Animal Man: Author Jeff Lemire, Illustrations various
This review of Animal Man includes all of Jeff Lemire’s 30 issue run as well as the Rot World crossover with Swamp Thing.
Buddy is Animal Man, his powers are the powers of any animal. He has access to a dimension called The Red, from there he can pull out the power to run as fast as a cheetah, or fly like an eagle, or move as slowly as a sloth if that somehow helped him. He’s sort of king of The Red, that is until his daughter starts to display the same powers.
She is on track to be the new “avatar” of The Red, as its inhabitants call it. Buddy is excited, his wife is scared to death. Being a superhero comes with a lot of danger afterall.
The Red starts to experience some inbalances. The world is balanced by The Red, animals, The Green, plants, and The Rot, death. The Rot is taking over and if thing don’t get balanced soon death will rule all factions.
Animal Man teams up with Swamp Thing, the sort of king of The Green. Together they navigate The Rot and attempt to restore balance. This plays out better on comic book pages than in a summary honestly. Also, it’s important to read the Swamp Thing issues for this one, they’re kind of required for plot reasons.
The plot gets a little convoluted trying to bring in a few crossovers but that flaw is worth it to get to the two best parts of Lemire’s Animal Man. The family dynamics and the body horror.
Buddy’s relationship with his wife and children is under extreme turmoil in this omnibus and it’s handled with far more realism and grace than a comic book would usually attempt. I really enjoyed the way that his partnership with his wife is displayed and how he behaves as a father. He is certainly no father of the year but his love comes through.
Then we have the body horror, the main reason I picked up this book. I love body horror! One of my all time favorite genres.
Just look at that! So grotesque! It’s awesome.
Animal Man goes hard into the body horror and doesn’t hold back. It’s disturbing and chaotic and memorable. It makes the book stand out from the millions of other comics out there. It makes Animal Man worth trying.
I’ve been really enjoying the works of Lemire lately and look forward to many more of his books. I can definitely recommend Animal Man for any DC fans who are there for the darker side of comics.
4/5 animals 🐅🦍🐑🦦🐓
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Buy it here: Animal Man by Jeff Lemire Omnibus
For more body horror try Panorama