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28 Comments

Animal Man Annual #2 - One Last Flight Review

4

Buddy relives a moment in his past with his son, Cliff, when they both met the Spider Queen.

The Good

Going back in time, four years, right before Maxine was born, Buddy takes on the Spider Queen who has been kidnapping people, including Cliff.

I'm always a bit leery going into annual issue because it truly is a mixed bagged. With ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #2, the reader is treated to a solid, very emotional story that fans of the series will really dig. Dealing with the loss of a child can't be easy, and writer Jeff Lemire explores that here. It's tough to watch Buddy deal with his son being a part of the media stampede, and it's even tougher to watch Buddy relive a moment in the past where he and his son had an adventure together.

As far as an annual issue goes, this one works extremely well. It plays off the past year of ANIMAL MAN well, and it introduces a pretty cool new character (Spider Queen). There's usually two types of annual books: An issue that is a complete stand-alone and an issue that heavily ties into the current events. While this book does tie in heavily to Buddy dealing with his son's death, it also works well as a stand alone. ANIMAL MAN ANNUAL #2 is a nice mixture of both of these types of annual issues.

I've been loving Steven Pugh on ANIMAL MAN, but a part of me misses Travel Foreman. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, and both artists are fabulous in their own rights. However, I really missed how Travel sets up a page. When things get a little surreal in the story, Travel always has a way to set up a page that feels so unnerving. The unsettling panels, with weird disfigurements also fit the unnerving panels.

I found myself really liking the Spider Queen. Her and Buddy are the same on so many levels. They just want what's best for their children and to protect them. I also like the look of her and her powers. While this character isn't a villain that needs to come back, I'd love to see her again mainly because she really isn't an outright villain, like Biowolf in the opening.

The Bad

Travel's art is a bit rough at the end of the issue, in the face department. On top of that, the inks are a tad too heavy, and it becomes a bit distracting. Again, this happens at the end of the issue.

The Verdict

I've read a few of the Annual issues that were launched this week, and this was my favorite one. Just like with most annual issues, this really caters to people who have been reading the book the entire year, and while I feel like a new reader could pick this issue up and really enjoy it, those who have gone through Cliff's death, with Buddy will appreciate this on a whole other level. It was great to see Travel Foreman back on the book as well. I love how creepy and unsettling his art can be. Overall, I really loved this issue and so will you.

28 Comments
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I love that cover, I haven't gotten any Animal Man or Swamp Thing (I see them as a package deal) since the end of Rot World, maybe I should start getting them again

Edited by Billy Batson

I love that cover, I haven't gotten any Animal Man or Swamp Thing (I see them as a package deal) since the end of Rot World, maybe I should start getting them again

From what I've heard both have gotten better since Rotworld.

BB

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Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@jonny_anonymous said:

I love that cover, I haven't gotten any Animal Man or Swamp Thing (I see them as a package deal) since the end of Rot World, maybe I should start getting them again

From what I've heard both have gotten better since Rotworld.

BB

Hmm interesting. I know pepole seem to love Lemire but I'm still not sold on him, his Green Arrow is great but that's really all I'v read that I think is above average.

Posted by Billy Batson

@billy_batson said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

I love that cover, I haven't gotten any Animal Man or Swamp Thing (I see them as a package deal) since the end of Rot World, maybe I should start getting them again

From what I've heard both have gotten better since Rotworld.

BB

Hmm interesting. I know pepole seem to love Lemire but I'm still not sold on him, his Green Arrow is great but that's really all I'v read that I think is above average.

Soule's Swamp Thing seems to be better than Snyder's already. It has some horror elements as well that you were asking for a while back.

Animal Man looks like it's going back to its pre-Rotword self.

You should try Lemire's creator-owned works. They're pretty great.

BB

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Posted by inferiorego

@jonny_anonymous said:

@billy_batson said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

I love that cover, I haven't gotten any Animal Man or Swamp Thing (I see them as a package deal) since the end of Rot World, maybe I should start getting them again

From what I've heard both have gotten better since Rotworld.

BB

Hmm interesting. I know pepole seem to love Lemire but I'm still not sold on him, his Green Arrow is great but that's really all I'v read that I think is above average.

Soule's Swamp Thing seems to be better than Snyder's already. It has some horror elements as well that you were asking for a while back.

Animal Man looks like it's going back to its pre-Rotword self.

You should try Lemire's creator-owned works. They're pretty great.

BB

I should jump back onto Swamp Thing

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@jonny_anonymous said:

@billy_batson said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

I love that cover, I haven't gotten any Animal Man or Swamp Thing (I see them as a package deal) since the end of Rot World, maybe I should start getting them again

From what I've heard both have gotten better since Rotworld.

BB

Hmm interesting. I know pepole seem to love Lemire but I'm still not sold on him, his Green Arrow is great but that's really all I'v read that I think is above average.

