Animal Man #3


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Animal Man #3


  • Words: Jeff Lemire
  • Art: Travel Foreman
  • Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
  • Story Title: The Hunt Part Three: Totems
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 2, 2011

The Rot strikes at the core of Buddy Baker.

Issue #3 of Animal Man is not only a look back at Buddy Baker’s past, but pushes the hero’s story forward by revealing Maxine’s purpose and that of The Red.  Buddy finally comes in contact with the mysterious circle of Totems, the past avatars of the animal world.  Not only is Buddy’s connection to the Totems explained, but the Totems even reveal their influence on the aliens who created Animal Man.  The revelations brought forth by the Totems are completely organic within Buddy Baker’s history; Lemire continues to push the boundaries of the Animal Man mythos, without removing any of the beloved past works. 

Though Lemire’s exploration of The Red and its growing enemies is incredibly interesting, it is Maxine’s personality and tone that continues to drive Animal Man forward.  The childlike wonder and carefree acceptance of The Red, regardless how strange it becomes, is believable and warming; making the horrific storm brought forth by The Rot all the more heart-wrenching.   As stated before, Animal Man is defined by Buddy Baker’s relationship with his family, and having Maxine exist at the core of this story makes it both powerful and deeply emotional.

Travel Foreman’s artwork to date has undeniably been one of the most unique styles within the superhero genre.  Is this issue, however, Foreman unleashes visual hell upon readers.  The first three pages feature some of the most bizarre, distorted, yet strangely beautiful images yet seen in Animal Man.  The Totems themselves appear as these unbelievably massive behemoths, simultaneously unnerving and awe-inspiring.  With the majority of issue #3 taking place within the confines of The Red, Foreman is able to show what makes his exceptional art a perfect fit for Lemire’s story.

Animal Man is just as much a mind-bending exploration of life as it a warming family story.  Buddy and his charming daughter continue to organically grow, while Travel Foreman’s distinctive art brings their story to life.  The pieces have been set, and the mysteries have been revealed, Animal Man is inching ever so close to the oncoming war between Buddy, Maxine, and The Rot.  

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