Animal Man? It’s news to me…

OK. So we all know DC Comics has the New 52 in order to revamp the characters in the DC Universe. It’s a brilliant tactic to expand your fan base.  We have discussed the New 52 in just about 4 out of the 5 Metal Geeks shows. But we aren’t the only media sources talking about it. In fact, some of the story arcs have made big time headlines. It’s an opportunity for new comic book fans, avid comic book fans, disgruntled comic book fans, and (like myself) returning comic book fans to be sucked into…or in some cases diverted.

This brought my co-host, Cary G. and myself to put our Geeky brains together bringing you a fresh; non-biased, view on these new Story Arcs. I present to you my FIRST EVER, well…written…, Comic Review:

When I looked at this cover I genuinely knew nothing of ANIMAL MAN. I judged the book by its cover…so to speak. The name of this superhero couldn’t be more generic and uninteresting. I had no interest in reading the Zero issue for pleasure, but my passionate curiosity and Geeky willpower pushed me to dive in. I’m glad I did.

First of all, I’d like to say the artwork of Steve Pugh is spectacular. His style has a vintage edge to it. Cary likes to call me an artist (btw I’m not) but much like my preference  in music; the frontman (the primary focus) either kills it or murders it. Steve Pugh killed it.

I really enjoyed the story. There are some holes in the writing but I DID get the bigger picture. Jeff Lemire is a seasoned DC Comics writer and one of the prominent forces behind the New 52. He obviously knows what he’s doing. The conclusion I’ve drawn is he wrote it intending the holes to suck in the reader. If that is the tactic, it worked on me. Before I did my research I knew nothing of “The Red”, “The Rot”, and who the person was under the costume; but it left me wanting to learn more. Dude had me researching…thats always a good thing!

My only true complaint has to be the Animal Man in the beginning of the comic and the chronology of Buddy Barker’s transformation into “The Red.” I was thoroughly confused as to why on the cover Animal Man is a Blonde Haired Caucasian guy dressed in a blue costume; but in the first couple of pages of the comic was a Black shirtless Animal Man. I suppose it would have made more sense if I knew before hand…but isn’t the point of the New 52 to draw in new fans? And seriously, why cause an elaborate; might I add very morbid, alien abduction  to ease his mental comprehension of his new powers only for him to wake up naked in a forest happy as-all-get-out to find his costume nicely folded on a tree and miraculously knows that he’s a superhero all the while forgetting he was just dissected by green men. I guess I missed something. Anyways. I do recommend reading this. It’s “old school” inside and out. It’s cheesy. It’s fun.

Here is a breakdown:

  • Artwork: [10] Vintage. Clean. It was a major factor in selling me on this issue.
  • Writing: [8] Jeff Lemire did well but I can’t give him a 10 because I’m supposed to be a new reader. You taught me the orgins of Buddy Barker but you did it with pinholes in your cover.
  • Story Arc: [9] This has potential. I’m looking forward to reading the next issue. Enter “The Green” aka Swamp Thing

2 thoughts on “Animal Man? It’s news to me…

  1. Animal Man is the best New 52 series (along with Blue Beetle and Team 7).
    What makes Animal Man so special is the way Lemire deconstructs the superhero mythology. For example:
    1) Superheroes tend to monopolize the attention of the reader, while Animal Man is constantly upstaged by the supporting characters of the series.
    2) Superhero comics usually don’t give much importance to the private life of their main character (they tend to focus only on the “costume on” part); in Animal Man, on the contrary, the private life of Buddy is the main theme of the series. In fact, it is rather infrequent to see Buddy with his costume on.
    3) Buddy is not perfect, and is not perceived as perfect by other people: in fact, in the 11th issue, when he tells his wife “It’s going to be okay”, she replies “Don’t give me anything of that superhero crap, Buddy.” That cut and thrust perfectly enlightens the philosophy of the series.

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