Animal Man #3

February 7, 2012

(SPECIAL NOTE: I forgot to post this back in November, so here it is, presented as it would have been back then.)

As we enter the third issue on all of the New 52’s in November, this is really the week that will make or break some titles. I have a handful of titles that I am really excited to read every month, at the top of that list is Animal Man. Does the third issue deliver? Most definitely.

I will say that this was the first issue that really exposed a weakness to me. As Animal Man and “Animal Girl” enter the Red, we are briefly introduced to the main plot of this arc. Unfortunately, it all felt a little rushed and glossed over. It seemed Lemire was trying to forget/re-write Animal Man’s origin without really showing it to us*. I don’t mind re-writing his origin, but I wish this one part was handled a little better and not crammed into a panel or two.

*I read an interview with Lemire about this “new origin” which is quite justified, but still, I think the execution was a bit rushed. Read the full interview here.

Despite that slight problem, the rest of the book is left unscathed, with the writing and art still top-notch. Foreman’s really given full creative freedom here, with liquid flesh and muscles and bones and teeth spanning panels and pages, they are as horrifying as they are beautiful. Beyond Animal Man, I would love to see him get into more horror titles, and really lay off the reigns and go full-bore into weird wacky stuff that he is so adept at.

The focus of this issue is on two parties; Animal Man and his daughter Maxine in the Red, and Ellen and Cliff in the real world. Both story lines keep things interesting and exciting. Ellen and Cliff’s little side quest leaves them alone and trying to survive an encounter with one of the Hunter’s Three, showing that Ellen doesn’t rely on Buddy to save her all of the time. In the Red, we really get a sense of how little Animal Man is aware of his powers and his place within the larger picture, and how much he has left to learn. There is a much higher purpose here that elevates everything in the book. Animal Man is shaping up to be a big player in the DCU.

I continue my claim that this title is setting the bar for all of the New 52, and despite a few missteps, this issue certainly maintains it’s position as a must-buy.

Rating: 9/10

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