- Life is the gateway to death. And death, in all life, still echoes. And those echoes resonate here in the bowels of the Rot... in us... The Parliament of Decay!
Synopsis for "War of the Rot, Part Two"
Neither Swamp Thing nor Animal Man are willing to believe that their loved ones, Abby Arcane and Maxine Baker have truly been lost to them. This, despite the fact that Anton Arcane has just unleashed horrible, corrupted clones of Abigail on them, along with Maxine, who is now one of the Hunters Three.
Arcane explains how he took Abby's body, and tried to improve upon her by creating clones from the ground up, and then removing most of their brains in order to suppress the original's rebellion against his influence and that of The Rot. Maxine, on the other hand, joined the Rot willingly, thinking that she could spare her family by giving herself over in their stead. Hearing the words of the Hunters Three coming from Maxine's mouth, Buddy can't take it anymore, and in his rage, tears her head from her rotling body. The experience shakes him, despite the fact that his own allies are floundering against Arcane's forces.
Attempting to rally them, Swamp Thing organizes a push to get to the special Bat-Bot filled with Bio-Restorative Formula, which they must get into the atmosphere and detonate, in order to cover the land with the formula, and strengthen The Green. Steel tries to get closer and connect his suit to the robot, to control its movement, but Arcane tears him in half and begins sabotaging the robot.
Buddy and Swamp Thing try to intervene, but while Buddy distracts Arcane, Alec's connection to the Green is still too weak to bear the full weight of the robot - especially when Buddy is injured, and Arcane returns to fight him. On the ground, Beast Boy offers Buddy the opportunity to draw power directly from him in order to help Alec. Though Beast Boy nearly dies from the experience, they can't afford to stop, and Buddy is afforded the ability to sprout wings, and fly back up to the Robot. Again, he attacks Arcane, allowing Alec the chance to drag the robot higher, activate its detonator, and cover the rotten landscape in Bio-Restorative Formula.
The green rain seems to melt away the rotlings, and Arcane makes an escape into the depths of his castle. Buddy and Alec give chase. They find Arcane at the doorway at the end of the long hallway, where he warns them that though they have made a valiant effort, he owns death, and because death is timeless, he can go back in time to one year ago, and start his plan over and over until he succeeds. They are unable to stop him from entering the Rot, and escaping into death.
Though they are sure they have failed, a sudden voice catches their attention. It is the Parliament of Decay, explaining that death and life are one, and life is the gateway to death. The Parliament claims that they are not the enemy - it was Arcane's own black heart that brought malevolence to the Rot, and the stronger he becomes, the weaker the Rot's former avatars become. Fortunately, they have enough power to send Buddy and Alec after Arcane into the timeless void of death. They will have only one chance to follow him back in time, and set things right. With their lost loved ones in mind, Alec and Buddy do not hesitate to enter the void.
Appearing in "War of the Rot, Part Two"
- Parliament of Decay (First appearance)
- Patchwork Army
- Warriors of the Redlands
- Batwoman (Rotten)
- Green Arrow (Rotten)
- The story continues from "War of the Rot, Part One" in Animal Man #17.