By Jeff Lemire and Cully Hamner
With it announced last week that Animal Man will be concluded at issue 30, it became clear that every issue counts from here on out. While the cliffhanger last month of Buddy being transported to an alien planet seemed out of left field and a bit out of character for the series, issue 26 makes things clearer and moves Buddy into place for his grand finale.
Jeff Lemire clearly has a plan for where he is taking Buddy in these final issues, and he drops a potential life changing decision on Animal Man in this issue. Lemire has brought in many cool and creative additions to the Animal Man mythos, but the addition of The Bridgewalker and the Seed Planet are definitely at the top of that list. With Lemire at his side, Animal Man seems to be climbing the ladder from a C-level hero to something much stronger.
Although Rafael Albuquerque’s art is missed in this issue, his style probably wouldn’t have fit with issue 26 like Cully Hamner’s does. At first the art change is a bit off-putting, but after a few pages it becomes clear that Hamner was the right artist for the job for this more cosmic issue. His art doesn’t have as strong an impact in the very few scenes of Buddy in the Red, but everything on the Seed Planet looks top notch.
With only a few months left on this series, every issue counts. Lemire clearly knows where he is going with Animal Man and how he wants to get there. There has been a lot to love from this series since it launched so catch up if you haven’t been reading and join everyone else for this final arc.