Animal Man (2011 Series) #1
Title: The Hunt Part One: Warning From the Red
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Pencils: Travel Foreman
Inks: Travel Foreman & Dan Green
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover Artist: Travel Foreman
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics
Animal Man is one of those characters that has a truly devoted, if very small, fan base. Not everybody knows him, but those that do love him. This issue will make it clear why. The sometimes-superhero is called to action when a man attacks a local hospital, grief-stricken over the loss of his daughter. Buddy Baker, Animal Man, feels sympathy for the man, but knows he has to stop him before he hurts an innocent person. The action is quick and very much keeping with the character… and as is often the case with books like this, it opens the door to real horror.
I couldn’t have thought of a better writer for this title than Jeff Lemire. Something about his other titles, the sort of blend of fear and sympathy that pervades Sweet Tooth for example, feels like the absolute perfect match for Buddy Baker. I also love the way he’s really making this book about Buddy’s daughter, Maxine. She’s clearly inherited abilities from her father, but what those abilities are remain to be seen. If the last page of this issue is any indication, they’re going to take us someplace truly bizarre.
I like Travel Foreman’s artwork here. He’s definitely not your standard superhero artist, and like Lemire his work brings a blend of horror into the book. The one thing I really don’t like for, though, is Animal Man’s costume. It looks terribly bland, and considering how quickly he takes off the headband thingie, I’m not sure why he even bothers (since it looks better without it anyway).
That’s hardly a reason to pass on a book as good as this one, though.