Comic Books


With Ellen and Cliff’s lives hanging in the balance, Buddy finally faces off against The Hunters Three! But the fight doesn’t go as planned, causing the Baker family to go on the run. What dark new threat is chasing them – and why?

Find out as the first arc of DC’s surprise breakout hit comes to a startling conclusion!

Written by JEFF LEMIRE

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 12.9%


ghostmann01/16/12NoRead Review
Zeppo01/04/12NoRead Review
Avg Rating: 4.6
Users who pulled this comic:


  1. Good god that cover is scary, Maxine ate her dads face off!

  2. JESUS!


  3. I haven’t even read the book and its already giving me nightmares.

  4. Still pulling but not blown away at all.

    • Hey everyone look! It’s the minority!

    • Buzz is a wacky thing, it goes in all sorts of interesting places. To me A-man doesn’t quite deserve the hype, but everybody digs different stuff.

    • I feel the same; to me this book has been inferior to Swamp Thing every month, and while good, it’s certainly not amazing.

    • @Robby, Psycho, and cubsmodano
      Just for shits and giggles, what comics are you reading that you DO consider amazing?

    • I’m with the minority who doesn’t get what the big deal is. Animal Man is good but it’s not THE BEST COMIC EVER by any means.

    • @ghostmann It sounds like you’re getting awfully defensive that there are folks out there who don’t love this book like you do. It’s a comic book, try not to take a difference in taste personally.

    • Dear Dudes (aka THE MINORITY),
      I love Animal Man for the following reasons:
      One, it is Super Hero comic with OUT being a super hero comic. How often can you say that about a book? This is something special and the fact that this mainstream DC comic, that has such an indepedent vibe about it, is getting just as many pulls as Justice League or Aquaman is something to be praised.

      Two, Jeff Lemire is a smart writer with pitch perfect pacing. I never feel like I have to go back and re-read a previous issue of Animal Man to remember where I am in the story – it flows seemlessly. And Lemire has captured a family unlike ANY you will find in a ANY comic book out on the racks today. There is an honest to goodness LOVE vibe happening with these characters and that is due to the writer instiliing a humanity and vulnerability that I for one welcome in my comic book reading.

      Three, that kid has a motherfucking bas mullet!

      Ok, so I’ve given a few reasons as to why I love this comic – now, minority, let’s hear from you. And not with some line like, “It just doesn’t work for me.” Don’t be pussy man. Stand up for what you believe is true! Give me some reasons why you don’t think this comic is one of the best being published right now.

    • “badass” mullet. sorry, typing in a heated freazy leads to typos.

    • Wow, way to call everyone who doesn’t want to engage in an argument with you a “pussy”. Keep it classy, angry comic book guy.

    • @FishyBoyL ghostmann is actually doing the right thing in encouraging people to explain and discuss instead of just dismissing. We encourage that here. In fact, the Terms of Service says:

      “When you contribute, make it count. Move the conversation forward. Don’t just be negative without offering reasons or alternatives. If you don’t like something, articulate why, and be fair. If the main thrust of your post is that ‘______ sucks’ it’s not worth posting.”

      Sure, he could be a bit more adult about it, but otherwise, encouraging actual discussion is always encouraged.

    • @Conor I’ll remember that sexist namecalling, elitist snobbery, and childish taunts are encouraged. Thank you.

    • @FishyBoy: If you can point me to where that was said then, sure, you can remember that.

    • Fishboy come on, the “pussy” remark was in jest. I’m not calling anyone a pussy. But enough of pussy talk, lets talk about why you dont like Animal Man!

    • I am with @ghostmann on this one.

      I like the book because the creative team has made this family feel like an honest depiction of a family without resorting to the overly simplified tricks used in the medium. They have not mentioned Facebook, iPhones, etc. or anything to make it feel like this is a real family who is about to face tragedy. After that ‘truthiness’ feeling is established we are getting a fantastical story that doesn’t feel like a knock-off of something that I have read or scene before.

      To restate the question in an attempt to see if the people who are lukewarm on this book and I have common ground with other books; share what books are really awesome right now. This is a forum for shared ideas, @FishyBoy I think you are over-reacting to the word “pussy” and missing the point of the comment. I want to know what you like and why if you have the time to share it.

    • I’m really enjoying this because it seems epic, and terrible, while at the same time light, and not forced. I’ve never read any Animal Man previously but all these characters feel fleshed out and real to me. The family dynamics and humor balances the frightening images nicely. And the way its connecting with Swamp Thing is exciting to me.

