So after 5 issues of both Animal Man and Swamp Thing in the books things are looking worse than ever for both of our heroes . Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire are in top form on their respective books , finishing up their first arcs on the way to introducing Dead World to us starting with issue six. Without further adieu , lets get to the reviews for both Swamp Thing and Animal Man.
Story by: Scott Snyder
Art By: Yanick Paquette
Review Score : 9 / 10
Issue five of Swamp Thing starts in Brazil far removed from Texas where we last saw Abby Arcane and Alex Holland .Snyder introduces us to yet another carrier of the Rot and immediately reminds us that this is a Dark book . The Professor reveals a nasty case of the Rot under his shirt and the Tribesman stare in Horror as it infests and snaps their necks and sends them into the depths of the jungle.
Back in Texas Abby and Alec are stocking up supplies getting ready to head Towards her Rot infested younger Brother William. Scott Snyder chooses to let Alec share another moment with Abby that helps set up that Alec continues to borrow memories from the former Swamp Thing and his Love for Abby. As soon as they leave the store Abby and Alec are greeted by William and his undead Army of cattle and pigs. Snyder finally amps up the action and lets Alex tap into his powers just enough to show us how much potential Alec has as Swamp Thing in the future.
Yanick Paquette handles the art this entire issue and his ability to lead into certain scenes by using framed panels is nothing short of amazing . He may just be the best lay out Artist at DC. What begins as a page broken up by vines eventually gives way to blots of Blood helping create the tension from page to page. When Alec starts to tap into The Green this issue its Yanick’s pencils that show us how powerful Alec is . The variation from page to page is constant , this is a Damn pretty book.
After Alec makes short work of Williams army , he shares a kiss with Abby and that one kiss is just what William and the Rot were hoping for . The moment is drawn beautifully and the sudden shock that Alec is now infected by the Rot is all the more painful when Scott takes us back to Brazil where we see that the Professor has located the Parliament of Trees. This issue delivered at every step and sets up the next Arc Dead World nicely. You owe it to yourself to read this book . If this isn’t in your pull list at this point you are truly missing out on one of DC’s best titles of the Relaunch.
Story By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Travel Foreman , Steve Pugh and Jeff Huet
Review Score : 9.5/10
Animal Man #5 begins with the Baker family split up . Clifford and Ellen are fighting for their lives versus the Final Hunter while Buddy and Maxine rush to come to their rescue. The action in this issue is fast and gut wrenching . Each member of Team Animal Man has at least a moment to shine in this issue and its nice to see that when things get dire , this family sticks together . It’s a testament to Jeff Lemire as a writer that you care for every one of these characters . There are several moments in this issue where I was scared that this would be the last time I saw them alive. It’s that sense of anything can happen that truly makes Animal Man a special book.
Buddy and Maxine arrive just in time to have Buddy take on the last Hunter and the results are horrifying. Travel Foreman must be a troubled person . He manages to draw things that are so out there and grotesque yet manages to ground the book in reality at the same time. This issues climax alone made me both squeamish and in awe at what i was seeing on the page. If Yanick Paquette is one of the best layout artists in DC then Travel Foreman is one of the most imaginative artists. The Hunter is truly grotesque and his ability to draw clean and well structured scenes around such a complicated figure needs to be commended. It also should be mentioned that Steven Pugh works in tandem with Travel Foreman on this issue and it their work together is a bit cleaner than any of the past issues . I would have liked to see them do the entire issue but Jeff Huet comes in for the last few pages and does a nice job.
Maxine getting a sense that her Dad is in serious trouble uses her powers of The Red and sends every Animal in the Forest after the Final Hunter . The animals come down in a fury and begin eating the Hunter but it turns out that’s exactly what the Rot wanted as it has now made its way into the Reds lifeline and infected all living things it comes into contact with. The Baker Family narrowly escapes from the Rot and with the Baker family wondering what to do next . Its their new Cat Socks that tells them “Only Swamp Thing can save us now” . Setting the series up for its crossover with Swamp Thing in perfect fashion. Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman’s Animal Man is one of the best books on the stands and I can’t wait for the start of Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder’s Deadworld.