Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #301 – Animal Man #1

Show Notes

It’s a deluge of comic books! We embark on “The New 52” from DC Comics as we rate and review all 13 of the new DC Comics releases, as well as a ton of books from the other publishers in the world. It’s all comic books, all the time, so it’s a bit longer than usual, but it’s something we must do, for you.

Running Time: 01:06:22

00:02:52 – The breakout hit of the new DC books for Ron was clearly Animal Man #1 from Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman.

The New 52 (Ratings):
00:14:03 – Thoroughly enjoyed by Josh and Conor was Grant Morrison and Rags Morales on Action Comics #1.
00:17:04 – As thoroughly enjoyed by all was Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette on Swamp Thing #1.
00:20:25 – Conor and Ron had a blast reading Justice League International #1.
00:22:13 – Much ado about nothing in Batgirl #1.
00:24:24 – A pleasant surprise for Conor and Ron was Detective Comics #1, not so much for Josh.
00:26:57 – Conor really enjoyed Batwing #1, Ron wasn’t a big fan of the art.
00:28:48 – Everyone was really intrigued by Stormwatch #1 and look forward to more.
00:30:48 – Talk about fun comics? O.M.A.C. #1 all the way.
00:32:05 – The first of the rough books, Conor had lots of problems with everything about Hawk and Dove #1.
00:33:52 – Josh was excited for Men of War #1, but it fell a little short.
00:36:43 – A bit of disagreement as Conor liked Static Shock #1 while Ron thought it struggled.
00:38:16 – Across the board, everyone agreed that Green Arrow #1 fell short in many ways.

00:42:57 – A close second for Pick of the Week was the amazing Wolverine: Debt of Death One Shot from David Lapham and David Aja.
00:47:01 – Jason Aaron continues the entertaining meltdown in Wolverine #15.
00:48:06 – Josh took a chance with the indie book Atomic Robo: Ghost of Station X #1 and it paid off.
00:49:31 – Ron gets teased again by Morning Glories #12.
00:50:11 – Always amusing, Josh is digging the ongoing Cobra #4.
00:52:00 – The third runner up for Pick of the Week was the genius of Jeff Parker in Thunderbolts #163.
00:53:50 – A polarizing book for many, Ron fell in the middle with Casanova: Avarita #1.
00:55:02 – X-Factor #224.1 delivers on the Point One promise of a good jumping on point for new readers.
00:55:32 – Josh calls attention to Jeff Lemire’s other work with Sweet Tooth #25.

User Reviews:
00:58:06 – The Top 5 Community Picks of the Week.
00:59:05 – AdamOfEarth was turned off of comics in general by Men of War #1.
01:00:07 – Keith7198 felt that The Punisher #3 fell a little short, but he’s still with it.

Brought to You By:
The New York Comic-Con – October 13 – 16, 2011 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in NYC – Tons of comics and media guests! Don’t miss the last big comic con of 2011!
Trigun Badlands Rumble from Funimation – The first and only Trigun full length movie with a story by the original creator, and the first original Trigun animation in a decade.  Available in HD on Blu-Ray, and DVD and digital download!

“AKA…What a Life!”
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds


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  1. Awesome! Posted a little early. Been waiting for this podcast since Wednesday!
    (Thanks for using my review as well – very cool)

  2. I enjoyed those dream sequences in a much better Jeff Lemire book: Sweet Tooth. It feels like he took a sequence he dropped from Sweet Tooth and rewrote it for Animal Man.

    I hope Frankenstein is a good book cause I don’t wanna drop two bad Lemire books in one month.

    • I love Sweet Tooth, but Animal Man is vastly stronger work.

    • No offense: But we’re gonna judge one issue of Animal Man in comparison to twenty-five issues of Sweet Tooth?

      I’m not saying you can’t like Animal Man. But to say it’s ‘vastly stronger’ after only one issue is a bit much.