    • I’m going to take sides on both sides of this argument.

      Team A-Man is fucking amazing:
      This book is one of the most unique and interesting comics I’m currently reading. The writing of Jeff lemerie is breath takingly creepy in both story and tone.

      Team A-Man is an overhyped decent comic:
      The downside to this book is the art. Yes i know art is subjective and one person’s picasa is another’s used toilet paper. However I think the art in this book is by far the weakest part. While I occasionally dig some of this weird style when they are in the RED, I think when translated to the reality parts of the book it fails. I think it would have been much better to have a better artist for the reality parts of the book and just have foreman do The RED sections, it would have been much more powerful in my opinion. I really believe if this art was on any other book with someone else writing it would not receive nearly the amount of hype it gets here with lemerie obviously carrying this book despite the werid art.

    • @thompsonlive: “I really believe if this art was on any other book with someone else writing it would not receive nearly the amount of hype it gets here with lemerie obviously carrying this book despite the werid art.”

      Well, you have to have the appropriate art for the appropriate story. It doesn’t matter that if Travel Foreman were drawing, say, TINY TITANS, it wouldn’t have people talking like it does here because the art wouldn’t be appropriate for that story. Whereas, it’s is very appropriate here.

      Just because an artist wouldn’t work everywhere on every book doesn’t mean they don’t work on one particular book and don’t deserve praise.

    • @Conor You allow sexist slurs unchecked in a forum you moderate. In doing nothing you’ve given your consent and encouragement whether you meant to or not.

    • Here’s my thoughts on the art on Animal Man, and I’ll TRY to make it sexist slur free. No promises though.

      Alot of people say that the art looks ugly, but I must ask: WHAT about this book is supposed to be pretty? Is it the decaying avatars of death, or the strange creatures who are grotesquely masquerading as human? If anything, Forman deserves some sort of award for portraying the utterly abstract in such a unique and unthought-of fashion. This art isn’t for wusses.

    • @FishyBoy No, I haven’t. You’re projecting.

    • @conor I probably could have worded that better because you are absolutely correct you have to have the right artist for the right story. What I meant to say but failed to articulate correctly was If you were take Travel Foreman and put him on a different book with a less capable writer, even if the story fit Foreman’s art style that it wouldn’t receive near as much praise because I personally believe that Lemire is carrying this book almost single handily with his amazing story, dialogue, and tone. For example can you imagine how much better this book would look if someone like Jock was the artist, I would probably have to change underwear every other page.

    • @Conor Sure I am.

    • I would compare the art to listening to your favorite grindcore band. Do they suck? No in fact they’re fucking brilliant. Of course you don’t wanna hear that all the time, eventually you wanna go hear some smooth jazz or some sht.

    • @thompsonlive: I don’t agree with your assessment of the art–my enjoyment of the art is about the art itself and has little to do with the story, and the tone is part and parcel with the art–but I can understand not liking it.

      I’d actually prefer Foreman to Jock on this book. His work is more psychologically disturbing and a better fit for the story.

    • @thomsonlive–i disagree that Lemire is carrying the book. For me, this book is just creepy weird subject matter, story wise and art wise. Its the entire package that makes it work.

      remember Lemire’s first DC superhero try with pre New 52 Superboy? That had some art that a lot of people including myself did not care for, and as a result lots of people dropped it. The writing couldn’t carry that book out of the middle of the pack, and one could argue that Superboy has a much higher profile and built in audience than Animal Man. If Animal Man had the same artist from that Superboy run, it would not be a top of the pulls every time it comes out, i can almost promise you that.

      I guess my point is that its pretty obvious that a lot of people are digging the entire package right now, because the numbers are showing it. I don’t think a writer alone can’t carry a book with average or below art for too long in this market.

    • @thompsonlive Judging by the art, this book has to be a strong 50/50 collaboration at the very least. Lemire is a great writer, but I don’t think that he can accurately describe a scene like when Buddy’s face was all warped. Most of that comes from Foreman’s noggin.

    • im with GHOSTMANN. his post was both funny and provocative in the sense that it would make ME want to engage him in a debate if i were part of the “minority”. everything he said obviously was all in fun and jest. and on top of it he gave some great reasons(3 being my favorite) why this book is one bad muh-fucka. like THOMPSONLIVE, i hated the art….at first. but then i read it and its like CONNER said, it’s appropriate. i dont want to see foreman do justice league, but he’s perfect for the horror genre. PERFECT
      i want a t-shirt that says:
      “dont be a pussy….
      talk comics!”

    • I like RocknRolla’s thought process.

