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Review: Animal Man #1 (Lemire & Foreman)

Matt McGloinPosted: 09/07/2011 - 02:07

Today sees DC release 52 new comics. Most likely the big ones such as Action Comics and Detective Comics will be part of your list. Let me tell you -- add Animal Man #1!

Getting into this book, I know next to nothing about the character. I think I have the gist of it down as it is some guy who can channel animal powers.

Lemire chooses to open the book with a full text page of an interview "The Believer" conducted with Buddy Baker aka Animal Man.

Now, the warning bells were sounding as I begin to read about "save the animals" and left-wing this and that crapola.

However, as I mistakenly assumed Swamp Thing #1 to be a liberal's wet dream, I continued on with Animal Man with an open mind. Glad I did.

We learn Buddy Baker has a family, couple wonderful kids and the perfect wife (such a thing, only in the funny pages!). He's soon on his way to celebrity status as he recently starred in an Indie film. However, the old itch of being Animal Man is creeping up on him, and wouldn't you know, a loon is holding sick children hostage in the cancer ward of a hospital. The perfect time to become Animal Man, again!

Lemire builds the opening of the book up in such a way that you think this is some average super hero book. Heck, Buddy Bay even gets along with the cops, which is much different than his partners that fight crime.

As Animal Man confronts the crazy guy and uses his various powers - this is where Animal Man takes a twisted turn! I really don't want to spoil it for you, but the book takes a 180 - and heads to horrorville. So much so, that artist Travel Foreman uses a mix of black and white pages, with minimal coloring (red!) to further expound the effect. It rocked!

It totally took me by such surprise, I found myself thinking, "This is some messed up stuff." All the while laughing at my sudden display of emotion.

Trust me on this one and pick up Animal Man #1, you are not going to read anything remotely similar from the New 52 this week. Good stuff.