I always hated Marvel Zombies. I felt it was a soulless cash-in on a cultural trend that cheapened the heroism of characters who frankly didn’t need the abuse. Watching Spider-Man eat Aunt May made the nine-year-old in me sad and the adult me annoyed.
Which makes it odd that Rotworld, which is essentially DC Zombies in a few respects, seems so fresh and energetic.
Part of this is that the writing and art staffs on both Swamp Thing and Animal Man are some of the best that DC have (Scott Snyder & Yanick Paquette and Jeff Lemire, Timothy Green & Steve Pugh, respectively), but more than that, the beginning of Rotworld understands that when people die they becoming inherently uninteresting, as characters. There are no stakes here. What are they going to do? Die more?
So Rotworld focuses on those still alive and left behind. And there ain’t a lot left.
It’s also some of the best horror either of these books has put out. There are moments in both books that will make people following them from the beginning gasp. One scene in particular on an airplane illustrating just how vile the Rot really is will stick with you for a while; Paquette in particular really enjoys the grotesque.
It’s especially effective because pretty much everybody who isn’t a distorted monster thinks Buddy and Alec ran away from their responsibilities, and both are facing the fact that they failed on both personal and cosmic levels. They screwed up, big time, and while of course there’s a way to fix it, they’ve got to get there first.
Also welcome? The books, while taking place in the same continuity, are on separate tracks. You won’t need to read one to understand the other, but both really flesh each other out.
In short, it’s some of the best comics DC is putting out right now and I can’t wait to see what else is coming.
Let’s talk some comics: What’d you love this week?