Home > DC Comics > Animal Man (1988 Series) #7

Animal Man (1988 Series) #7

April 6, 2012

Title: The Death of the Red Mask

Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils:
Chas Truog
Inks:
Doug Hazlewood
Letters:
John Costanza
Colors:
Tatjana Wood
Cover Art:
Brian Bolland
Editor:
Karen Berger
Publisher:
DC Comics

With the alien Invasion over (or so it seems), Animal Man has come down to Earth in Miami. Before he can go home, though, the city is suddenly overrun with an army of stumbling, ineffective red robots. As they stumble around aimlessly, Animal Man manages to track down their master, the Golden Age villain called Red Mask… who is at the end of his rope.

Not everything in Grant Morrison’s Animal Man run was super-bizarre or metatextual or a statement about comic books as an art form. This issue, at least, is just a really strong, sad story. The Red Mask we meet here is a man who was legitimately dealt a raw hand by fate and then used it to make his life even worse, leading him up to a terrible and tragic decision. There’s a little humor in here, but mostly it’s a character study of someone who is ill-suited for the world in which he lives.

Oddly, the book isn’t really specific to Animal Man. You could substitute virtually any superhero in his place and the story could play out exactly the same. Morrison was obviously trying something a little different here, and while this may not be a brick in his grander scheme, it was still a very effective issue in its own right.

Chas Truog did some of his best work in this issue. The flashback sequences are very strong, and the war-torn streets of Miami provide a nice visual punch to the proceedings. All in all, this is one of the better issues thus far of an already-legendary series.

Rating: 8/10

 

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