Last month, I tried Animal Man 0 because a commenter recommended it. It was a very fun comic, and among the better 0th issues I read last month. This is my first regular issue of Animal Man. Just like the origin issue, this was a pleasant surprise.
Animal Man 13 is the start of a new storyline, called Rotworld. A plague known as The Rot has overtaken the world and most of its superheroes. The Rot turns people into cannibalistic monsters and spreads almost as easily as the cold. Animal Man was absent for that year (I’m not sure how, but that’s not important for this issue). He is soon attacked by a Rotten Hawkman and is rescued by a small group of characters that I don’t recognize.
This issue is well written from the start. Animal Man is equally frightened and confused about his predicament, and his concern for his family takes center stage. There are also flashbacks showing his family’s first encounter with The Rot. A lot is explained in the main story, yet it doesn’t feel the least bit crowded.
The art is very good as well. The book has two artists with clearly different styles, yet here it works. Steve Pugh drew the wasteland that has become of the planet. The zoo Animal Man lands in at the start of the issue is full of animal skeletons and demolished buildings. There is plenty of environmental detail in these scenes, and the character detail on Animal Man’s teammates is impressive. Timothy Green II drew the flashback scenes, which have a much simpler look yet they’re equally effective.
It’s a delightfully weird horror comic that feels like nothing else I’ve read from DC or Marvel Comics. It’s also nice that it’s a horror comic that doesn’t use Zombies, setting itself apart from titles like The Walking Dead (What I’ve read of Walking Dead was very good, but I’m not all that much into zombies) and Marvel Zombies (which I haven’t read any of).
If this issue is any indication of what Animal Man is like, then I’ll have to catch up on this series. It seems to have a strong focus on Animal Man’s family life, which is rare in superhero comics these days. As the first issue of the Rotworld storyline, everything you need to know is explained in this issue. If any of this sounds appealing, this issue is definitely worth checking out.
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Steel makes a guest star appearance in Animal Man # 13. He’s related to Superman, but Lemire loves to put a character in a world which is unusual for him/her. He put Poison Ivy in Superboy, for example. I love it as well, because, each time a writer does something like this, you never know how things will go. For example, if you put the Riddler in a Batman comic, you know that Bruce, with his detective skills, will solve his riddles in a minute… but what about if you make the Riddler interact with a less lucid and patient superhero, like Grifter?
I’m a big fan of John Henry Irons, so I’m very glad he didn’t fall into oblivion after the closure of his awesome solo series. A character like Steel written by a writer like Lemire… wonderful!
The other character that you didn’t recognize is Beast Boy. In the New 52 continuity he’s red, rather than green. I don’t read any of the YJ lines, so I have no idea why this is.
Thanks for pointing that out – both of you.
Thank you as well for your reply! : )