The fact that this series is slowly crossing over with Swamp Thing is a welcome addition, as I feel that a "Buddy & Family"-anchored book may get old after awhile. The addition of other color spectrums adds some depth to ANIMAL MAN that it might need after the initial "origin story" is done.
The addition of "Socks" to the main cast is a similar move: instead of having the burden of plot be shouldered by Maxine, we're given a guide to the coming madness. I said before that I hoped she wouldn't become some Layla Miller-esque wunderkind, because those characters seem to get on my nerves quite quickly. This way, we have a source of knowledge instead of her upstaging her father week after week.
I really like how Ellen grabs a rifle with little to no nudging; I'm guessing the role of the superhero wife is rife with danger, and I'm happy to see that she's not just being a damsel in distress. I look forward to her fight with the hunter next issue, and hope it solidifies her as a strong female presence in DC. Now, if only they could get the title to cross over to more "mainstream" books...
I'm getting the feeling that this book might be approaching levels of gore that are a bit much for a "T+" rating on the front. At the moment, the only thing that's warning readers is the book's reputation, and newer readers may be a little bit shocked.
If you had told me last year that a new ANIMAL MAN series would be this level of creepy, I would have laughed you out of the comic store. However, Lemire manages to skirt the line between "just enough" and "too much" with ease, and the book is one of the few New 52 series that are consistently good.
Like I've said week after week, you should be picking up this book.