By Jeff Lemire & Travel Foreman
Man, this book has been something else. Since it launched back at the beginning of the New 52, Animal Man has been an upper echelon book as far as writing is concerned. Jeff Lemire took this character, who already had some pretty great stories in the past, and put him through the wringer and wrote one of, if not the, definitive Animal Man stories. Issue #29 caps off Lemire’s run, as well as the series, in a beautiful and heartfelt fashion by focusing on what the series has always been about: Family.
It’s great to see everything come full circle and to get some closure on all the characters we have come to love in the last few years. I always figured Socks would end up pretty high on The Red foodchain, but it was nice to see Shepard get equal respect as he has become so loved by many of the readers of this series.
Appropriately, the final issue spends the majority of the time focusing on Buddy and Maxine. Their relationship has been the center of this series and Lemire gets their time together on the page perfect time and again.
Not only does Lemire write the issue, he also contributes to a significant portion of the art in the book. I’m a big fan of Lemire’s art and was curious whether or not his style would fit in a book like Animal Man. My fears were put to rest on the first Lemire-drawn page. the way his art was implemented worked beautifully.
The final issue also brought the return of Travel Foreman and as usual his art is a treat. There isn’t anything special about what he is drawing. Foreman’s tone manages to change even the most mundane of scenes into something magical. It was great to have him back for the book’s final issue even if it was just for a few pages.
Animal Man has been a series that defied a lot of odds and introduced many, myself included, to Buddy Baker and his family. I’m excited to see Buddy’s stories continue under Lemire’s watch in the new series Justice League United but it will be hard to top the excellence that this series gave us month after month. Goodnight, Animal Man.