When ‘Animal Man’ #9 closed, Buddy Baker was on a journey across the Red to meet the Totems while one of the Rot’s hunters had taken control of Buddy’s physical body and was on Earth trying to track down and destroy Buddy’s daughter Maxine!

This issue follows Buddy’s continuing journey with his goat-man guide as they cross the Red to reach the Totem. Inside the Red, they make a pit stop to try and destroy a block of the Rot that is infesting the Red.

Back on Earth, some of the members of Justice League Dark (John Constantine, Zatanna, and Madame Xanadu) attempt to warn Buddy’s wife Ellen of the coming danger from the Rot. Ellen’s having none of it. Despite Xanadu warning of dark visions about a Rot-controlled Earth and even revealing the cause of the apocalyptic future, Ellen takes her kids and flees.

Back in the Red, Buddy reaches the Totems only to discover that he can’t return to his body because it’s inhabited by the Rot’s hunter… but the Totems have an idea that will allow Buddy to return to Earth.

Jeff Lemire has taken readers into some strange realms through his run on ‘Animal Man’ and this issue is no exception. There are dog-headed creatures with wings, talking rhinos, and a creature with antlers growing from where its eyes should be. But Lemire does give us an interesting explanation of why the world within the Red behaves as it does and it’s one that will lend itself to a lot of stories in the future.

The art this issue is again from Steve Pugh who, as previously stated, is a wonderful match for the fleshy red gore within the Red.

If there’s a complaint about this issue is that there is so much focus on the Justice League Dark trio and their attempts to convince Ellen of the Rot’s danger. I expect that this is an attempt to introduce these characters to ‘Animal Man’ readers since Lemire took over writing duties on the ‘Justice League Dark’ book last issue.

But that’s a small complaint and doesn’t detract enough from Buddy Baker’s journey to make me not recommend this book. So go check it out!

Verdict: Buy

Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Steve Pugh
Cover by Travel Foreman