If you haven't seen it yet, this is easily one of the best books of DC's New 52 Reboot. Animal Man became a hit character in the late 1980s, during a groundbreaking run by Grant-the-Man-Morrison (the man who reinvented Batman lately). When Morrison turned his gaze on this previously second-rate character, he helped make him one of the coolest character in comics. Back then, Morrison introduced us to Buddy Baker, family man, Hollywood Stuntman and a guy who could channel the powers of every animal on Earth. Morrison's run quickly became a best seller and saw Animal Man go from second string hero to member of the Justice League, as well as star in one of the greatest runs in comic history (check out Morrison's fourth wall-shattering trade paper-back collections if you haven't already).
Baker's intimate family is what really made the book work: Rather than have them exist just to be killed off in the style of every other "gritty" series then out, wife Ellen, son Cliff and daughter Maxine gave the book a modernly sensible take on a 50s family sitcom. With all the weirdness going on in the book (and there was a lot), they both grounded the book and lightened the tone, making an otherwise cerebral and often scary reading experience warmer and more rounded.
Originally, Animal Man could tap into the "morphogenetic field", a talent he gained upon encountering an alien spaceship. The M-Field (as it was sometimes known) was later revealed to be "The Red", a mystical realm shared by all animals (analogous to the plant realm known as "The Green" in DC's other major supernatural series, Swamp Thing).
Writer Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), who has taken over writing duties on this new run on the title, has just the right off-beat flair to take on Budd Baker and family's travails: Animal Man embodies the best elements of supernatural spookiness with the kind of off-beat humor found in ABC's Modern Family. We really could not recommend this book more!
In case you missed it, when we left off in issue #1 Buddy had just been interviewed by a major magazine, was re-entering the world as a costumed crime fighter, and trying to figure out just what was brewing with his daughter Maxine, who has apparently inherited his powers. The second issue opens with the two of them investigating "The Red" - get an exclusive sneak peek at the first three pages below!
Issue #2 of Animal Man is on sale tomorrow, in both print and digital download form.