Comic Vine Review

9 Comments

Animal Man #24 - Hollywood Babylon, Part 1 of 2 Review

5

Brother Blood is in the Red! Can Buddy stop him from destroying it all?

The Good

Brother Blood has made it into the Red and he's taking control. With the Totems gone, and Animal Man powerles, how can he be stopped?

The big change on this issue is the addition of Rafael Albuquerque on art, with colorist David McCaig. This art is nothing less than breathtaking. Albuquerque's style really fits this book, which in the past had some great creepy artists on it like Steve Pugh and Travel Foreman. Albuquerque doesn't go for the gross-out style which we've had in this series, but his art certainly is haunting here, which is the perfect fit for the tone of this book. One of the coolest panels is Brother Blood rising out of a pool of blood with this insane look on his face. It's the type of panel that will show up in your nightmares. McCaig's colors really add another dimension to the art. His work in one particular panel, where Buddy is talking on the phone, really caught my attention. The shading on his face and colors are awesome. The light from the phone, isn't the same color as the interior lighting, so it's going to look different and McCaig nails it.

Aside from the art and the colors, the lettering in this issue is actually a stand-out portion of the issue. Lettering isn't talked about that much in comics, but here Jared K Fletcher does some really cool things. There's lots of variations in size and font, especially when one of the Splinterfolk is talking. It's really cool to see a letterer make this many different decisions that all really work within the context of the story.

Onto the actual story from writer Jeff Lemire! There is a huge change in dynamic in this issue as Animal Man and the Totems are no longer in control. Brother Blood is now in charge, and it's really starting to feel hopeless for all the protagonists in this series, even though they spent so much time battling and overcoming the Rot in the previous major storyline. The issue leaves the reader off at a tough spot for Buddy. It's not a giant reveal or something major spoilery, but Buddy has some major decisions to make in the future. Speaking of Buddy, we finally get to see he and his wife reunited here. It's a really nice scene, and reassuring, on some level, with fans of the series.

Awesome AMERICAN VAMPIRE reference in this issue as well.

The Bad

Once again, Villains Month interrupted a story line, and it disturbs the flow of the story. It's been two months since issue #23 came out, and while Lemire does a good job and giving the reader a recap, without actually doing an opening page recap, it still feels like forever since we had an issue, even though there wasn't a delay.

Minor gripe, but I kept noticing that Albuquerque kept signing his name on panels in the issue. By "keep," I mean it happened three times, but it was a bit distracting. I've seen other artists do it in the past on splash pages or two page spreads, but two of the times this happened, it was on smaller panels.

The Verdict

It may have had a month off, but this issue of ANIMAL MAN was exciting and disturbing, in a good way. Everything has changed for the worse when it comes to Buddy as Animal Man. Brother Blood has taken control, and at some point, a powerless Buddy will have to stop him. the art, colors, and lettering are all top notch. This issue fires, creatively, on all cylinders. If there's one book you really should be picking up this week, make sure it's this one.

9 Comments
Posted by SynCig

I buy trades and hardcovers almost entirely so I am curious. Does Brother Blood still obsess over his "mother?" I have liked the character when he has appeared in the past as a Teen Titans villain but I found that his constant mention of his mother to be annoying at times.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

loved it.

Edited by longbowhunter

So glad to have this book back. I can't believe we had to skip Animal Man during Villains Month. Regardless, this issue was worth the wait. I'm a huge fan of Rafael Albuquerque's work on American Vampire. Having him on Animal Man is a big win for this series. I do kinda miss the duel artists though. Francis Portela's depiction of the Red was fantastic. I'm going to miss him and Steve Pugh. Buddy really has the deck stacked against him. Depowered, Maxine lost, Brother Blood and the Splinterfolk invading the Red and the Church of Blood holding an awards ceremony hostage. Jeez...how is he going to come out on top this time?

Posted by The Stegman

Kinda regret dropping this title now...but I had to for budget reasons.

Edited by HeckTate

I loved it. Didn't like Albuquerque's artwork as much as Foreman's, but that's nothing against Albuquerque, he still does amazing work.

Posted by manwithoutshame

This issue was incredible Albuquerque proves just how creative he is with his radical vision. 5/5

Posted by Vulshock

@syncig: I don't recall him mentioning his mother.

Posted by feedonatreefrog

I considered dropping Animal Man after the last issue (I have no idea what's going on), but that is one damn sleek cover.

Posted by Jake Fury

Jeff Lemire is the man. Between this and Green Arrow every month I am a happy camper. This issue was flawless.