Sunday, October 28, 2012

Animal Man: The Hunt TPB

Wow. Vertigo lives! It lives in the DCnU in this title. Jeff Lemire is writing one sick, depressing story. Luckily, he’s got a plucky leading man and his family to center the story on, so even in the face of gore and horror; we’ve got clear heroes to cheer for.

Even better, Lemire never contradicts any of Buddy Baker’s past (that I know of), making this yet another example of a DCnU story that could have been told in the old continuity. I appreciate that the only tie-in other than an off-handed Justice League reference, is to Swamp Thing. Swampie never appears in this collection, but a lot of characters spend time talking about him. I know from reading the first six issues of that series that Alec Holland is in no way the savior the Bakers seem to hope he is. Too bad. I look forward to reading that meeting!

The Rot is so disgusting. Honestly, there almost aren’t words to explain how repulsive the bads are in this story. The three main hunters chasing the Bakers are gory, maggoty, drippy, and a bunch of other foul adjectives. There are some funny moments, like when the one hunter’s head briefly expands like a balloon, but hoo boy, this is revolting. Heck, the hunters are born bursting out of the distended stomachs of hippos in the San Diego zoo, so you know it’s going to be nasty.

Plot wise, we don’t know much more in issue five than we did in issue one, although we did see some great undead pet heroics. I’m also puzzled why the third hunter went along with Buddy’s wife and son, what was he hoping to gain? Even more, why did he leave Buddy’s cop friend alive for a bit, then just eat him? Getting his food to go?

Travel Foreman must have had some bones and sinew in his portfolio. If he didn’t, he certainly does now. The revulsion I felt while reading this book is directly tied to his detailed artwork, so he deserves all the credit for that. I often read comics while eating lunch, but I didn’t even want this on the same table as my food! (How’s that for a pull quote, DC?)


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