Saturday, January 25, 2014

Animal Man #27 Review

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Rafael Albuquerque
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 22, 2014

Evolve or Die, Indeed

Jeff Lemire recently announced that Animal Man is ending.  Yes, the main character will be a member of Justice League United, but it's a shame to lose such a great and unique book.  With a couple issues left (March's issue #29 will be the last) it's no longer a question of when it's ending, but how great the ending will be.  If Animal Man #27 is an indication, the answer is really great.

Animal Man as a whole has been so good because it's focused not just on Buddy Baker, but his family as well.  In fact, Buddy says so at the beginning of this issue.  That's what makes this issue so good...the focus is back on the whole Baker family.

Buddy has returned from space and is ready to kick ass.  This is the new and improved Animal Man, being able to tap the Red of the Universe, not just Earth.  If that sounds cool to you, trust me, it's even cooler.  So, what does the upgraded Buddy do?  Attacks the Totem, of course.

Meanwhile, Ellen is dealing with the aftermath of the Blood Cult's attack on the Oscars and the sudden disappearance of her husband.  I loved this part.  Ellen shows how tough she is and Lemire again reminds us that Family drives this book.

Speaking of which, Maxine and Socks are searching for the edge of the Red in order to outrun and hide from Brother Blood.  The Red has set up defenses, but in the end, Lemire shows us that there is no real room to run.  There is a real poignant moment between Maxine and Socks that really sheds light on Maxine. She is a strong hero, but still is a little girl who misses her brother.

The book ends with a great cliffhanger (of course) that leaves you on the edge of your seat.  The end is in sight, but I can't wait to see what Lemire has in store for us.

Rafael Albuquerque's art is so good as usual.  It fits the tone and scope of the book so well.  It's a shame it's coming to an end, but at least we got to enjoy it while we did.  In fact, I'd like to give a shout out to Travel Foreman, Steve Pugh and the rest of the artists who worked on this book over the full run.  They all did an outstanding job.

Bits and Pieces:

Animal Man #27 is the beginning of the end of one of the best New 52 books out there.  Jeff Lemire and Rafael Albuquerque give us a great issue that sets up what is bound to be an exciting conclusion.  It's bitter sweet, but I can't wait to see how it ends.