I don't think I get the concept of DC's "reboot" of the "New 52" - I thought it meant starting the characters from the beginning so you see how they become who they are and build up the world around them for a whole new audience. Because I expected that with a character I've never read before, "Animal Man", and discovered that this wasn't the case.
Buddy Baker is Animal Man, a guy with a crap costume who can channel animal powers (a la Marshal Bravestarr) through something called the Life Web. He's also a sometime Hollywood actor and family man. And it turns out his family, or at least his young daughter, has inherited some of his Animal Powers, being able to control animals, dead or alive. This catches the attentions of some scary monsters in some kind of alternate dimension called The Red who break through to our dimension to steal Buddy's daughter.
I love Jeff Lemire, his Essex County trilogy is a masterpiece and I really like his "Sweet Tooth" series for Vertigo, but I could not get into this series at all. Animal Man's story is just lame. Put aside the zany stuff about The Red and you've got a very ordinary man saving his family storyline that's been done thousands of times before. Animal Man as a character doesn't have the depth of other superheroes - he's not tormented like Batman, he's not a demi-god like Superman, he's a happily married guy with a family who sometimes puts on a costume and stops the occasional nutjob with a gun.
Ordinary storyline and dull characters aside, Travel Foreman's artwork is excellent. His cover is what attracted me most to the book (I know, I know don't judge a book by blah blah) with its horror appearance and the best parts of the book are his treatments of the monsters with their morphing abilities contorting into ever more grotesque shapes.
"The Hunt" didn't make me a fan of Animal Man and isn't a particularly fun read. I like Lemire's work usually and I'm now a fan of Foreman's work but this book doesn't do a good job of introducing the character to a new audience nor does it provide a compelling framework for future stories. It does talk about a crossover with Swamp Thing who I am interested in reading but hopefully that storyline has a bit more meat to it than this anaemic offering.
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: DC COMICS; 1 edition (1 May 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401235077
- ISBN-13: 978-1401235079
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 0.7 x 25.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 249 g
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)