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Animal Man Vol 2 17

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"War of the Rot, Part One": After gathering his own army of allies, Animal Man has taken his fight to the castle of Anton Arcane, the avatar of The Rot. Unfortunately, his castle is guarded by what was once the [[Justi


Quote1 Baker, Constantine said that you and Holland, the Swamp Thing, would need to be together if we were to have a chance of bringing Arcane down. You need to get over there! Quote2
-- Black Orchid



Appearing in "War of the Rot, Part One"

Featured Characters:

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Other Characters:

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Synopsis for "War of the Rot, Part One"

After gathering his own army of allies, Animal Man has taken his fight to the castle of Anton Arcane, the avatar of The Rot. Unfortunately, his castle is guarded by what was once the Justice League, each of whom has been corrupted by the Rot. Despite being in the midst of battle, Buddy can sense his daughter Maxine somewhere within the castle, and he can only hope she is alive.

In particular, the Flash is a great danger to them, moving at such speeds. Struggling to catch up, Buddy calls on The Red to those few remaining living things with some vestiges of life and speed - ants, cockroaches. After a hard, painful chase, Buddy manages to catch up and smash Flash into a rock, killing him. With that done, Buddy's allies catch up to him. Medphyll, the last Green Lantern of Sector 2814 reports that something strange is happening. On the other side of the castle, he can sense the arrival of The Green.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the castle, Swamp Thing is leading his own army against Arcane's rotlings and Un-Men, also sensing his lost Abigail somewhere within the castle. Facing down the power of Superman, Swamp Thing orders Barbara Gordon to use the last remaining piece of Kryptonite against him, in the hopes that it will spare them the Kryptonian's might. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.

Alec realizes that since prior to falling victim to the rot, Superman's cells acted like a solar battery, it is likely that the sun's rays will affect him negatively now, and sap him of his power. He has Mr. Freeze fire his cold gun straight into the clouds above him, but Freeze is distracted by the appearance of Nora, the woman he has believed for years is his wife; rotten. She rips open his chest, killing him, and leaving the gun to Barbara. When she fires the gun, it creates an opening in the clouds that shines the sun down on Superman, who then explodes in a hail of rotting flesh and blood.

Meanwhile, Black Orchid reminds of how Constantine had told them that Buddy and Swamp Thing would have to be together to defeat Arcane. Buddy, though, is reluctant to leave his companions to fight the Rot alone. Suddenly, though, reinforcements arrive. The Warriors of the Redlands appear, led by Buddy's old friend Shepherd. He explains that they have decided to abandon the Red Kingdom, because if this battle is lost, their kingdom will be too. Buddy's victory is necessary.

Elsewhere, Swamp Thing explains how the Bat-Bot that they have brought with them is actually a bomb filled with Bio-Restorative Formula. If they can get it into the clouds and detonate it, it will destroy all of the rotlings around them, thanks to the growth of the Green. Unfortunately, as he attempts to lift the bot, the harness full of formula that he stole from Bane is damaged by Katana. Without the formula, Alec cannot lift it alone.

Buddy's group, meanwhile, isn't doing well. While fighting at Buddy's side, Medphyll is killed by a rotling, which prompts his Green Lantern Ring to search for a replacement. The ring chooses Frankenstein as its next wearer, and thus empowered, the patchwork man slices Wonder Woman in half, thereby saving Black Orchid's life. Thanks to this positive boon, Buddy's friends are able to defend themselves, allowing Buddy to rush to Swamp Thing's side.

With Buddy finally working alongside him, Alec hopes to finally lift the bat-bot into the sky, but they are distracted when they hear the mocking shouts of Anton Arcane from atop his castle. Arcane explains that while they may think that the rotlings are his real warriors, he has other soldiers: those whom they came to save.

From out of the castle gates emerge both Maxine, now one of the Hunters Three, and a group of corrupted, faceless clones of Abigail Arcane.



Notes

The story concludes in "War of the Rot, Part Two" in Swamp Thing #17.

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