Animal Man #1

by stephengervais on December 19, 2011

Not being a fan of horror genre comics but a big fan of writer Jeff Lemire’s work I was really unsure whether to pick up this title or not. In the end I gave into the hype surrounding the DC relaunch and picked up more #1s than I had originally planned. My impulse shopping was most definitely rewarded with this purchase.

 Having not read the previous Animal Man series I thought some of the nuances of the character would be lost on me but Lemire with a stroke or should I say a page of brilliance caught me right up to speed with Buddy Baker, aka Animal Man. The very first page of the comic is an interview with Buddy Baker in which he discusses his animal activism, his acting, and his role as a super hero. With this interview the reader becomes familiar with the world of Animal Man and only one page has been used. Brilliant!!

This issue opens with Buddy in his kitchen interacting with his family. He comes across as unsure of himself in an enduring sort of way. His life seems like a normal non super-hero type of one. The family worries about money and the kids want things they can’t have. Even when he is made aware of a hostage situation he seems hesitant whether or not to take action. It’s a very different take on the way we think a super-hero would typically react.

The issue ends with a haunting nightmare sequence followed by a bizarre cliffhanger. The art throughout the nightmare is black and white with touches of red which adds to the creepiness of the whole thing. The artwork is handled by Travel Foreman. Foreman’s work along with the coloring of Dan Green really enhances the overall dark mood of the issue.

This is my pick as the best #1 stemming from the DC relaunch.

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