Thursday, September 13, 2018

Throwback Thursday Review: Animal Man Annual #2 (2013)

A-Man's Loss

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Travel Foreman
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: July 31, 2013

Cover Price: $4.99

Animal Man Annual #2 isn't a book about a superhero.  There isn't a villain. No one saves the day.  Animal Man Annual #2 is about a Father's loss and what he will do to get one last moment with his boy.

Animal Man has been as much about a man and his family as a superhero who can channel animal powers.  The man, Buddy Baker, has lost everything dear to him.  His son Cliff is dead.  His Wife and daughter have moved out.  The life of a hero/movie star hasn't allowed him much time to deal with such loss...until now.

Through a flashback involving the Spider Queen, Jeff Lemire shows how much Cliff meant to Buddy.  Like the Spider Queen herself, all Animal Man wants to do is protect his own.  Protect him so that he can grow up and live a full life.  Unfortunately, Cliff will never get to do that.  That fact is weighing hard on Buddy.  In the end, he couldn't protect his boy.  He once again seeks out the Spider Queen because she is the only one he can share his loss with.  She understands and gives Buddy one last gift to remember Cliff by.  The story is gut-wrenching and uplifting at the same time.  You feel Buddy's crushing loss but smile at his last moment of joy.

Travel Foreman is back and he's never been better.  His art complements Lemire's writing so perfectly that it almost is unfair to the other New 52 books.  The way he depicts Animal Man's transforming powers is a highlight among highlights.  Seriously, Foreman's gritty style fits the tone to a tee.

Bits and Pieces:

It's funny how a book called Animal Man can be the best depiction of what it is to be human I've read in a long time.  Being the Father of Five Boys, I can only begin to imagine Buddy's loss.  I am glad to be there with him as he slowly pulls himself up from rock bottom and begins the healing.  Whether or not you are a fan of Animal Man, buy this book.  If you don't know the difference between the Red and the Green, buy this book.  Trust me, it's worth every penny.


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