Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Animal Man #1
The Who: The Baker family. Buddy Baker is the hero Animal Man, who has to juggle family life with his career, being an animal rights activist and role as a part time superhero. Grant Morrison helped shape the family, breaking the fourth wall to give the previous series insight on the ins and outs of canon making Animal Man stick out in the minds of it's readers. Exploring themes of comics like retconning, the grim and gritty and the whys of the plots the writers come up with.
Why I chose this title: Once I decided to give Demon Knights a try I figured I might as well go out of my comfort zone to try other new genres. I never was into horror but the idea of them using it in a superhero book interested me. I want to see if I'm affected by the series. I also love the idea of there being a married guy with kids in DCnU, one who's developing powers of her own. Plus his book also fell on the same day as JLI and Static Shock meaning I'd have more to read on my first week of the relaunch. But believe me when I say I'm very interested in seeing how this book turns out.
What I expect from the book: More suspense than horror although I think the latter will be there in either the gory and/or psychological. I want to see the family get through their hardships together. It doesn't have to be easy but I don't want to see them give up on each other. I know Buddy didn't give up on them before when Morrison killed them off to make a point about comics.
Thoughts: This book certainly doesn't start off like a typical comic book. The first page is from an interview Buddy did to promote an Indie movie he was in. It sets up how Buddy is seen to the world at large leading to a conversation he has with his wife that has unpleasant undercurrents for future conflict in the marriage. His little girl Maxine wants a pet but Buddy says he can't get anymore family pets much to her distress. His son Cliff let's his dad know where he's needed as Animal Man, despite the problems he faces Buddy is truly happy. The scene in the hospital nicely connects with his own fears of losing his children as well as showcase how he can use his powers.
But then things take a turn for the weird when his eyes suddenly bleed--even though there was no physical reason for them to do so. He checks out okay and notes that his connection to the web of life feels stronger than it has for awhile. Returning home Buddy gets a disturbing dream that hints at things to come. Waking up doesn't help as he discovers Maxine got the pets she wanted in a rather creepy fashion.
Say what?: According to the interview Buddy has been married over a decade. I think he got his powers when he was a teen. Does this mean he's been a superhero--part time I suppose--longer than most in DCnU? He mentioned traveling space so 52 is still canon for him. Flashpoint Lady was spotted by others before I got this issue but she's in the hospital scene.
Verdict: I love seeing a superhero with a family. This book didn't scare me, it was interesting. All three of my reads felt like they were over too fast so I'm going to say the same thing I said for Static Shock. I'll wait to see how this plays out before deciding if I keep or drop it. No complaints for this issue.