Posted by: Brian Hibbs on September 12, 2011
Shouldn’t be any surprise we’re still organizing in the store, so trying to dance amongst the raindrops to review books while I also do that (AND writing a Tilting this week, sheesh!)
Here’s your next two books: ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING
ANIMAL MAN #1: I’m of the opinion that no one other than Grant Morrison ever “got” Animal Man, and that was more of the fourth wall-breaking action than anything else. Buddy is just (sorry!) not that compelling of a character in the first place. The real value he has is of being one of the rare family men in comics, or of being the “everyman” who is probably a lot like you and me — he isn’t perfect like a Superman, he feels vaguely uncomfortable in his costume, he’s not really all that very good at “stopping crime”, but his heart is utterly in the right place.
Jeff Lemire seems to embrace all of that here, and also does a few things to shake up expectations (opening with a magazine-style interview piece, for example, or the hallucinatory dream sequence), and while I liked it, I didn’t really love it. Travel Foreman’s art is excellent in places, but also pretty awful in a few others (Ew, some of those faces, yikes!). I’d certainly give it an arc to see where it might be going, but my overall reaction was really not much more than a very very low GOOD.
ANIMAL MAN is the one and only book of the 14 released so far that I have sold out of so far — and that’s on a fairly solid number of copies.
SWAMP THING #1: If AM covers “the red”, this one here is “the green”, but apart from some REALLY lovely art by Yanick Paquette, I’m not really feeling this one yet.
That may be because “Swampy” really doesn’t appear in the issue until the last page, or maybe that I have no (NONE!) affinity for “Alec Holland”, a character who, over the last 40-ish years had maybe 10 words of dialogue? (Among them: “Oh, look… a bom-” or something to that effect) — so, I kind of don’t care if he has his sad little Doctor David Banner moments.
Throw in a ugly cameo from Superman (how is THAT guy the one in JL or Action?), where he seems to reference the Death of Superman (Again: how did that story happen… especially without a married Lois?), and something that looks a bit like a rip on the invunche, and I found myself missing Moore’s prose (there’s monologue, but not a single descriptive caption on display), and, I don’t know — I don’t “get” this book, I think.
I’m willing to give it another issue, but I thought it was merely OK.
That’s me: What did YOU think?