What a well put together and brilliant origin story. I'm so glad this origin is taking place a year after this series has been established so I had a chance to get right into actual story and got to learn who these characters are because of their actions and not just a new origin; however, one year later, the origins are here and it's perfect timing. This feels like the right time to see how these people became the people they are now.
We get a good glimpse of who Buddy was before his life as Animal Man, which we also got to see in issue 6. Buddy is a struggling actor doing bit parts that don't excite him. On his way home from a shoot, one night, he sees an alien spaceship that has crashed, only it's not real. The Totems of the Red decide to create this illusion so Buddy would be able to understand it better, as he will be the temporary avatar for the Red.
I really enjoyed seeing this new take on Animal's origin with some of the Pre-52 origin elements in there. It's nice for new and old readers. I really enjoyed seeing what happened to the last avatar of the Red, which we get right in the beginning and we get more of an idea that everything is tied together, an idea that this book has been saying since issue 1. Writer Jeff Lemire has done a fabulous job with this character and this story since issue one.
I finally figured out what I like so much about Steve Pugh's art. It's contemporary, yet it has classic elements to it here and there. It's a mixture of styles that stands out on its own, but it's also perfect for this character and book, who really hasn't had a solid comic since the days of when Grant Morrison was writing it. His best work is with facial expressions, in this issue. They look and feel real. They're not over-the-top or cartoony. They look real and it adds a lot of emotional depth to this book.
It's the whole "5 years" deal. It just bugs me that all the heroes all popped out at the same time, for the most part. It's not really a critique of this book, but more of the new 52 as a whole.
This book moved way too fast. I felt like I flew right through it. There was so much packed into this issue, and I feel it would have done better as a double sized issue.
ANIMAL MAN is one of the New 52's best books, hands down, and this origin issue is exactly what I wanted and every ANIMAL MAN fan deserves. I loved how this story came together and the revamp of his origin. Jeff Lemire has done a wonderful on this book so far. Steve Pugh's art is a great mixture of more classic and contemporary art styles and both the writing and art compliment each other perfectly.
On the down side, I felt like this issue would have worked better as a double sized issue because it moved way too fast.
Overall, I loved this book and I highly recommend it.