Animal Man 3: Rotworld—The Red Kingdom

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Good ending to the Rot storyline

The Rot went on too long

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Animal Man (Volume 2)/Swamp Thing (Volume 5)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Jeff Lemire/Scott Snyder

Artist:  Steve Pugh/Andrew Belanger/Marco Rudy/Timothy Green II/Joseph Silver/Dan Green/Andy Owens

# of Issues:  10

Release Date:  2013


Animal Man (2) #14

Reprints Animal Man (2) #12-19 and Swamp Thing (5) #12 and #17 (October 2012-June 2013).  Animal Man and Swamp Thing take their battle directly to the Rot.  Unfortunately, Swamp Thing and Animal Man discover they’ve walked into a trap and that Arcane has won.  Now, the world is under the Rot’s control and Animal Man finds himself in a desperate attempt to reunite with Swamp Thing and stop Arcane.  If Animal Man can succeed in freeing the world, his life could still be changed forever!

Written by Jeff Lemire with help by Scott Snyder, Animal Man 3:  Rotworld—The Red Kingdom is the New 52 relaunch of the Animal Man series.  Following Animal Man 2:  Animal vs. Man, Animal Man 3:  Rotworld—The Red Kingdom is a tie-in with Swamp Thing 3:  Rotworld—The Green Kingdom and wraps up the Rot storyline.

The Rot was a good idea to give Animal Man some punch when the series kicked off with the New 52.  The concepts of the different worlds Red, Green, Gray, Black, and others tied in with the whole spectrum of the Green Lanterns and added some direction to series.  I liked this as it started, but it did carry on a bit too long.


Animal Man (2) #18

Fortunately, the series did not end everything quickly and anticlimactic.  This volume shows a real battle (on two fronts if you read Swamp Thing) and the ending fight was a good conclusion.  The series has a bittersweet coda much like Swamp Thing in that everything didn’t turn out well.  The death of Cliff (and his nasty mullet) echoes Grant Morrison’s run which killed Animal Man’s whole family…which leads to a quest to resurrect Cliff in the final issues of the series.

The art for the series is pretty traditional comic book art which is a bit of a disappointment from the early days of this series.  Travel Foreman provided a really unique view of Animal Man and I wish he had stuck with the book to keep it moving.  I tried to imagine how he would have portrayed this volume and found myself wishing he had done the art (though it wouldn’t have mixed well with Swamp Thing’s art).

Animal Man is a good book that got a bit too bogged down in the story.  It is kind of like how X-Files needed to mix in an occasional monster-of-the-week to make the story alien mythos stories less oppressive.  I do think they did a good job wrapping up the Rot story, but wish Animal Man was allowed to have some fun.  Animal Man 3:  Rotworld—The Red Kingdom was followed by Animal Man 4:  Splinter Species.

Related Links:

Animal Man 1:  The Hunt

Animal Man 2:  Animal vs. Man

Swamp Thing 3:  Rotworld—The Green Kingdom

Animal Man 1:  Animal Man

Animal Man 2:  Origin of the Species

Animal Man 3:  Deus Ex Machina

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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