A Clinic on Proper DCnU Writing!
Buddy Baker returns to the DCU and picks up right where he left off in fine form.
The cover of this book really piqued my interest and I'm just as impressed with it now as I am then. Not even that obnoxious "New 52!" logo can ruin work like this.
Travel Foreman's artwork is absolutely beautiful, stunning, amazing, any positive adjective you can pull out of the air! His work so perfectly suits Lemire's script and adds a dynamism to the dialogue. He excels on all levels and in all situations. Whether it's the domestic scenes with Buddy and his wife, Buddy in action as Animal Man, or the hellish visions that haunt his dreams it all looks spectacularly vibrant.
Lemire does something that I hope many of the other writers have done. He doesn't waste the first issue with a monotonous origin story. And he mines some of the best of the characters past while making his own marks in the present. Opening the issue with an interview was a genius move. This gives the readers (old and new alike) a great sense of who Buddy is, where he's been, where he's at. Reading this issue truly felt like I was catching up with an old friend. Readers of Morrison/Delano's run will definitely be happy with this book. And new readers like myself who aren't intimately familiar with every Animal issue/incarnation will feel right at home.
From the gate Lemire firmly establishes Buddy's home life. With so few marriages and even fewer families being in the DCnU it's really refreshing to see Buddy as an every man. We see him first and foremost as a husband/father. His interaction with his wife, Ellen, and his children, especially Maxine, was heartwarming and really amps up the horror aspects of the book when they appear.
Lemire does a topnotch job of rendering Buddy's internal voice. A good deal of the dialogue this issue occurs within his mind and not once did it feel tedious. And the way he handles Buddy's power set was nice.
Lemire has been adamant about stressing the point that this is not a traditional tights comic, but instead a horror story centered around a family. Despite this fact there are more than a few humorous moments to add some levity to the issue.
The design for the Hunters Three was truly some of the most disturbing and ghoulish stuff I've seen in my life. I must applaud Foreman's range as an artist. The ability to go from something as adorable and intimate as a sleeping Maxine to the dream sequence in this issue is no small feat. And the use of coloring throughout this book was superb and really complemented Lemire's script and Foreman's art. Lovern Kindzierski is definitely on my radar now.
Waiting a month to read issue two!
SWEET LORD BUY THIS COMIC NOW!!!
Lemire shows reverence to the continuity of this series without being slavishly devoted to it. He not only set's his story as a continuation of the work of writers like Morrison and Delano but adds his own contribution to the mythos. In one issue he does everything a first issue needs to do; introduce the protagonist, their world, supporting cast, and establish the conflict/stakes of said conflict. This issue is a treatise on how all writers should make use of the clean slate they've been given via this reboot. If this first issue's any indication then I'm going to be reading Lemire's Animal Man until it ends hopefully Decades from now. I really feel like this book has the potential to be for the DC Dark books what Hellblazer was for Vertigo.