Today, Mikyzptlk and Scott are discussing Animal man 19, originally released April 3rd, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: In the modern world of superhero comics, it’s become the norm to inject “real world” elements into the story to make the fantastic characters more relatable to readers by bringing them down to earth. Most superheroes have a secret identity or some kind of life outside of the never-ending battle that keeps them grounded, but Buddy Baker has always had an entire family to help keep him in check. As much as he’s been the Animal Man, he’s also been the family man as writers have often chosen to focus not just on Buddy, but his wife and children as well. In the aftermath of Rotworld, Jeff Lemire explores what happens when the fantastic elements of the life of our hero ends up taking away everything else. Continue reading →
Today, Shelby and (guest writer) The Freakin’ Animal Man are discussing Animal Man 0, originally released September 5, 2012. Animal Man 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Shelby: In the comments for the Swamp Thing 0 write-up, we talk briefly about respect. One of the successes of Swamp Thing is that Scott Snyder manages to create his own story while still being respectful towards the stories previous writers have told. Swamp Thing 0 takes the flaming-lab-in-the-swamp origin and folds it neatly into the Rotworld story Snyder wants to tell. Jeff Lemire has done the same thing with Animal Man 0; he maintains the classic Animal Man origin story (powers from aliens), and merely shows us the other side of the story, that it was the Red this whole time! That is smart story-telling.
Drew: One of my biggest pet peeves in comics is the assumption that “bigger is better” when it comes to threats the hero is facing. I understand the sentiment — if saving one person is good, saving one million must be a million times as cool — but in practice, it often turns the risks into abstract hypotheticals. Such abstractions lose the human connection that is so easily established by a single person in danger. In comics, a single loved-one in danger is just as cliched as when it’s the whole city, but when handled well — as in Animal Man 12 — the payoff is much greater. Continue reading →
It can be hard to keep up with all the comics you love. But it’s damn near impossible to keep up with all the comics you’re interested in.
Retcon Punch got you covered.
A guy that channels animal powers? Yeah, okay, I can dig it. Didn’t expect to love it. Buddy Baker’s whole family gets drawn into a war between the very forces of life and death. PLUS THERE’S A TALKING CAT. Get all caught up so you can read the Rot World crossover with Swamp Thing.
Today, Drew and Peter are discussing Animal Man 11, originally released July 4th, 2012.
Drew: Animal Man’s power-set is weird. He can seemingly take any trait of any animal and apply it to himself. It makes sense for things like “the vision of an eagle” or the “strength of an elephant,” but the thought of taking on “the weight of a bumblebee” just seems to defy the laws of physics. Upon closer scrutiny, an eagle’s eyesight and an elephant’s braun are clearly related to their specific physiologies, and the thought that Buddy’s relatively tiny frame could contain the strength of a two-ton animal simply doesn’t make sense. To put a finer point on it: birds fly because they have wings, not because they have some supernatural abilities, so Buddy’s supernatural connection to them should only allow him to fly if it allows him to grow wings. As Buddy’s adventure into the Rot concludes, writer Jeff Lemire takes the opportunity to fix what I hadn’t realized bothered me until I thought about it. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing the Animal Man Annual 1, originally released May 30th, 2012.
Patrick: All good modern-epics have have nearly bottomless backstories: histories that stretch on further than any of the characters can remember. “This has all happened before and it will happen again.” I do not quote the sacred text of Battlestar Galactica lightly; the war between The Rot, The Red and The Green has a history that literally (and necessarily) spans all life on Earth. Ever. We’ve gotten glimpses of this history in Animal Man and Swamp Thing, but this is the first time we’ve gotten an extended look at one of the previous incursions by The Rot. We don’t get the whole picture, but we do get some remarkable personal insight.