Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Animal Man: Animal vs. Man / Rotworld - the Red Kingdom

Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder, Steve Pugh, Travel Foreman etc.
Animal Man: Animal vs. Man (2012)
Animal Man: Rotworld - the Red Kingdom (2013)

China Miéville's Perdido Street Station opens wonderfully and is beautifully written, but by page two-hundred I was bored shitless and sorely in need of something a little more immediate and enjoyable by way of a palate cleanser before committing to the remaining forty-fucking-million chapters. Further instalments of the revived Animal Man comic seemed to fit the bill, not least because of my having two whole unread volumes in which to immerse myself. Interestingly enough, the thematic shift is probably not that pronounced, given the emphasis on biological horror in Perdido Street Station.

Anyway, the continuation of the story which began with The Hunt holds up generally well, and is at least as good as anything from the Vertigo incarnation of the title, regarding which, it was nice to note the narrative assimilation of the Grant Morrison iteration, and even those yellow extraterrestrials from which our hero derived his amazing animal powers back in a 1965 issue of Strange Adventures. Slightly stranger was finding Buddy Baker back in a version of the regular DC universe as populated by Superman, Batman, Beast Boy, and a bunch of other faintly ludicrous characters with whom I am only distantly familiar. I say a version of the DC universe, because this is the one in which most of the costumed types are dead and have been revived as zombie-like soldiers of the Rot, so it's obvious there's going to be one massive fuck-off sized reset button popping up at some point, which sort of diminishes the integrity of the whole for me, as does the sheer spectacle of all those zombie superheroes flying into battle - ludicrous and as such all well and good in Marshal Law, but it seems an uncomfortable fit here.

Well, Animal Man is still fairly enjoyable regardless, if occasionally reading like it can't really decide on whether it's a post-Vertigo comic book or a 1980s issue of Firestorm the Nuclear Man. The art is mostly spectacular, although Andrew Belanger seems a bit out of place with his cute manga faces and everything looking as though he hasn't quite got all of the Teen Titans Go! out of his system.

Oh well, back to boring China Miéville, I guess.

No comments:

Post a Comment