It’s annual time and Jeff Lemire is jumping on in with another Animal Man one. Not only that, but Travel Foreman, the artist for the first arc is back as well! Let there be rejoicing! With that in mind, is it good?
Animal Man Annual #2 (DC Comics)
Taking place before #21, Buddy is feeling completely lost and lonely now that Cliff has died and his family is separated from him. However, on a trip to try to clear his mind, he runs into something rather familiar. This causes him to flashback to four years earlier, to one of his old missions where he runs into some rather creepy crawly things.
But first we see Buddy head-butt this thing in its weak point for massive damage.
This was a simple done in one story that was just executed brilliantly. You don’t need to read this to know about anything going on in the story but the emotion and characterization are so strong that they really help sell where Buddy is right now.
Besides that however, there are other great things going on in the comic. The characters are well-realized and feel real, thanks to strong interactions and dialogue exchanges (in particular, when Buddy and Ellen are talking). The story has good pacing and nothing feels padded out. The ending is truly heartbreaking and doesn’t feel cheesy or overly overdramatic. There is also Anansa, a character who I am not going to talk much about, but who I found very interesting in how she works and carries herself. I’m hoping to see more of this character later on.
The art itself is terrific and it’s great to see Foreman’s work again. While I’m not a fan of how he draws faces and how most of the world seems devoid life except when required, he knows how to draw creepy stuff extremely well. All of the scenes around Anansa are extremely creepy and unnerving, causing me to actually shiver in my seat. Also, the guy does some great, eye-catching layouts.
For nightmare prevention, we will not show what exactly follows these panels. We’ll just say what happens is a far more disturbing version of the Animorphs covers.
- Buddy Baker is a very relatable and strong character.
- All the emotions, characters, and plotting are near perfect.
- The artwork is both beautiful and horrifying.
- A lot of the locations feel lifeless and empty.
Is It Good?
Most definitely. For fans of this series, this is a must get for sure, especially if you liked when Travel was originally drawing the series. Hell, if you dropped the series at some point or have been curious trying it, this would be a great way to get you in and prepare you for what kind of story it is.