Animal Man Annual #1 2012

by stephengervais on June 03, 2012

I’m not usually a big fan of comic book annuals. I find the stories to amount to nothing more than filler with a hefty price tag.  That being said I have been excited about the upcoming cross over between my two favorite DC titles, Swamp Thing and Animal Man, and this looked like a perfect prequel to the event.

The other selling point for me was the regular author of Animal Man, Jeff Lemire, would be handling the writing duties. Lemire is one of those writers I always check for. He’s quickly becoming a personal favorite of mine.

This story has Socks, a former avatar of the Red, telling Maxine a story of the last time the Rot rose to fight the Green and the Red. Lemire uses a small Canadian town in 1894 as the backdrop to this flashback story. The story is really well paced and the characters quickly grow on you. Admittedly we don’t learn anything new concerning the elements but we do get an epic battle which hints at how the current struggle will play out. It’s also reinforced that the Rot isn’t normally evil and usual co-exists with the Red and the Green.

This issue is penned by Timothy Green II. Green does a great job bringing all the horror of Animal Man to life. His work leaves little to the imagination and I’m sure some of the gory images will pop up in the reader’s dreams eventually. I particularly love the panel where the 18th century version of Animal Man sees what appears to be a post apocalyptic city from the present time with the carcasses of various super heroes hanging by spits. This could be some foreshadowing as to what awaits us in the current plotline.

All in all this is a great issue for anyone following the current Animal Man series but as a stand alone story I could see new readers not fully grasping the storyline. I do have to admit that being Canadian I did love all the Canadian content and references in this issue. For that reason alone, even with the $4.99 price tag, this was a great purchase and an example of how annuals should be handled.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


lucstclair's picture

Great review. Being a new reader to Animal Man (I only have the first tpb) I think I'd be a little lost reading this annual. Of course that doesn't surprise me at all that Lemire would use a Canadian town for the backdrop of his story, the guy is Canadian after all.