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The 10 Best Comic Books of 2012

8. Swamp Thing/Animal Man (DC Entertainment)

Writers: Scott Snyder (Swamp Thing), Jeff Lemire (Animal Man)
Artists: Yanick Paquette, Marco Rudy, Francesco Francavilla (Swamp Thing); Steve Pugh, Travel Foreman, Jeff Huet, Timothy Green III (Animal Man)

It might seem like a bit of a cheat to put both Swamp Thing and Animal Man in the same entry, but both books were linked so tightly in terms of theme and plot that it’s impossible to separate them. The first half of the year in each title was spent showing Swamp Thing and Animal Man battling against different forms of The Rot in their respective book. Then, about halfway through 2012, the titles merged as Lemire and Snyder began their “Rotworld” crossover storyline.

The story kicked off with Swamp Thing and Animal Man being sent to a dystopian future where The Rot has decayed the plant and animal life of the Earth and turned the heroes of the DC Universe into grotesque zombie-like creatures. In this new dead paradise, Animal Man and Swamp Thing separate to restore The Red (animal life) and The Green (plant life) respectively, in order to combat the decay of the planet.

Both titles explore the symbiotic relationship between the plant and animal world, while also portraying The Rot, or death, as a necessary evil in the grand scheme of life. With art by a talented stable of creators, Lemire and Snyder have created a world wholly unique from the other superhero books on the market. Underneath all of the fight scenes and zombie madness, both Swamp Thing and Animal Man are sister books deeply entrenched in some very interesting philosophies on the balance of life.

Unfortunately, Snyder will be leaving Swamp Thing early in 2013, but we’re keeping our hopes up that Animal Man will continue to flourish. If not, at least we can look back at 2012’s “Rotworld” as the best comic book crossover since “The Sinestro Corps War.”

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