    • By the way, my original comment was more that I’ve seen the same dream sequences in Sweet Tooth then to make it sound so brilliant like the guys thought it was on the podcast. Last month we had a sequence where Gus is in a forest full of hanging skeletons. In comparison to a river of blood, that just seems like childplay for Lemire (and again a sequence that you could easily replace Buddy with Gus and almost get the same feel).

    • I’m saying there’s no single issue of Sweet Tooth as impressive as this single issue in terms of craft. Again, I like Sweet Tooth as well. There are 5 star issues. But this is a step above. To suggest it’s “bad” is ludicrous.

    • Well I’m sorry I thought Animal Man was bad for the most part. Some high points, mostly for story and none on art, but I just didn’t see where 99.9% of the entire planet’s love for the book is coming from.

      Also I could easily contend stronger issues of Sweet Tooth then this first issue. #24 again had that amazing watercolor sequence throughout the book. #21 had a bear fight with a great use word balloons and composition of the pages. #18 had that storybook theme where the issue was read horizontally. Those are the most recent issues I can remember, and now I want to read the entire run again because of this discussion.

      But those 3 issues I listed are vastly superior, in my opinion anyways, then this one issue of Animal Man. But to each his own.

    • it reinvented a character and gave him an interesting challenge. as far as reboots go, that is the entire goal. what more can you ask for.

    • It is rare I will agree with TheNextChampion about an issue that seems driven to get attention.

      But I agree.

      Animal Man was a 3/5 for me and it gained all its positives from the portrayal of his family life and the last page. Once he put on his costume, I felt the book took a dive.The first conflict felt tired and one we have seen many times. The dream sequence, which tried to establish the bigger threat, seemed like lazy writing.

      Also, one issue cannot outweigh the quality of a whole run. This is long form storytelling. You might be able to compare single issues but to say one issue of Animal Man is better than a respected multiissue run of anything is absurd.

      Keep in mind that one issue isn’t even a one-and-done.

    • @Scorpion: I don’t agree with that I was doing this JUST for attention but thanks for the response anyways. 🙂

      But that’s my biggest problem right there and you brought it up.

      If you like/love Animal Man then I don’t have a problem. But to judge 1 issue of said comic against 25 issues of another then that’s comparing apples and oranges. (In this case it’s against A LOT of oranges). When/If 25 issues of Animal Man hit then that’s an alright judgement/review to make. But not here, that’s way too much hyperbole making that statement.

  3. Looking forward to the episode!
    And the player works in Safari! Yay!

  4. Wow that was up early. Thanks iFanboy!

  5. Yesss! The episode is early AND Atomic Robo gets some love.

    Where you at, Josh? I feel a mighty high five coming on.

  6. I haven’t listened to this yet, but I’m stoked to see some Atomic Robo love. That book is so great. Go read the trades right now!

  7. How does JT Krull keep getting jobs at DC? Seriously DC keeps him around let Rucka leave.

  8. BTW I made Red Skull 3 my pick of the week and the site shows it at 0.0, is this another bug in the site or was the numbers soooo high for the other books that mine is 0.001?

  9. And so it begins… I look forward to iFanboy POTW episodes 301-A through 303-N which should be about enough time to cover all the DC books.

  10. Great podcast. A couple of things I saw a little different:

    I still stand in the minority on Animal Man. I felt Lemire’s story fell apart at the end. I didn’t see the dream sequence as chilling or effective. It almost felt like they were sometimes going for shock value over carefully contructed horror. Also really thought Foreman’s art was all over the place. The open home sequence was well written but Travel’s weird out of context facial expressions were a distraction. I also thought the “Red” splash page was one of the ugliest I have seen in a while.

    As for Batgirl, I really don’t think Simone is just going to drop the wheelchair thing like the guys seemed to indicate. In fact, when I read the issue I felt that the “incident” was a weight that Barbara will be struggling with. I may be wrong but I’m thinking we will hear a lot more about it.

  11. I am disappointed that none of the comments so far are about Mike and Tom Eat Snacks.

  12. The Animal Man story was good but the art was not my style. I had the most fun with Action followed by Detective. From this week’s picks I’m sticking with Animal Man, Action, Detective, and Batgirl.

