Animal Man 1: The Hunt

animal man volume 1 the hunt cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 7/10

Animal Man starring in his own series again

Needs more character development, less generic enemies

 
Comic Info

Comic Name: Animal Man (Volume 2)

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer:  Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Travel Foreman/Jeff Huet/John Paul Leon

# of Issues: 6

Release Date:  2012

animal man #5 cover review travel foreman art

Animal Man (2) #5

Reprints Animal Man (2) #1-6 (November 2011-April 2012).  Buddy Baker has never loved being a superhero, but he can’t seem to escape it.  When his powers start acting strangely and his daughter develops powers, Buddy learns that he’s part of something bigger.  When Buddy and Maxine are targeted by the Rot, they learn of ties to animal totems may link them all.

Written by Jeff Lemire, Animal Man Volume 1:  The Hunt is part of the DC Comics New 52 relaunch.  The series is features art by Travel Foreman, Jeff Huet, and John Paul Leon and Animal Man is part of DC’s New 52 relaunch.  The first six issues are closely tied to events occurring in Scott Snyder’s Swamp Thing.

Animal Man has always been one of my favorite characters.  From his introduction in Strange Adventures #180 (September 1965), he hasn’t been the standard superhero.  In this volume, Buddy is a superhero and actor (a bit of Marvel’s Simon Williams aka Wonder Man).  It feels like a legitimate relaunch and actually tweaks his origin unlike some of the titles in the New 52.  This collection just feels like a taste of the character and has been too Maxine focused for my liking.

animal man #6 cover new 52

Animal Man (2) #6

Buddy’s family has always been an important part of the Animal Man story.  Grant Morrison’s great run on the original Animal Man series had them getting killed so I can’t imagine that they are in too much danger in this series.  Now that Animal Man has learned that Maxine is the true “avatar” of the Animal Men, she’s probably pretty safe (Cliff and Ellen might watch their back).  I like what Lemire is doing but I really want the “new” Buddy fleshed out a little more as a character before he begins to develop Maxine.  Issues #1-6 just have Buddy running non-stop with little character development.

The Animal Men are a bit too much like J. Michael Straczynski’s run on Amazing Spider-Man (which started out ok, but turned to crap).  With DC’s Vixen character there is already a totem character and I hope they just stick with the characterization of Buddy as a reluctant hero and family man.  The Rot are also a bit generic and it worries me that they are kind of like the Marvel Zombies.

Despite my criticisms, I do enjoy Animal Man.  The art is sometimes very interesting and other times a bit too minimalistic (a lot of the covers have been pretty bad).  This first story (minus the weird 1/2 issue of #6 which had a parallel story of Buddy’s film Tights), feels like the start of something bigger.  I look forward to reading more Animal Man and hopefully a long future…which is asking a lot since it is banking on kind of a fringe DC character in a very competitive market.  Animal Man 1:  The Hunt was followed by Animal Man 2:  Animal vs. Man.

Related Links:

Animal Man 2:  Animal vs. Man

Animal Man 3:  Rotworld—The Red Kingdom

Animal Man 1:  Animal Man

Animal Man 2:  Origin of the Species

Animal Man 3:  Deus Ex Machina

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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