, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

And that was this week in comics! In case you missed them, the new issues of Fionna and Cake and Glory also came out this week. Be sure to pick them up, if you have the chance! I’d like to say that I’ll be looking at cheerier comics in the future but, uh, see you back here next week with Batman, and Batman and Robin. 

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