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Animal Man vol 2: Animal Vs. Man s/c

Animal Man vol 2: Animal Vs. Man s/c back

Jeff Lemire & Steve Pugh, Travel Foreman, Timothy Green II


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

“Don’t mind the mess... our maid’s got the day off. Hope you two weren’t up to any funny business whilst I was away?”
“<SIGH> Ignore John Constantine, Mrs. Baker. Lord knows we all try to. Zatanna Zatara. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Does JC ever manage not to steal the best lines? Continuing the story arc started in both volume one of ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING as the avatars of the Red and Green respectively do battle with the Rot, this volume sees Jeff weave in a few of his JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK characters for good measure, which if nothing else does give me some small modicum of hope that the forthcoming post-HELLBLAZER title CONSTANTINE may not be the complete car crash we are all expecting. When John is used in conjunction with the other magical and oddball characters from the DCU it can be entertaining, it’s just whether it’s sustainable on an ongoing basis.

Anyway, digression aside, here John’s merely a bit-part player as Lemire continues to write Buddy Baker exactly as he should be written, thus admirably demonstrating that the toughest superheroes aren’t necessarily the ones wearing the tightest tights. Because not only is Buddy fighting for the fate of the world, but also for his nearest and dearest too, and if there’s one thing Animal Man understands, it’s that a leader has to look after his pack.

Lemire has clearly digested Morrison’s classic deconstruction of ANIMAL MAN and is certainly plotting a worthy successor to that work. It’s not quite as ballsy, just by virtue of being on the main DC imprint rather than Vertigo, obviously, but Jeff’s doing exactly what a good writer should do, pushing the boundaries, whether it pleases the fanboys or not. I’d guess probably not but there’s plenty of cape-related... err... capers for them to buy instead. This might be a superhero title in name, but it certainly is outright horror too, very much in the style of both Len Wein’s SWAMP THING and also Alan Moore’s SWAMP THING, packed with vile creations that would certainly trouble the nightmares of the faint-hearted. I have therefore left a copy on my mother-in-law’s nightstand...
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