Comic Vine Review

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Animal Man #23 - Splinter Species, Conclusion Review

5

Brother Blood has tapped into the red. What does this mean for Maxine and Buddy?

The Good

Lots going on in this issue. The Splinterfolk have Buddy's blood and bring it to Brother Blood, who thinks he's the rightful heir to the Red. Maxine goes on a journey in order to find Cliff's soul in hopes she can bring him back to the land of the living.

After going through the Rotworld story line, most folks couldn't image a villain as threatening as the Rot or Arcane, but issue #23 of ANIMAL MAN gives the reader maybe not a character as world threatening (yet) as the Rot or Arcane, but Brother Blood is a character who could destroy Buddy's world and what's left of his family. He's an incredibly cool looking character, and his motivation and story are the highlight of this issue. Although he's a very new character, he's incredibly worthy of his own book during Villain Month.

Once again, writer Jeff Lemire mixes the world of celebrity and super-hero in a way that's never been done before. We live in a world where information is at our fingertips, and a lot of that info is not always right. The first few pages deal with this as the world wide web, along with the news, try to figure out whether Buddy's fight with the Splinterfolk was real or contrived for more publicity. It's a nice addition to the story and helps put Buddy's full life into perspective a bit more.

So the tone of this book is a bit dark, but there's a lighter side to this particular issue. Maxine and Socks head into the Red, with a crew of animals, in order to try and find Cliff's life source. It's a fun little adventure story that will heavily tie into the next arc of the story, but it was nice to see something a lot less dark in this series.

The Bad

The Splinterfolk part of the story is a bit dry compared to the rest of the issue. While it's true they are a catalyst to Brother Blood, it their brief parts felt a bit weaker compared the rest of the book.

In addition, two artists worked on this book. It's a tad distracting because while their art styles are similar, it's a bit noticeable.

The Verdict

Since issue #1, ANIMAL MAN has been a stand-out book that's a bit different than the rest of DC Comics' super-hero books. This issue, in particular, was fantastic. It's the thrilling end to one storyline that goes right into the next one. Brother Blood is a stand-out character here, and while the overall tone is pretty dark, the Maxine and Socks side-story really lightens everything up. Overall, this was a wonderful issue and you really should go and pick this one up, especially since a new story starts next month.

7 Comments
Edited by longbowhunter

As much as I'm ready to see Rafael Albuquerque on this book I'm really going to miss seeing Francis Portela draw Maxine in the Red. Those scenes are so much fun to look at. This was a great issue with an unexpected twist at the end. Makes me furious I have to wait 2 months for another issue of Animal Man. Why the hell isn't there a Brother Blood Villains Month book?

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Jeff Lemire is kicking ass on every book he is on! Green Arrow, Animal Man and Trillium!

Edited by Dabee

@madeinbangladesh said:

Jeff Lemire is kicking ass on every book he is on! Green Arrow, Animal Man and Trillium!

EDIT: + JLD

Posted by Mezmero

Two years later in the New 52 and I am still blown away by how good this book is. It's crazy that I'm sort of falling off on Swamp Thing even though I like Alec's power set more than Buddy's. The more they set up Maxine as the new avatar of the Red the more intrigued I become. Brother Blood could be a pretty awesome first challenge for the little wing to overcome. I will say that the tone is kind of all over the place, from horror to adventure, then whimsical back to unnerving. Despite that this series is such a good read I can't recommend it enough.

Posted by nappystr8

I love this book so much. It may not be the most consistently good book on shelves (Rotworld), but it is probably the most creative thing coming out of Marvel or DC, maybe even overall. This issue in particular was amazing, Brother Blood's new role as Animal Man villain makes perfect sense, and I'm glad Lemire wasn't afraid to give this issue some lighter moments. I don't want to wait two months for the next issue, but I know it will be worth the wait.

Posted by SmashBrawler

I'm so glad this book went back to its previous greatness after Rotworld. Issues like this remind me why this is my favorite comic in stands right now.

Posted by derf_jenkins

Jeff Lemire makes everything better. Snyder gets more hype, but Jeff is easily my favorite creator at DC right now.