Last issue was a filler issue that gave us a look at Buddy Baker’s film career. This issue, we get a look inside Buddy Baker’s head as he gets a glimpse of a future that may come to pass if he is unable to stop the Rot from spreading. The dream sequence in which Buddy meets Swamp Thing, Animal Woman, and a trench coat wearing old man who writer Jeff Lemire has already confirmed is actually John Constantine, is actually pretty fun to read. Sadly, the rest of the story mostly more filler as Buddy takes his son into town to get supplies and a few random pedestrians are killed by rampaging black animals affected by the Rot.
There’s nothing in this issue that really does much to move the story along. Even the reveal of the identity of Animal Woman isn’t really a shock to anyone who’s been reading this series so far. In the end, Lemire does his best to flesh out his characters a bit without actually taking the story anywhere. I don’t know if this is Lemire’s choice or if he’s putting the story into a holding pattern while he waits for his pal Scott Snyder to catch up over in the pages of ‘Swamp Thing’. Either way, it makes for a mostly boring read and yet another ‘Animal Man’ issue that I can’t recommend unless you’re collecting every issue anyway.
The art does get a little infusion again with Steve Pugh stepping in to do three quarters of the pencil work this issue, while Travel Foreman covers the other five pages. Pugh’s art is more realistic and less gritty than Foreman but it still fits Lemire’s writing. It’s just odd that the art seems to change up from one page to the next with no real reason. It may have been better suited if Pugh handled the dream sequence, while Foreman handled the waking world. As it is, it’s not bad. It’s just jarring.
ANIMAL MAN #7
Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by TRAVEL FOREMAN and STEVE PUGH
Cover by TRAVEL FOREMAN