Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Animal Man, Volume 1 Review (Grant Morrison, Chas Truog)

Grant Morrison is one of my favourite comics creators - I definitely think he’s the best comics writer there’s ever been - but I don’t love everything he’s written. Case in point: his late ‘80s Animal Man series which was also his first major US title. Me no likee! 

Buddy Baker is Animal Man, a dude who can temporarily adopt the powers of any animals in his vicinity. In this book, we see him get no respect as a superhero from both his family and the general public. Haw, haw… 

Most of this volume is made up of stereotypical superhero guff. He fights some malicious animal spirit that bonds with human hosts, he fights a Phantom-esque beefcake called The White God of Kilimanjaro (“The beast who walks”), there’s some Thanagar/Hawkman bullshit, Mirror Master screws around with him, and Martian Manhunter cameos. Meh. Oh yeah and animal testing is wrong and hunters are unequivocally evil. Sigh. Yes, these things are exactly this black and white! 

I did like the Wile E. Coyote parody/homage issue which is one of the few times we get to see Morrison be like the Morrison of today, working the meta - worlds within worlds, comics as portals to other dimensions, etc. 

Other than that though, Animal Man was as boring as he always is! I feel like if this were written by some no-name author, that if it weren’t by Grant Morrison who went on to become one of the biggest names in the art form, this book would be out of print and/or largely ignored. As a Morrison fan, I’m glad I finally read it but I’d still say it’s one of his minor works and not worth bothering with - it’s dated, it’s dull, it’s lame, it’s Animal Man!

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