Reading Order for Rotworld, the Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and Frankenstein Cross-Over Event

animal_man_vol_3

Though I have been suspicious(reasonably so) about the Vertigo books that were moved over to the regular DCU as part of The New 52, there was a couple of exceptions.  The ending of Hellblazer after issue #300 was the end of an era, and a really sad turn for those who had stuff with it since before the Vertigo imprint had existed.  The same was true of bringing over titles like Swamp Thing, which had been not just a relaunch for an important character from Alan Moore, but a launching of a more adult horror and fantasy genre.  Peter Milligan brought a number of these formally Vertigo characters, many of which he had even written in their previous adult incarnations, in Justice League Dark, and Constantine is more in line with a foul mouthed superhero rather than a master of the dark arts.  The stands outs really were Animal Man and Swamp thing, due mainly to the quality of their art and writing.  Scott Snyder tried to maintain many of the character points and story ideas that has made Swamp Thing timeless, and Jeff Lemire’s rendition of Animal Man focused on the mythological and horror elements in a way that was often truly terrifying.  Along with the detailed and fine-tuned art palatte, Animal Man seemed as though it was the one title that continued as if it was still on Vertigo, except when it devolved into superhero inspired moments.

The storylines for both of these intertwine, as well as with other books, into a storyline that can be referred to as Rotworld.  This starts in the third volume for Animal Man, but this would really require reading all the things that come up against that.  So I am going to put together a complete reading order for Rotworld, part of which has been taken from the great compilation over at Comic Reading Orders.

Animal Man 1-11

Swamp Thing 1-11

(Note: These are two trade paperbacks each, and do not have to be read in a particular order in relation to each other.  Both are great runs and important as a pre-Rotworld storyline.  My favorite of the two is Animal Man, for its darker tone.  They begin mentioning Alec Holland early on in Animal Man, before the end of the first volume.)

Animal Man #12

Swamp Thing #12

Animal Man #13

Swamp Thing #13

Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #13

Animal Man #14

Swamp Thing #14

Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #14

Animal Man #15

Swamp Thing #15

Frankenstein Agent of Shade #15

Animal Man #16

Swamp Thing #16

Animal Man #17

Swamp Thing #17

Animal Man #18

You will notice how close the numberings are, and that you can easily just do one, and then the other, and then the other.  If you are reading in trades, this makes it incredibly easy, and in Animal Man Vol 3 they actually include several issues of Swamp Thing, which are co-written by Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder.  This is a testament to how integral these are to the same storyline.

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