Many of the 52 first issues of DC Comics’ New 52 relaunch have gone back for several printings. This is to be expected with major league titles like ‘Justice League’ and ‘Action Comics,’ both of which have already been back to the presses at least four times. But one of the sleeper hits coming out of the relaunch is the fresh take on the oddball superhero ‘Animal Man’. DC Comics just announced today that the first issue of this series, written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Travel Foreman, is now headed back for its fourth print.
‘Animal Man’ originally gained cult status in the late eighties when the character was revamped by Grant Morrison (who is doing the same for Superman right now over in ‘Action Comics’). Morrison’s Animal Man was a quirky anti-establishment hero who became popular with the college crowd. Jeff Lemire’s ‘Animal Man’ takes the character of Buddy Baker (aka Animal Man) into the real of pure horror.
In the first arc, Buddy Baker is a semi-retired superhero living in the suburbs with his family when his young daughter begins to manifest powers of her own. Buddy has the ability to channel animal powers and abilities. His daughter is able to resurrect dead animals. As the story develops, Buddy learns that his powers come from something called “The Red”. The Red is the force that binds all animal life on the Earth together and, as his daughter reveals, something has corrupted it.
What begins as a quirky superhero comic in the first few pages of issue #1 quickly became one of the best horror comics I’ve read in quite a long time. Plus, with the recently announced upcoming crossover with ‘Swamp Thing’ (himself an avatar of “The Green” – the plant equivalent of The Red), ‘Animal Man’ is one of my most recommended titles of DC’s New 52.
So, if you missed the first issue the first few times around, be sure to snag this first issue when it hits stands yet again very soon. And, if you’re already reading ‘Animal Man’, don’t forget… issue #4 hits newsstands tomorrow!