Animal Man: Jeff Lemire, Steve Pugh, Lovern Kindzierski, Jared K. Fletcher
This all takes place 5 years ago, and Buddy’s daughter is not yet born. That means she’s about 5 years old in the main series. This was never something I picked up on. She always seemed older, but whined like a baby. I never thought she was four or five. She never talked like it. Never messed up words or anything. I have a sister just a little older than her, and I know how they talk.
But anyway, that was my biggest frustration with the issue. Why not just set it back another year or two? Because this whole fascination with the “5 years ago” deal with superheroes first emerging is so important and I don’t get it.
Well, we start out meeting the avatar of the Red before Buddy, some dude. Though he’s the full avatar, we never see him do anything other than what Animal Man Buddy can do…and apparently Buddy’s not supposed to be the full avatar, just a placeholder for his daughter. So why doesn’t the full avatar, 1. do some spectacular stuff, or 2. see the trap coming that causes his death?
I DO like the inclusion of Anton Arcane, especially so close after reading Swamp Thing #10. I also have an issue with Pugh’s art in certain places in this issue. Such as when the predecessor Animal Man is being munched on. Everyone’s at a weird angle and the hands for support don’t match up and stuff. Just looks awkward.
That being said, I liked seeing Buddy’s “origins” explained. We all knew he was an alien experiment, but Lemire was able to take that and leave it intact. In fact, he explains it even further. It was really the Totems of the Red. They fabricated the whole thing as a “narrative” that Buddy, the stuntman for the movies who lives in a world that births metahumans, can accept. I dig this reinterpretation, the fact that the Totems gave him something he could believe in order to become a superhero.
I also like that we see Cliff without his mullet. But we all know where that’s going.
Animal Man #0, the verdict: I don’t want to say I’m disappointed in this issue, because I’m not. I’m more…nonplussed. It does remind me more of the Animal Man issues from earlier in the series, but other than that I just didn’t care as much. I really wanted to see Travel Foreman come back for this one, that would’ve been really nice. But perhaps he’s too buys on future Animal Man issues. Wouldn’t that be nice? Basically this issue was cool for the stuff on the fake spaceship.
(Photo Source: iFanBoy)