Comics in a Flash

The Green, The Red, and the Rot
By Eric S. Brown | Feb 27, 2013
Photo by: DC Comics


In the DC universe, there are three primary elemental forces of life: The Green, The Red, and the Rot.

Each of these selects human avatars on Earth that live among us carrying on a war that has raged since the beginning of time. The most famous of these avatars is the Swamp Thing who of course represents the Green. The Red’s avatar is Buddy Baker, aka Animal Man, a superhero who can channel the attributes of wild life as needed.

He can have the strength of an elephant, the claws of a tiger, and such at need by drawing on the power of the Red. The Rot’s current avatar is Anton Arcane, father of the Swamp Thing’s long time romantic interest Abigail Arcane. Recently, Anton Arcane managed to win the war of the elements of life by tricking Swamp Thing and Animal Man and throwing them forward in time.

When they return to Earth, the Rot has conquered all. The superheroes of the Earth and even the vaunted Green Lantern Corps have failed to stop the Rot and Anton Arcane rules all. The Earth is quarantined from the rest of space to keep the Rot from spreading to the stars. This storyline, spanning both the Swamp Thing and Animal Man titles, is aptly named Rotworld and presents a rather dark and post-apocalyptic future of the DCU.

Swamp Thing and Animal Man find a few other heroes still alive battling the Rot or at least trying to keep the scattered survivors of the human race alive. John Constantine, being among the most notable of these remaining heroes, alongside the likes of Black Orchid from Justice League Dark, Beast Boy from the Teen Titans, and other heroes with a limited connection to the Rot or the Green that has kept them alive and untainted by the Rot, quickly join them to try to free the Earth from the horror infecting it.

There are many awesome moments along the way from the Frankenstein monster creating an army of himself to battle the Rot to an undead version of the Justice League to Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) being still alive in Gotham City and having turned Arkham Asylum into a sanctuary for Gotham’s human remaining human population. The high point for me was seeing a zombie like Flash unleashed on the world and the amount of destruction that alone would bring.

All in all, Rotworld is a fun and monster infested trip through an alternate time of line of the DCU’s future. I highly recommend it to not just Swamp Thing fans but fans of such comic storylines as the Blackest Night and Marvel Zombies. Rotworld is the glittering world of superheroes merged with the darkness of horror at its best.

Eric S. Brown is the author of numerous books including the Bigfoot War series and War of the Worlds Plus Blood Guts and Zombies.  He is currently scripting the Stormchasers series for Unstoppable Comics beginning with issue # 10.

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