Soule's Swamp Thing seems to be better than Snyder's already. It has some horror elements as well that you were asking for a while back.

Animal Man looks like it's going back to its pre-Rotword self.

You should try Lemire's creator-owned works. They're pretty great.

BB

Yea having some horror in there is a must for me.

Yea maybe I should try Sweet Tooth or something.

Posted by Billy Batson

I should jump back onto Swamp Thing

It's been having short arcs and helping less popular books would be nice.

Yea having some horror in there is a must for me.

Yea maybe I should try Sweet Tooth or something.

Lost Dogs and Essex County are on comixology and they're both pretty cheap.

BB

Online
Edited by TDK_1997

@jonny_anonymous said:

@billy_batson said:

@jonny_anonymous said:

I love that cover, I haven't gotten any Animal Man or Swamp Thing (I see them as a package deal) since the end of Rot World, maybe I should start getting them again

From what I've heard both have gotten better since Rotworld.

BB

Hmm interesting. I know pepole seem to love Lemire but I'm still not sold on him, his Green Arrow is great but that's really all I'v read that I think is above average.

Soule's Swamp Thing seems to be better than Snyder's already. It has some horror elements as well that you were asking for a while back.

Animal Man looks like it's going back to its pre-Rotword self.

You should try Lemire's creator-owned works. They're pretty great.

BB

I don't like that much Soule's Swamp Thing that much.The last issue was horrible for me.I didn't like the Whiskey Tree that much and the issues before it were pretty average.Snyder's Swamp Thing was really cool for me,his last issue being one of the best of his whole run.

Animal Man actually is pretty bad after Rotworld.

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous
Posted by inferiorego

@inferiorego said:

I should jump back onto Swamp Thing

It's been having short arcs and helping less popular books would be nice.

@jonny_anonymous said:

Yea having some horror in there is a must for me.

Yea maybe I should try Sweet Tooth or something.

Lost Dogs and Essex County are on comixology and they're both pretty cheap.

BB

I think most of what I read is considered "less popular books." lol

Posted by Billy Batson
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Posted by TDK_1997
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
Edited by Billy Batson
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Posted by TDK_1997
Edited by ForeverMan

Travel Foreman is on this issue!? Awesome. I've really been enjoying this book since it's finished being dragged out into the lesser of the Rotworld titles.

Posted by Billy Batson
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Posted by TDK_1997

@tdk_1997 said:

@billy_batson: Animal Man or Swamp Thing? :D

Swamp Thing more so :p

BB

Well it has been pretty average so far and I hope that it would get better.Do you like it?

Posted by DonFelipe

@tdk_1997 said:

@billy_batson: Animal Man or Swamp Thing? :D

Swamp Thing more so :p

BB

I do agree with everything BB just said above. Both titles have gotten better since the Rotworld. Soule's Swamp Thing is even better than Snyder's and also better than Animal Man at the moment. Last not least Lemire and Sorrentino are killing it with Green Arrow!!!

So if you can't make a decide between Animal and Swamp you may want to check out Green Arrow instead. Start with issue #17 or wait for the first GA/Lemire trade.

Now I need to get myself a copy of this annual... before it's too late.

Posted by clayscarface

@jonny_anonymous: Definitely check out Sweet Tooth. Just read it a few weeks ago (because I'm loving Animal Man so much) and it was incredible. There are people out there who found issue with it, but it was all personal taste-type stuff. Overall it's an amazing narrative and I was totally choked up at the end of the series.

Edited by longbowhunter

Thought I'd throw in my two cents. I've read all the creator owned projects by Jeff Lemire. Both Sweet Tooth and Essex County are compelling character driven works that will leave you with a tear in your eye. Also read the Nobody. Lemire's first book for Vertigo and an often overlooked gem.

This was a great annual. Having the Spider Queen as a misunderstood creature of the Red and not a straight villain was a good call. I ended up really loving the character. Being a father himself Lemire really let's that show through in his storytelling and its always appreciated. For me, a father, horror fan and reader of superhero comics, this book really hit every mark.

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Posted by MadeinBangladesh

I love the ongoing Animal man, but I'm not a big fan of annuals. Do i need to read this? same goes for the Batman one.

Posted by manwithoutshame

Oh man, the ending made me so sad. 5/5

Posted by Mezmero

Another terrific issue for Animal Man. This really has been the biggest surprises of the New 52 for me. Sure the art seems a bit on the grotesque side sometimes but I think it fits with the light horror tone of the series overall. I've always felt Cliff's death had a more powerful impact on me than most other deaths in New 52 so far. Looking forward to more of this awesome series.

Posted by derf_jenkins

I have loved this series and this issue is no exception.

Edited by longbowhunter
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Edited by CommanderShiro

This issue was fantastic.

Posted by Jake Fury

Somebody get Travel Foreman a permanent gig, stat!