COMIC BOOK REVIEW: ANIMAL MAN #1

Posted on September 9th, 2011

DC COMICS
Writter: JEFF LEMIRE
Art by TRAVEL FOREMAN and DAN GREEN
Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN
32 pages/$2.99

For those not familiar with Animal Man let me give you a crash coarse before I jump into the review.

Animal Man: is a super hero that can mimic the abilities of any animal that he is in close proximity to. He has been around since 1965 but came into prominence in the 1980’s when Grant Morrison revamped him under the Vertigo line at DC Comics. Even that is enough if not too much information for you to have before jumping into this book.

Jeff Lemire can tell a story, and he can pull you in quickly. That’s what he does here with Animal Man #1. Page One of this issue is a magazine interview with Buddy Baker, aka “Animal Man”. From this interview we gather that Buddy has been a stuntman, animal rights activist, movie star, as well as, a super hero. We also learn that he’s somewhat of an icon to hipsters, a family man…oh and he’s also a vegan. How many of us have read human-interest pieces like this in magazines? This device makes Buddy Baker, Animal Man, come across as a real person, since we haven’t seen a single comic book frame, our mind formulates a real person in our head. Great way to start.

That’s not to discredit Travel Foreman’s art. His page layouts are fantastic and give the book a distinct look. For those reading this comic book on an iPad, I recommend reading it with the guided view OFF so you don’t miss out on the whole page.

What we have here is a family drama.

Buddy is trying to keep his family together. The interaction between he and his wife and children seems very sincere and you feel like you know someone in this situation (minus the super powers).
After an interesting night out dealing with a hostage situation at a hospital, Animal Man returns home to sleep and has a foreboding nightmare. This is where Foreman’s art really shines and I must give a special nod the colorist Lovern Kindzierski. The dream sequence is in grey tones and reds, which makes for a very eerie experience. The dream sequence, and final page has a horrific beauty to it.

I knew there was a lot of buzz on this issue, and to be honest I wasn’t sure what to make of it prior to reading it. After reading it…wow, it’s damn good.


Posted in Comic Book Reviews    Tagged with Comic books, review, new 52, dc


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