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September 13, 2011 / MojosWork

Animal Man #1

Rating: 5/5


Synopsis (via dccomics.com): Buddy Baker has gone from “super” man to family man – but is he strong enough to hold his family together when Maxine, his young daughter, starts to manifest her own dangerous powers? Find out in this dramatic new series from writer Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and artist Travel Foreman (The Immortal Iron Fist).

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Travel Foreman

Cover Price: $2.99

SPOILERS BELOW

I thought I was done with The New 52 for the week of September 7th, but I was bored on Saturday afternoon and found myself making a rare second visit of the week to Midtown Comics. I picked up a graphic novel I will review at a future date, and also snagged Animal Man #1. I guess I’m a sucker for this whole reboot thing, because there is no way I would have bought this book if it was Animal Man #327 or something. I’ve never read anything by Jeff Lemire, but I know he’s well-respected as the writer/creator of the graphic novel Essex County, a story I meant to check out because I’m from an Essex County and the story takes place in Canada.

So thank God I had a hankering for Baja Fresh (next to the comic shop) on Saturday, because Animal Man #1 is BY FAR the BEST of The New 52 books I read this past week. It starts off with a Timemagazine-style opening page that deftly sets the stage for who Buddy Baker, Animal Man, is. From there, the book reads like a smart indy film. You’re not sure where it’s going and there’s a vibe of truth to the inaction of the action going on.

Why are this man's eyes bleeding? Just one of teh creepy mysteries of Animal Man #1.

Even Travel Foreman’s art feels like a low-budget, high-quality movie. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but Foreman’s hand has its own unique voice. DC really hit the nail on the head with this creative team.

The rest of the story shows our eponymous hero in action, followed by a crazy dream sequence straight out of The Sopranos, if The Sopranos had a baby with Hellraiser.

Oh sweet babies!

The creepiness factor is miraculously ratcheted up one more notch with the closing page, Buddy’s daughter Maxine playing in the yard – at night (OF COURSE IT’S AT NIGHT! CREEP KIDS DON’T PLAY DURING THE DAY!) – with a petting zoo of pet corpses. Oh boy. And I thought the cliffhanger to Detective Comics #1was something else!

Animal Man, your daughter is a creep.

I cannot wait for Animal Man #2. This book is already light years ahead of the crappy Green Arrow #1 I blew three bucks on.

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