Once and a while there comes along a comic book that is both endearing and confident. "Animal Man," written by Jeff Lemire, was that book. No doubt he had a plan when he delved into the story about Buddy Baker, his family and his trials as avatar of the Red. It was Lemire's story, and it came to an end with issue no. 29. He took a third-tier, DC super-hero whose solo series last garnered attention in the 90's; and decided to bring that character into the New 52 with a new one. I really liked this book because it was about family and how families struggle through tragedy, loss and "brave new" encounters with the unknown. Lemire pushed this family to the brink and dared us to consider that despite the unfathomable challenges and difficulties, they would see their way through them...together. No new revelations. No new encounters. Issue no. 29 was simply a wrap-up of the story Lemire wanted to tell. In the end, family came first.
Though Steve Pugh and Rafael Albuquerque came along for the journey throughout the series run, it was Travel Foreman who joined Lemire on this last issue as he did from the first. They did so together on art. Though their styles were quite different, the story-telling device by which they illustrated the book was appropriate and appreciated. Through Baker's daughter Maxine, Lemire was able to innocently sum up the narrative from beginning to end.
I want to know if leaving Socks and Shepherd in charge as Totems of the Red will fulfill Buddy Baker's promise to become the next Bridgewalker in issue no. 26. What will become of the revelations about the seed planet he discovered in the story "godseed?" Will Lemire bring that unresolved issue into his run on Justice League United? I assume that because these issues won't involve his own family, Animal Man will have to deal with them with his "new" family, which will include Adam Strange and Martian Manhunter.
"Animal Man" was a well-written series that was self-contained for the most part ("Swamp Thing" made the best companion). In conclusion, it was one of the better story and character driven comics the New 52 had to offer. Hats off to Jeff Lemire's "Animal Man." Here's looking forward to his story-telling with "Justice League United" in May.
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