Animal Man #2

November 3, 2011

The premier issue of Animal Man showed us a good-natured superhero, albeit a little aloof, who is also first and foremost a family man. The second issue pushes this dynamic even further by showing us that Animal Man’s daughter has manifested powers of her own, much to the parents surprise. Although we have seen something like this before in comics (most notably Franklin Richards from Fantastic Four), it’s a fun idea and is sure to lead to some interesting problems down the road. The way that Buddy and his wife attempt to deal with their child’s newfound abilities is handled quite well, and as we witness the Bakers deal with bleeding tattoos and resurrected pets, we see that they really are a tight-knit family unit and that Buddy will do anything to assure their safety and well-being.

The art and writing are a fluid continuation of the first issue, with the larger story gathering steam. It’s all very gradual, decent storytelling. We might not know where we are going just yet, but I was happy to stay focused on the family dynamic that is the heart of this book and really cement some ideas there. I want to note that while issue #1 showed us some of the graphic/horror imagery that Travel Foreman can do (with creatures akin to something from John Carpenter’s The Thing), issue #2 shows us that his surrealistic art will really get a chance to get even weirder as we go into the Red, with body parts contorting and skewing all over the place.

I like whoever or whatever the three Lovecraftian creatures (who have now assumed human bodies) are, and they seem ready to do some damage. There are some parallel’s I have noticed between Animal Man and Swamp Thing regarding threats to the source of the hero’s powers (the Red and the Green respectively) by some dark force, which I hope is no coincidence. The seemingly inevitable crossover would be fun to see for sure.

Animal Man #2 proves that this title is one of the highlights of the New 52. I don’t know how anyone could argue otherwise. My expectations are set to be high now, so I am hopeful this one can keep going as strong as these two issues have been.

Rating: 9/10

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