      Travel Foreman on Animal Man is to The Melvins!

      as Jim Lee on Justice League is to Dream Theater (this is not an insult, I like Dream Theater, well at least Metropolis Pt 2).

    • @conor comicBOOKchris @wallythegreenmonster yeah it’s obvious i’m in the minority about not liking the art in this. It just feels like it brings the book down slightly in my opinion. However I do love the book overall though and I don’t think foreman is “horrible” or anything but it just feels like he is a 3/5 artist where as Lemire’s writing feels 5/5. Maybe the art will grow on me more over time but for right now just looks meh to me.

    • As George Bush once said, “Mission Accomplished!”.

      Well done everyone! This has been without a doubt the best Animal Man comments page EVER! Excellent points on both sides of the fence.

      And Fishboy, dude honestly I didn’t mean to offend with the “P” word. No hard feelings yeah?

      Oh and sitara119, I’m printing those shirts right now!


    • @Ghostman: You’ve offered so good insights and observation which lead to interesting discussion. I would say next time just offer them up first, you don’t need to wait and respond to someone’s opposing point of view before putting your 2 cents out there.

    • @ghostmann: I’ll take one in 3XL Tall.

    • @ ghostman: What comics am I reading that I find amazing? Not a ton at the moment. Of the 60 books a month I read, I’d say I look forward most to Swamp Thing, OMAC, Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes, and Savage Dragon. For short periods of time, Thunderbolts, Hulk (of the red variety), X-Factor, the Godzilla line, and Starborn before it got cancelled were all amazing within the last year.

      My dislike with Animal Man is first with the art. Does it fit the story: sure. Are there things I don’t like about it? Very much so. Often a character’s face is contorted to extreme proportions to create a disgusting or scary vibe, and in the next panel all is normal or it is different. Even though there’s suspension of disbelief with all entertainment, and superhero comics and horror stories in general, stuff like that takes me out of the story. I end up thinking; ok so his skull is either liquid, or he’s hallucinating or it’s style over substance at this point.

      As for the actual story, it’s good, and I’m still reading. Part of why I’ve never been a huge DC guy is the reliance on colors (first in the Lantern books and now in Swamp Thing and Animal Man) as the symbol of all that’s good or evil. Also, I don’t know how much I really care about any of the characters in this book yet. If they had killed Buddy’s whole family in this last issue, I’d have been fine with that. Granted, we’re only a few issues in, but even Superboy #1 instantly made me interested in the character to see how he’d develop further. With Buddy, he seems to already be a character I’m supposed to care about, now let’s see him react to some scary stuff.

      Again, my original comment was: “I feel the same; to me this book has been inferior to Swamp Thing every month, and while good, it’s certainly not amazing.” Swamp Thing, particularly with Paquette’s art, has looked amazing. His characters look just real and cartoony enough that I get that same rare sort of enjoyment I usually only fine with Mike Allred art. Also, having never read either character before, I am much more interested in Alec Holland’s development so far and more interested in what happens to him than in Buddy’s. Perhaps it’s because Buddy already has been ripped apart in the red numerous times, I just think, whatever happens to him at this point it’s not really shocking.

    • “Part of why I’ve never been a huge DC guy is the reliance on colors (first in the Lantern books and now in Swamp Thing and Animal Man)”

      Uh, correct me if I’m wrong, but the ideas of The Green and The Red were around long before the relaunch, so its weird to have a problem with them now.

    • “Part of why I’ve NEVER been a huge DC guy is the reliance on colors (first in the Lantern books and now in Swamp Thing and Animal Man)”

      Well, since I’ve had a problem with them always, I used the words never been a fan. So, I’m correcting you. For being wrong.

  5. It looks like Maxine is the counterpart to that kid in Swamp Thing.

  6. this is so freaking creepy in the best possible way

  7. i may need to see a psychiatrist. the more gruesome and disturbing these covers are the more i like them. i love this cover SO MUCH!!!

  8. This is the only book I get this week.It’s not far to other books to compare them. I love this series.

    Ellen and Cliff were great last issue, I could read about just them. Having Buddy and Maxine explore the Red is just gravy.

    I really like that Maxine got herself a totem of the red called Socks the Cat…brilliant!

  9. That cover is superb. And the art totally compliments the story too, perfect.

  10. This book is a sick, twisted journey into freakishness.

    I love it. 🙂

  11. Holy shit, that cover is fucked up…
    Starting to like this series more with each issue!

  12. If this issue doesn’t open up with Ellen blasting the Hunter away, I will be sorely disappointed.

    • Hells. Yea.

