Animal Man #5 Review
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Animal Man #5 Review

A review on Animal Man #5 by Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman.

Animal Man #5 was released in 4th January 2012 as the fifth issue of the series since DC’s New 52 reboot event, scripted by writer Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Travel Foreman (art and cover) and Jeff Huet (ink).

The story picked up from where the last issue left off, Ellen Baker’s run-in with the third remaining Hunter of the Rot. Buddy Baker, also known as Animal Man, had flown back from the Red while carrying his daughter and one of the Totems of the Red disguised as a cat, to where he assumed his wife would go in times of trouble. Leaving Maxine in the care of her grandmother, Buddy headed out in search of his wife and son Clifford, not before being advised against it by the feline Totem who had earlier elaborated his daughter’s life as Buddy’s only priority over everything else.

Meanwhile, the Hunter had proceeded to ensnare Ellen Baker among its tentacles, poised to feast upon her. In an attempt to save his mother, Clifford blasted the abomination with a shotgun, which only served to direct its attention to him. Buddy managed to arrive on the scene in time, landing a fist on the Hunter before it could even lay a tentacle on his son. Struggling to hold back the Hunter as his wife and son could make a hasty retreat back to Maxine and her grandmother, Buddy was endowed a glimpse of the future, should Maxine be corrupted by the Rot, in which Buddy’s body was stretched wide open by a spider’s webbing, laying his innards bare to a misshapen amalgamation of his daughter and a spider, which ripped Buddy’s face off with its fangs.

Back at the house, Maxine managed to summon the forces of the animal world to the aid of his father. Seemingly every non-human resident of the surrounding forest rushed in to take on the monstrosity by devouring every bit of it. Things only exacerbated as every animal was somehow infected by their feast before turning on Buddy and everyone else, all of whom had fled for shelter in the family’s recreational vehicle. Making it clear that the as unstoppable as a plague, the Rot would at this point spread through all living things, Buddy’s feline acquaintance implied that only Swamp Thing could be of any help to them.

To distinguish from human dialogue, the writer implements a more prominent font in the case of non-human characters in this issue. For instance, the Hunter is depicted as speaking in a rougher, more solid font within the notably coarse outline of a speech bubble, whereas the feline Totem produces every utterance in a scrawl as untidy as a child’s. The Animal Man series maintains its streak of nightmarish art in every possible way, in this case the horribly warped image of Maxine as a half-arachnid atrocity pulling the flesh off the only intact bit of Buddy’s countenance, which explains why it was rated T+ (appropriate only for children above 13). Readers would also appreciate how Animal Man is able to relate to Swamp Thing while both sides still have their hands full with the same adversary, in the process implicating children of as much potential as the other representing opposite sides of an impending war. With a morbid twist to the story, it would seem the odds have been stacked higher than ever against the world in its entirety, and the only things standing in the Rot’s path toward total extinction of the natural world are Buddy Baker, his daughter Maxine, who had proven herself a more formidable force of the Red than his father, and Alec Holland or better known as the Swamp Thing, who as yet remains impassive toward his role in the grand scheme of things.

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Comments (2)

good inf

Liked - shared - good job

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