Review : Swamp Thing #2 & Animal Man #2

In my last article I threw a heap of praise on both Swamp Thing and Animal Man and I’m happy to report that EVERYONE who enjoys comics and  Horror movies  should be reading these two books. I’ll go further and say you should be reading these books back to back one after another because something amazing is happening here . You may not see it yet but both books have a connection. They are both bringing back Alan Moores’ amazing concept of Totems/Avatars to Swamp Thing and the DCU in a big way.  The Green representing mans’ connection to all things that are green such as foliage , plants , trees…. you get the idea. The Black which represents mans’ connection to Death and Barren land and finally the Red which represents mans’ connection to animals. Now bring on the Reviews!

 

The Green: A Love Story

Swamp Thing#2

Story: Scott Snyder

Art: Yanick Paquette

Review Score: 9

Right off the bat we get answers in this issue , tons and tons of answers. The first half of the book is spent establishing what the current Swamp Thing is and why hes coming back for Alec Holland in the first place . We get reintroduced to Alan Moores’ concept of The Parliament of Trees which leads to Scott Snyder establishing that there has been more than one Swamp Thing.

Here’s the catch Alec Holland was never apart of that Legacy. You see his chemical accident that killed him and created  the Swamp Thing we all knew from the late 80’s happened…well it kind of happened . Scott slips into the past history of both characters and only slightly tweaks a few things to make his take feel completely fresh and new.  You will feel sorry for the big Green lug and conflicted with both characters as a big choice lies ahead from their conversation.

Yanick Paquettes’ art again stands out as the work that I believe will move his career into Superstar status as an artist. He can draw images that make you feel sorrow and pain on one page and have you freaking out and sick to your stomach the next. His pacing and use of space is impeccable and his line work is made that much stronger by the inks . This is a book about Monster’s first and foremost and he lets his imagination run wild . By the end of this book if you don’t have night mares at the thought of someone chasing you with a broken neck and a creepy smile, than you probably aren’t able to read this article or said comic for that matter ( which ultimately makes me fear that your neck may be broken in a similar fashion , let the night mares begin) The book ends rather abruptly which is just fine by me . Comics this good are amazing  in monthly doses.

 

The RED : Run far, far away

Animal Man #2

Story: Jeff Lemire

Art : Travel Foreman

Review Score : 9.5

This book is insane ! I mean mouth agape at how well written and drawn insane. The book picks up right where #1 ended . Animal Man’s daughter seems to have her daddy’s gift too. Only her’s is  more Pet Cemetery in its nature .  Jeff Lemire has the ability to write something truly macabre in nature and yet create humor in it as well. This is instantly apparent when an argument with a neighbor ends with him screaming for help while pointing at the family with what use to be his hand. It seems there is a lot more to Maxine’s powers than she let on.

Another thing I like about the book is that there is always a family dynamic no matter how crazy the situation. Seeing Animal Man scold his daughter for sharing milk with one of her new dead pets is just one of many great character moments in this issue.  Each member of the family has their own voice and is unique which goes along way towards you genuinely caring about them in this book.

Travel Foreman continues to make something as simple as the suburbs look cool. Not to mention the moment Maxine and her dad decide to seek out the Red you will feel like you are  on an acid trip to hell. He continues to alter his style from one sequence to the next which works well for this book.  The colorist deserves a lot of the credit here too . His use once again of muted colors in the suburban sequences,  followed by backgrounds filled with Blue and Purple during Maxine and Animal Mans trip to the Red are fun and rewarding to look at. You will stare at a Splash page at the end of this book and you will want it in a frame .

My only complaint with the art is that in the last page of panels the story telling could have been better . I went back and forth a few times trying to establish exactly what was happening and I’m still a bit confused with the end and The Arrival of The Hunters Three. This book is shockingly good regardless and Jeff  is keeping a lot of this story close to his chest ,  but its the creative art and painstaking care he gives his characters that manage to shine in this book after 2 issues.  Into the Red indeed…. this is Highly Recommended!

Mike DeVivo

 Follow me on twitter @pandasandrobots

 

 

 

 

 

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