In Rotest Day...
So this cover may have spoiled the nature of the sealed weapon in Metropolis, but still hid the true identity. There was a lot of speculation, but I'm pretty sure nobody correctly guessed Medphyll, which is actually the perfect choice. Though it's never explained exactly WHAT happened to the other 5 Earth's Green Lanterns. The Guardians forbade the Corps, aside from Medphyll, to fight against the Rot and then sealed away the planet.... but did Guy, Kyle, John, Simon, and Hal all go down fighting The Rot or did they get shut out of Earth? Because I doubt they'd surrender to The Guardians' directive, but if they fell there'd be other unused Lanterns left. And Medphyll never clarifies on this whatsoever.
Ok, WHY would William Arcane hate cats for being 'filthy, tricky, and full of disease?' THAT'S EXACTLY THE KIND OF THING THE ROT IS! LIKE FLIES! WHAT THE HELL?! Just an excuse for William to say something to Socks, but so forced it just ended up stupid. Though the present day section finally gets around to creating a scenario with serious tension, and something that has been teased for quite a while.
Blackbriar Thorn is a brilliant foe, he's a Justice League Dark antagonist who surrendered willingly to The Rot, like Faust, and has gained such a size that he an entire city. He is connected to The Green, so Black Orchid only has limited connection to him, but the way Animal Man battles him is utterly brilliant.
Steve Pugh has an interesting and unique portrayal of Flash's superspeed, and the identity of Arcane's Gatekeepers is brilliant. It's not really a big twist, his fortress is blocked by the Rot Justice League, which is a huge obstacle. Flash comes on the scene first and has a pretty shocking kill without warning, which is pretty much as dangerous as The Flash could be.
In Conclusion: 5/5
Animal Man is finally hitting its stride again as we head into the big finish after almost a year and half of storytelling, and the stage is set for a truly epic climax. I'm a little concerned about how we're going to have the big battle, the resolution of the past, AND Animal Man and Swamp Thing going back to prevent Rotworld in only two issues; but I have faith in Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder.