Animal Man (1988 Series) #8
Title: Mirror Movies
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Chas Truog & Doug Hazlewood
Letters: John Costanza
Colors: Tatjana Wood
Cover Art: Brian Bolland
Editor: Karen Berger
Publisher: DC Comics
Following the Invasion, two big things have happened to Animal Man. First, he’s been made a member of Justice League Europe. Second, his powers are all scrambled, not functioning properly. This turns out to be a bit of a problem when the Flash’s old foe, Mirror Master, attacks him in his own home.
At first glance, this issue seems pretty standard for a superhero comic. Buddy is placed in a predicament when he’s attacked by a villain and is, in essence, powerless. We’ve seen it several times. What’s more, the book even suffers just a tad by having the main character’s circumstances dictated by a recent crossover without actually explaining anything. People who didn’t read the Invasion! Crossover at the time probably would have no idea what’s wrong with buddy or how he wound up with the JLE. Having read a lot of those comics, though, I’m pretty comfortable with this stuff, and have a pretty simple time of inserting this into DC Continuity of the era.
The fight itself is clever. Although the mirror master scenes don’t really push the boundaries of comic book storytelling, Grant Morrison is finding ways to use his powers that I don’t think had been fully explored in the past, at least not all of them. What makes the book stand out, though, are some a couple of perplexing prologue and epilogue pages which both point to a larger conspiracy at work against Animal Man and, at the same time, begin to further set the stage for the really bizarre stuff that is to come.
The Chas Truog and Doug Hazlewood art team puts out a good effort this week. You can always tell Mirror Master, even in disguise, due to the expressions on his face, and there’s a nice consistency with the disheveled, just-rolled-out-of-bed look that Buddy maintains throughout the issue.
And as a final note, it’s a nice touch that the issue is dedicated to the creators of Mirror Master: John Broome, Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino… as well as “the late, great Barry Allen.”
Ah, how times change.