Chopping Block Review: Animal Man #0

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Review by Nolan P. Smith-Pastrami Nation

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Steve Pugh

Publisher: DC Comics

Website: www.dccomics.com

When the new 52 hit last year for DC Comics, there were two titles I was excited for the most: Aquaman and Animal Man. Now, you might be thinking: Animal Man? Why not Superman, or Batman, or Justice League? Well, because an Animal Man series is something you don’t see every day, and I’ve always been a fan of the somewhat cheesy Buddy Baker, aka Animal Man. Well, as any New 52 reader will tell you, Animal Man was easily the breakout hit of the relaunches. So, with issue #0 dropping, and promising the “new” origin for Animal Man, I had to scoop this up. Did it fly, or did it simple sink to the depths of the sea?

Animal Man #0 is my favorite book out of the zero issue, by far. Now, to be fair, every book I picked up was great, and really did get me thinking of jumping on board with the title. But Animal Man continues doing what it does best: shocking you and bringing you deeper and deeper into this dark world. We get to see the original Animal Man, and why he’s not still holding his mantle. We also see why Buddy Baker got the powers he did, which is orchestrated wonderfully and fits in to old and new fans alike. The origin ties in the classic “aliens gave me powers” to the current totem/Rot World storyline. Artist Steve Pugh gives the book the same feel I had when I read issue 1 last year: this is something dark, scary and awesome.

If you aren’t on board for Animal Man yet, you NEED to pick up issue #0 and see what you are missing. A grade B hero has become a headliner due to the amazing Jeff Lemire and Steve Pugh. It is unlike any book on the shelf, and it deserves your attention. Trust me, you’ll dig it. Highly recommended, I give Animal Man #0 a perfect @@@@@ out of FIVE.

1 thought on “Chopping Block Review: Animal Man #0

  1. Animal Man is the best New 52 series (along with Team 7).
    What makes Animal Man so special is the way Lemire deconstructs the superhero mythology. For example:
    1) Superheroes tend to monopolize the attention of the reader, while Animal Man is constantly upstaged by the supporting characters of the series.
    2) Superhero comics usually don’t give much importance to the private life of their main character (they tend to focus only on the “costume on” part); in Animal Man, on the contrary, the private life of Buddy is the main theme of the series. In fact, it is rather infrequent to see Buddy with his costume on.
    3) Buddy is not perfect, and is not perceived as perfect by other people: in fact, in the 11th issue, when he tells his wife “It’s going to be okay”, she replies “Don’t give me anything of that superhero crap, Buddy.” That cut and thrust perfectly enlightens the philosophy of the series.

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