Review originally posted here
.Why I Read It:
In my quest to read everything (well, at least the first volume) from the New 52. Also, I was drawn to this superhero in particular because: 1) I had never heard of Animal Man before and 2) I've been told that this reads more like a Vertigo comic than a DC one, and I LOVE Vertigo. So. Spoiler-free review ahead.
Guys, this series is DARK! When I said this supposedly reads more like a Vertigo comic than a DC one? Completely true.
What really sets this title apart from the other DC titles (that I've read so far, anyway) is the art style. I personally wasn't a fan, but others are and it's because Foreman's style is twisted and grotesque and EFFED UP. Like I said, I wasn't much of a fan; I thought the style was just... ugly. But it did fit the story being told; this is a psychologically twisted story and the art reflected that twistedness.
The story itself was really good. It treads in familiar super-hero plot territory, but still manages to make it something fresh. We have the Big Bad doing evil things and needing to be stopped and all that, but this villain is completely different than anything I've ever read before and I loved it. The idea of the a place called The Red where all life is from was completely awesome and also unique and different. The idea that Animal Man was made from the Powers That Be to conceive and protect his daughter (she's Important) turns his origin on its head. Overall, it was just fantastic.
It's a good thing that this story is so fantastic because the characters were kind of meh. I liked Buddy's family, but Buddy himself is your typical American super-hero; always wants to do the right thing, noble, brave, caring, etc. Normally this would bore me to tears, but the story was so good that I just didn't care! Keep throwing Buddy into these messed up situations and he can be as typical and boring as he wants.Final Verdict:
I've only read three New 52 titles so far (Batman, Green Lantern and this) but I have a feeling this is one of the better ones and one I plan on following. The art style wasn't to my taste, but I can't deny that the twisted and effed up style reflected the story quite well. The story was definitely my favourite part; it was twisted and dark and turned a lot of typical superhero tropes on its head. Highly recommended, especially if you want something different from your superhero comics.