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Animal Man #2

Title: The Hunt Part 2: Maps

Story by Jeff Lemire

Art and Cover by Travel Foreman

Review by Bobby Shortle

I’ve discovered my great joy of re-entering the comic book world and it is much the same reason I love television. Which is to say, every week I get to read something new from creators I absolutely adore. Animal Man #2 is the book the put that realization in sharp focus for me.

The journey I’m being lead down by Jeff Lemire is a dark fantasy that both astounds and scares me. I have read a total of 42 pages of Animal Man and I’m emotionally invested in both his hero life and, especially, his family life. The villains that threaten Buddy and Maxine are the creepy crawly monsters of nightmare and my fear for the safety of our heroes has me invested full tilt in what’s to come. But Lemire’s flair for the twisted does not get in the way of the great affection that our Animal Man and his family share. There’s real family dynamics at work here underlined by a parable of the value of trusting the ones you love; no matter how young they may be.

Travel Foreman is working on some other level here. Not only does each panel accentuate Lemire’s writing; it enhances it. The monsters, which I spoke of before, are so spine tingling and creepy that I feel as if he took a look into my mind, took notes of what scared me most and reproduced them on the page.  I love that most of the art in the New 52 are stunning in their heightened realism. They manage to be stylized yet they are going for something approaching reality. However, that is not Foreman’s goal here. Animal Man is a book of feelings more than facts and that’s in every pencil stroke and color choice in this issue.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

You have to read issue one for both plot and just quality of the writing. Our story is in full swing so get on board.

VERDICT

Buy It – Dark, affecting and touching this book feels like something special and you don’t want to miss it.

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