The Wednesday Run – September 7, 2011

DC’s supremacy over all-comics-interesting continues this month. I suppose releasing 52 brand new first issues will do that sort of thing.

Many of the titles from the company’s “new 52” that I thought would prove fascinating (and worth making a “Wednesday Run” for) have found there way in my Top 10 column. You can read about them here and here. Still, there is one title has steadily grown in interest to me. The re-launch of Animal Man, as written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Travel Foreman, may very well prove to be the entertaining dark horse of DC’s new 52 titles.

Animal Man #1
Written by: Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by: Travel Foreman
DC Comics

The character of Animal Man has been around since 1965 when he first appeared in the pages of Strange Adventures, drawn by the legendary Carmine Infantino. It wasn’t until 1988, however, under the pen of genre-shattering Grant Morrison, that the character took prominence, distancing himself form the regular DC Universe stable of characters and finding a home on the Vertigo Comics publishing side of things. You know, mature and edgy stories. This couldn’t have been more true of Animal Man, who famously broke the fourth wall with his writer at the end of Morrison’s twenty-six issue run.

Still staying in the zeitgeist of comic book readers over the past ten years – and especially in the past five – Animal Man sets to return, this time in the “Dark” corner of the DC Universe where the rest of the spiritual, magical and horrific DC comic book characters reside.

Under Lemire, Animal Man investigates his affinity for “The Red”, a sort of esoteric force governing all blooded animals on earth. Look for upcoming crossovers with the Swamp Thing comic where “The Green” will spotlight. Animal Man’s family, specifically his wife and daughter Maxine, will also be at the forefront of storytelling, something Lemire writes exceptionally well. Foreman’s scratchy, kinetic line work really does contain elements of dark horror. Horror, you see, will be fundamental to this series – and what better horror is there than the kind that affects family?

Advanced readings of the first issue have been highly praised and with Animal Man on the vanguard of cherished Vertigo-esque characters returning to the DC Universe proper, you should make like a cheetah this Wednesday – and pick this comic up!

Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column highlights a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!

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