      Also, holy shit the art really tightened up in this issue. Looked phenomenal all the way through. And supremely fucked up.

      Also, Spot. ;_;

    • I totally agree about the art. This issue seemed cleaner, especially the faces of the family. There weren’t a lot of sketch lines and shading like in previous issues. The splash page of Budddy’s view into the rot was so wonderfully gruesome. I have really enjoyed Animal Man thus far, and it looks like the fun has only just begun.

  13. @ 1st I’m like “oh is that one of those turtle shell lookin packpacks how cute!” But I think its just green

  14. wow, who woulda guessed that when the new 52 launched that Animal Man would be the “hot” book that has the most comments in a given week?

  15. And it was a this moment Buddy decided to leave his children up to adoption. But seriously each issue just gets better and better.

  16. The above mini-thread of dissent kind of (d)evolved into something else, so I thought I’d post this here:

    I think both Lemire’s Animal Man and Snyder’s Swamp Thing are good comics. But I don’t think they’re anywhere near as great as people are making them out to be. Both series are very derivative of what Morrison and Moore did. (Actually Morrison’s Animal Man itself owes a lot to Moore’s Swamp Thing, but that’s another story.) It baffles me that people who have read those previous great runs on these titles would give Lemire and Synder the infinite amount of praise that they’ve been getting. Honestly, my gut feeling is to suspect that people’s attention spans are just so short that they’ve forgotten how truly revolutionary those ’80s actually were. But that accusation is possibly going too far.

    I’m not saying that Lemire and Snyder don’t deserve credit. They do. They’re good writers. But they’re not anywhere near Moore and Morrison’s league, and they’re certainly not as great as Moore and Morrison were in their heyday. That said, Snyder and Lemire certainly don’t “need” to be as good as Moore and Morrison. But when they use concepts created by Moore and Morrison, they beg the comparison. And from any “big picture” view, the situation with the current series looks kind of sad, because Lemire and Snyder’s respective series are selling far less than what Moore and Morrison sold, and, more importantly, because I really doubt that Lemire and Snyder will have any influence comparable to the impact that Moore’s Swamp Thing and Morrison’s Animal Man had. How could they, when they’re not doing anything that’s innovative in the least? They’re just taking these same old concepts and twisting them SLIGHTLY. Both series read like throwbacks from the late-80s pre-Vertigo days. And I LOVE that era. I LOVE the feel of those comics. But to heap SO much praise on current comics that are really just unoriginal nostalgia trips? It seems silly. It seems like you’d have to willfully block out so much of reality in order to just take these books out of context and act as if they’re the greatest things ever, as if they are certain to go down in history as seminal series.

    (Relatedly, Snyder’s Batman is a very good series as well. I enjoy the hell out of it. But it’s totally generic. And yet many veteran comics readers are acting as if it’s the greatest series of the year. That’s going way too far. It’s like people are totally oblivious to whether something is truly original or groundbreaking anymore.)

    Again, I have to acknowledge that Lemire’s Animal Man and Snyder’s Swamp Thing are good comics. I’m not saying they’re bad. At all. I just think that the comics internet community has overhyped them so much, so obnoxiously, that the actual reality of the situation is being lost. Escapism is fine, but I think that elevating these series to “instant classic” status leads to fundamental misunderstandings of the industry, the art-form, and our history. And that’s especially the case because both of these series are fundamentally (even proudly!) derivative of what Moore and Morrison did. The changes amount to very little. Sure, some history of the characters are changed, but the “feel” of the titles is the same. This lack of originality is not cause for celebration. In fact, it suggests that these sorts of comics actually have no future, beyond our dwindling, nostalgia-obsessed generation.

    But if it feels good to insist that a (well-made) unoriginal comic series is actually a watershed event in the history of human creativity, by all means people should continue to buy it and enjoy it.

    • @flapjaxx

      Thank you for getting the thread back on topic. I understand what you are saying and I have used similar arguments in other situations. This might be to much work for what it’s worth but can you give us an example. Like Animal Man issue #3 page 7 does …………………… which was done first and better in Morrison’s run seen in …………………..

      It’s your argument I am not challenging your feelings I just don’t feel the same way and am curious.

