The Justice League Dark make their presence known as Buddy Continues his journey
Animal Man #10
Ten issues in and Jeff Lemire is showing no signs of slowing down. From the characterisation to the narrative Lemire manages to deliver a title that is consistently brilliant. Steve Pugh also shows off his considerable talent as he goes to town with his depiction of The Red.
Buddy and Shepard trek through The Red and although there is a lot of mythology building it never gets in the way of the pace. Lemire is quite skilled at delivering exposition in a way that makes it fun and engaging. Buddy’s determination to get his body back is palatable and the final scene is a great pay off. It will be interesting to see where Lemire takes Buddy after this cliffhanger. But all this characterisation and exposition is happening inside a world that is alien and fascinating. Pugh really does wonders with his work on The Red. The place is vast and alive, with Pugh delivering suitable visuals. It’s eye popping and utterly interesting.
But that is only half of the book. Ellen and the kids are never forgotten by Lemire and this is why the book is as strong as it is. Her encounter with John Constantine is delightfully played out. She is delivered a bombshell and her reaction is exactly what you expect from her. This is due to the constant solid character work Lemire has done on the book. You can’t help but feel for Ellen and although we have seen the terrible outcome of her decisions, her choices seem justifiable.
Something else that comes from the Ellen scenes is a sense of humour. John Constantine is hilarious and Lemire’s handle on him and the other members of the JLD is great. Their little cameo here does wonders for Lemire as you want to read more of his take on them, which DC has provided as he is now that titles writer. But the whole thing never seems forced. It maybe a plug for his other title, but it is well disguised. But their appearance also moves the plot forward, giving the reader new mysteries to ponder.
Pugh does a good job with these character driven moments. He doesn’t have the grotesque beauty of The Red to impress us, but his character work is just as engaging. Maxine is well represented and her facial expressions will just make you chuckle. Pugh has a great grasp of dramatic presentation without going over the top. The book really benefits from his skilled presence.
So, Animal Man continues to be a delightful read. Lemire builds on his tapestry as Buddy travels through the Red. There are new mysteries posed and fun to be had within these pages. This truly is a title people talk about for a reason and every month it delivers.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The characters, the narrative and the art||Not enough of it|
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