Comic Book Review – Animal Man #25
Animal Man #25
Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: Rafael Albuquerque
Colors by: Dave McCaig
Letters by: Jared K. Fletcher
**Minor spoilers below**
A Bit of advice, Animal Man #25 is part 2 of 2 in the Hollywood Babylon storyline, so if you haven’t read part 1 you’ll want to do so…or you might be kind of lost.
Not that Jeff Lemire doesn’t craft a well told story here in issue #25, he definitely does. The story picks up right in the thick of things from issue #24 where Brother Blood, the new king of The Red and super bad guy, has sent his minions to lure Buddy Baker out in the open so that they can complete their ritual of renewal. While this is happening Buddy and his wife Ellen are trying to figure out how to save their daughter, Little Wing, who is currently trapped in The Red – which Buddy has no access to. The weaving of these storylines in thisÂ one issue is very well balanced and moves at a smooth pace that gives each storyline it’s own time to shine. However, the emotion that’s involved falls flat and isn’t conveyed as succinctly as one would think it should. For example, the death of Buddy Bakers son gets mentioned numerous times and each time it seems to lose its power. The same goes for the fear of losing Little Wing in The Red. Losing a child is not something to be taken lightly, but it’s thrown around so often that it carries no weight when the impact is supposed to hit.
Rafael Albuquerque brings the same rock star pencils to Animal Man as he does to American Vampire. His human figures as well as his monsters and mythological creatures all beam with life in each panel. The action spins as he displays a variety of poses and angles creating dynamic moments. The pacing and panel layouts work well, though a few pages seem a bit crowded, but when the art looks this great it’s hard to call too much of it a complaint as it doesn’t hinder the storytelling. Albuquerque’s art lying under the dark reds and blues provided by Dave McCaig’s colors create a wonderful atmosphere of impending doom and bloody death. The darkened hues flowing through this book maintain the somber tone of impending doom and help pull the reader in.
And the highlight of Animal Man #25, that I adored, was the lettering by Jared K. Fletcher. I really love that specific characters, mainly the creatures of The Red, Â get their own lettering styles. Reading dialogue boxes that don’t have the standard font but rather a squigle or a scrawl triggers my brain to read them with either a growled tone or a hiss. It’s details like this that createÂ three-dimensional characters and in this case brings life to fantastical creatures.
Review Score: 5 (out of 7)
Thoughts? Leave a comment below or find me on Twitter (@theprophetlen)