    • I think you make some good points, these new stories are derivitive of the Moore and Morrison runs on each respective book. I just don’t understand how a writer is supposed to continue an established character and NOT derive some of the story points from the most well regarded and definitive takes on the characters they are writing about. I’ll admit I have only read the 1st of 3 trades of Animal Man, but I don’t think the books are very similar in tone at all. They both have the Baker family interaction as a big focus, but Maxine wasn’t connected to the Red, and the creepy horror-centric mood was nowhere to be found in my opinion (I apologize if I have just not read far enough yet). Either way, I do agree that both of these books are great, and this is the internet, what do we have left if we can’t revel in hyperbole

    • @flapjaxx I feel like you’re docking points from Snyder and Lemire on the sole basis that their stories aren’t as ground breaking as the stories that preceded them. You’re right, but so what? Why does a the greatness of a story have to be judged by how original or groundbreaking it is. No one is saying that these stories are on the same caliber of Moore’s and Morrison’s stories, but it’s also unfair to say that Snyder’s and Lemire’s stories can’t be great because of what came before. All that matters is if the story is being told well, which is what Snyder and Lemire are doing flawlessly.

    • It’s hard to call something ‘groundbreaking’ when you’re standing right on it, I guess. If we’re really connoisseurs, it’s all been done before, anyways, right? I feel these two new books documenting the Red/Green/Rot conflict are a departure from the previous titles by Morrison and Moore- the title characters are not necessarily the focal point or crux, the story only unfolds from their point of view because they’ve got the marquee.
      And remember those really, well, self-indulgent, wanky parts of Moore’s Swamp Thing with the Hamlet skull and such? Those books were not without flaw! Just because it hadn’t been done before doesn’t mean it was great….

  17. that cover is a motherfucker

    • Indeed! See, I love Foreman’s art when he does stuff like that. But sometimes it feels “weird”, especially when we see Buddy’s wife and son in the “real world”. I mean by that that the art is not a constant and sometimes the faces look a bit different from panel to panel and for me it just kills it and I see the “wires of it” instead of the great story and it reminds me I’m just reading a comic book… Not quite a good argument, but for me it is important enough that I notice it.

      Then you got gory monsters and kick ass weirdness and I get a nerdgasm everytime!

  18. guy at my lcs said that the new comics aren’t available due to weekend partying…1. sounds like an awesome party if they were still hung over 3-4 days later. 2. don’t know if i can wait until tomorrow. should i go digital instead?

    • Just read it digitally. Loved it!

      My shop used to do this. I’m all digital now

    • Yep just go digital. I went all digital about 5 months ago and never looked back. Loving it.

    • Also pro-tip if you buy your digital comics from directly you don’t have to pay sales tax. They still sync to your iPad and android apps it just cuts out the tax man.

    • bought it digital, and it was worth it. had to read it on my computer, but i might get a tablet in the next couple of weeks. if i do then i’ll probably go all digital.

  19. This blew me away… Month in and out i think this book is going to plateau but its just getting better. Forman is made for this as well.. I loved him on Iron Fist but the creepy images and panels he is drawing are ridiculous in conveying the tone and severity of each issue. Loved this. 5/5

  20. love that Steve Pugh did the art for the last few pages here, he was fantastic on AM with Jamie Delano back in the day.

  21. Liked it for sure, but I don’t know if I was in the mood yesterday. I don’t know if it could have used another issue or if it was a pacing thing…either way, THIS is the way to set up an “event.”

  22. I personal think Foreman is an amazing artist and really dig the way he draws Buddy using his animal Powers. Bring on the Swamp cross really looking forward to it.

  23. Oh that last line got me! Shouted YES!

  24. Very intense! The Rot scores a point with their deception. Tricking Little Wing (one of the cutest most endearing new superheros in a while) into letting the rot enter the red the most grotestque Hunters Three accomplish their mission. If those words strung together seem like a strange review, well, that’s because this is a bizarre story. It’s just right for me honestly.

  25. Before people start shooting down how “great” the current swamp thing/animal man run is why dont we wait till we have at least one or two completed arcs? Like come on already.

  26. I guess I’m in “the minority” as ghostmann calls it. Though I don’t think ANIMAL MAN or SWAMP THING are bad books, I do think they’re overrated, and sometimes even a bit boring. (In ANIMAL MAN’S case, the wonderful art is what’s been keeping me around.) So as soon as the first arcs are done, I’m done buying them. Just not my cups of tea.

    Books I have been loving?: ACTION COMICS, ALL-STAR WESTERN, WONDER WOMAN, BATMAN, DAREDEVIL, INVINCIBLE, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, THE SHADE… and so many others! It’s such an amazing time to be a comic fan. Which is why I don’t feel bad at all about dumping ANIMAL and SWAMPY and letting their legions of fans go on supporting those titles… while I save my money for ones I love 🙂

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