"Rotworld: The Red Kingdom, Part One": Buddy Baker lands in what he thinks is an even deeper level of The Rot, that is, until he looks around, and realizes that he's in what used to be the San Diego Zoo. He has returned to earth, only the ea
Appearing in "Rotworld: The Red Kingdom, Part One"
- Flash (Flashback only)
- Supergirl (Flashback only)
- Batwoman (Dies in flashback)
- Poison Ivy (Flashback only)
- Floronic Man (Flashback only)
- Thunder (Flashback only)
- Lightning (Flashback only)
- Ridge (Flashback only)
- The Red Kingdom
Synopsis for "Rotworld: The Red Kingdom, Part One"
Buddy Baker lands in what he thinks is an even deeper level of The Rot, that is, until he looks around, and realizes that he's in what used to be the San Diego Zoo. He has returned to earth, only the earth is not as it was when he left. Everything is dead, and rotting, and though he can feel The Red still, it is weak, and there are no animals to connect with. His thoughts turn to his family, and he realizes with horror that he left them in Louisiana, and now he's on the other side of the country. Could their situation be as dire as this?
On the horizon, he spots what he thinks is a bird, but as it draws nearer, it is clear that it is too large to be one. It is Hawkman, but not as Buddy ever knew him. Infected by the rot, Hawkman mindlessly attacks him, and without any power to defend himself, Buddy can only scrabble around, trying to dodge the attacks. He is saved though, by a small band of people unaffected by the Rot: Steel, Beast Boy, and Black Orchid. When he introduces himself as Buddy Baker, the Animal Man, they decide that they need to take him with them to The Red.
On the way, Steel explains how the year he was missing was a living hell for the survivors. Earth's heroes stood up to the Rot as best they could, but none of them were strong enough to prevent its victory. Hero killed and cannibalized hero, leaving only those few who were connected with the Red or The Green surviving, and a few stragglers. John Henry Irons had saved himself by uploading his human consciousness into his suit's A.I. giving the Rot no flesh to infect. Even some previous villains had aligned with heroes in order to protect the earth as best they could from the Rot.
Soon, they arrive at the so-called Red Kingdom; a place built from the bodies of the Totems of the Parliament of Limbs. In giving up their bodies to create a safe-haven, the Totems had lost their sentience, but at least the remaining survivors were protected by their connections to the Red.
Buddy is happy to see that his acquaintance Shepherd is still around, but the creature is sad to deliver the news that Buddy's family is no longer around. John Constantine appears, and explains that since Buddy and Swamp Thing left, one year ago, things went very badly. In effect, the Rot has already won, and he blames Buddy. The real avatar of the Red, Maxine was too weak, as just a child, and she couldn't fight off what happened.
Meanwhile, one year in the past, Buddy's wife Ellen begs her daughter Maxine to use her power to help them find her missing son Cliff. Maxine warns that Cliff is with something connected to the Rot, but Ellen is so tired of all of this that she barely cares anymore. She is determined to find and save her son, and get out of Louisiana.
As they drive in search of Cliff, Ellen stops the RV suddenly when she spots someone in the middle of the road. It is Cliff, but he is changed, infected by the Rot. Desperately, Ellen tries to connect with him, to pull him back. It seems to be working, until he begins to cough up a horrifying ball of infected flesh. That Rot attacks Ellen, and soon, both of them are under the Rot's influence.
- This book was first published on October 3, 2012.
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