Animal Man and Swamp Thing finally meet!
Animal Man #12
So here we are at the crossover that has been teased for quite sometime. Jeff Lemire teams up with Scott Snyder to bring us the first part of Rotworld and although the character work is strong it does end up being heavy on the exposition.
As always with this title the Baker family is front and centre and when the issue is dealing with them it is at its most entertaining. The script allows all the Baker family to have a moment, even Cliff. Ellen once again impresses as the most believable and well rounded female supporting character that DC has right now. Buddy as always is driven by his love for his family and you really do believe his conviction. Buddy’s exchange with Mary highlights this perfectly as she can’t deny how much Buddy cares for his family despite her feelings towards him. Maxine’s childish wonder is utterly refreshing to see in a book like this and even Socks continues to entertain. It is this family element that has allowed the title (and Lemire) to thrive, even when dealing with something as grotesque as The Rot.
The actual between Swamp Thing and Animal Man is almost derailed due to the need to get readers up to speed. Granted Animal Man readers might not be reading Swamp Thing and vice-versa, but it is very heavy going. The dialogue is surprisingly clunky for this series and one can only assume it was scripted by Snyder. But the Swamp Thing part of the narrative is littered with lovely moments as well. For example when Buddy uses The Red to find Swamp Thing. It is an interesting and succinct idea. Also Swamp Thing and Abby are well realised characters and fit in with Animal Man’s world.
Steve Pugh does a lot of good work here. His characters are expressive and his pencils really make the emotional beats of the script come alive. His panel layouts also impress, especially when Buddy is searching for Swamp Thing or The Rot flashback. His Swamp Thing is the best visual in the book. He often looks regal and manages to be a distinct physical presence within the panels.
Pugh’s art does wonders for the book and backed with the emotive family drama the title continues to be a great read. However the necessary evil of crossover exposition does impact the pace of the narrative. But now it is all over the crossover can move forward unencumbered and we can enjoy the ride.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Great looking art and solid character drama.||Clunky exposition|
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