Animal Man: Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder, Steve Pugh, Lovern Kindzierski, Jared K. Fletcher, Yanick Paquette, Nathan Fairbairn
It’s all been building, and that build has been incredible. Admit it, we’ve seen some really crazy stuff up to this point. This issue feels like the beginning of the third act of a movie. The hero, shaken and desperate, but also ready to face his trials head-on, rallies his family and steadies himself to enter the hell that is to come.
This issue begins with Cliff’s sickness from being wounded by the Rot-Buddy last ish, and how the Baker family is about ready to fall apart. We get a sudden boost of confidence and trust from an unexpected source: Ellen’s mom, Mary. She’s always disliked Buddy and his heroism, how it seems to put her daughter and grandchildren in danger. In this moment, though, she gives Buddy her blessing and hopes they all return safely. It’s a great moment of growth for her character, and adds to that “third act feel.”
While on the hunt for Swamp Thing, Buddy then learns to connect his mind to the Green through the Red, thanks to a bird that just ate a leaf. Interesting addition to the power-set. They finally meet up with the green giant, exchange their tales, and say goodbye to their loved ones…for it’s time to enter the Rot and bring the fight to their doorstep.
Meanwhile, Cliff’s disappeared, and has found some shadowy, fly-covered figure to whom he can mindlessly chant, “Rotworld is coming….” Weird, but intriguing. I’m anxious to find out what happens here. Maxine also has a vision of her in the future, surrounded by a world on fire and full of death. I can’t help but wonder exactly how much of this vision will come true (surely they won’t kill off the Flash…).
Once again I find myself praising Pugh’s art, though it feels like the actual Rot place could have been scarier and darker. I felt like all the stuff going on with Seethe and those creatures was a lot more scary. The stuff we see in the Rot is more like nondescript monsters that aren’t all that terrifying. I thought that, after the Seethe stuff, once we got into the Rot we’d see some SERIOUSLY crazy stuff. Sure, some things in here look like they could be from a nightmare, but they’re just not impactful for some reason. The stuff that comes out of the pit at the end are slightly more scary.
Animal Man #12, the verdict: Now that we’re on the brink, and everything’s finally happening, I feel like I can’t wait for what comes next. Luckily, we don’t have to wait a whole month to find out. The story continues in Swamp Thing #12. It’s nice that Animal Man and Swamp Thing come out on the same week of the month, it helps to keep this crossover centered and not overly drawn out. However, that does mean that we have to wait a whole month for the next installment, instead of a week or two. I’m wondering if any of the other titles will be involved, or feel the effects of this coming Rotworld. That would be cool.
(Photo Source: iFanBoy)