  13. I’m still listening to the podcast, but the Superman in Swamp Thing is approx. 5 years older than the one in Justice League, that’s probably why he looks like an older Superman than Lee is drawing.

    • He still looks too old.

    • I’m annoyed that Brightest Day was not erased as part of the reboot. I think that is the problem with Swamp Thing, its supposed to be happening right after that and just about everything else does not.

    • I agree with tomdpimp. These things confuse readers and make some grasp back at the old universe.

      About the Superman in Swamp Thing; I just read that Paquette had to redraw Superman in his new look after having already finished the first issue, that was going to come out in the old Universe. That probably had something to do with it. But isn’t a real excuse though. But it didn’t bother me personally.

  14. I don’t think that Superman man ‘looks’ too old, I think Paquette didn’t do a good job of inking him.

    He has this problem, I noticed in other books anyways, where he inks too heavily on some pages so the characters will look different from panel to panel. One panel of Sups (also in the first page as Clark) he looks young enough. Other times he looks like a Max Fleischer figure. (Which would make him too old)

    So I think it’s more of the inking in this comic then anything else.

  15. so what happened to Ron?

  16. loved the dc comics ‘new 52’ #1 marathon review

  17. i feel so left behind because i can’t get to my comic shop now. thanks for the heads up on some of the issues. great show guys and thanks to everyone at iFanboy. Ratings: 5 🙂

  18. Really good podcast. I liked the 52 discussion. I wish Josh had also had a chance to read all of them. It almost makes me think its a shame they weren’t bought by Comixology instead. Then they could get all the issues with no problem for review.

    One of the things I was interested in is if Josh decided to pick anything up digitally. I believe he had made a comment before on a video show where he said he would love to go all digital.

    Personally I’m locked into all 52 for the first 3 months. I’ll give them all 3 issues to sell me on whether or not I’ll keep with them. Thanks to the DCBS 50% discount it makes it a lot easier. I just have to wait a little bit before I can read them all :(.

    • None of the issues I didn’t read were very good, and I’m not going to keep buying them. I ran out of time to read, not that I didn’t have them.

  19. “I am the night”
    “My mood changes with the wind, and it’s windy”
    “This fire is spreading like a book of matches” – ?! Seriously that one doesn’t even make sense.

    Detective Comics no.1 was just bad writing. Period.
    It was like fan fiction and not good fan fiction.

    • yes.

    • i was reading it and thinking – alright, doesn’t have to be smart or innovative, just fun. That’s what it was.

      it was great seeing a direct DKR influenced comic like that

    • lr4life (@brettthemonster) says:

      totally agree. huge let down.

    • Gotta disagree with Josh there. Big fan of the show, also I really dig that comic which is getting a lot of flack. I will say, for such a talked about issue, I was hoping for more discussion on the show. And for more descriptive critisism from Josh than “the writing is bad”.

      Also guys the line in the comic is “I own the night”. Which is awesome. “I am the night” is also awesome

    • And honestly, with the examples given here you guys could point to any film noir classic with over-the-top narration and say the writing is bad. You could say Sin City is bad. I’d say you just aren’t into the style presented here.

  20. Sticking with Animal Man, Action, Swamp Thing and maybe Detective and Batgirl. I want to see what the 2nd issue looks like with them.

    And yeah, what they did to Green Arrow was a shame. Not the Ollie I love.

  21. lr4life (@brettthemonster) says:

    Green Arrow was such a pile of dog shit. I could not even believe that DC let that issue even release. The art and writing were awful.

    Swamp Thing was amazing and so was Animal Man,and I did like Batwing a lot more than most people did.

    Oh yeah, Detective Comics also sucked. Batman’s line in that issue were vague and cliche, plus the art was just ok.

    Superman is the stupidest comic book character of all time and I will never like him because he is fucking invincible (not in the awesome Kirkman way). Making him not able to fly again is a copout and shows lack of creativity.

    I am still not totally sure what to think of the new 52. Will wait and see.

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