Animal Man #11
- I was confused about what exactly was wrong with the art until I realized that it was Alberto Ponticelli from Frankenstein drawing it. He also drew the issue of Frankenstein recently that was sort of an Animal-Man tie-in. I’m wondering if he wouldn’t be a better fit for Animal Man than Steve Pugh? Ponticelli’s rough outlines and grotesque creatures seem like they would be a great match to Travel Foreman’s original art.
- The aliens are back! I love these guys.
- The Red is a place that constantly surprises me, I always think of it as a sort of stoic, mysterious place but the denizens of this dimension have varied personalities that makes it so this place is actually fun to read about as more than “this is where Buddy Baker’s powers come from”. It makes sense, the Red is a bit more “human” than the Green, which is the embodiment of plant life.
- I cringe when I think about how much horrifying bodily harm comes across our hero. He is not spared from all the creepy stuff that goes on around him. So far he has had his body mutated and ripped apart several times, oh yeah and he died once. Is this the opposite of plot armor? Or is that just reinforced by the fact that he keeps coming back?
- Buddy gets new powers that change him visually as if to match Swamp Thing’s recent transformation into warrior king of the Green.
- I wish there were more occurrences of Buddy using his powers like he did in the first issue, taking the napping abilities of a cat or the bark of a dog to freak out his villains, or even the weight of a bumblebee so he doesn’t wake up his kids in the middle of the night.
- The art made me expect to see Frankenstein, which, hey- wasn’t that foreshadowed in issue 10 by Constantine?
- Animal Man has been feeling really compressed lately, this current arc felt like filler leading up to Rot World. In the end Buddy got an upgrade but that is about it. Next issue, however, promises to be the start of something huge!
Action Comics #11
- This issue begins with a Metalek, a villainous alien race that Grant has been seeding into the DCU for years now- but hey, weren’t they supposed to be British villains?
- Readers have been a bit confused about Superman’s outfit- despite having his Kryptonian Armor, he still frequently wears the original T-Shirt and Jeans. They’ve been looking at his costume in binary terms, the shirt meaning the story is in the past and the armor meaning the present, but Morrison’s (assuming it wasn’t Rags’ idea) insistence that he switch brings a layer of subtlety to our hero. He isn’t just some action figure superhero- he sees the situation he is dealing with and matches his clothing appropriately. When he has to deal with people on a more street-level (despite fighting a giant Transformer) he wears his casual outfit to make him seem more approachable. I honestly hope the T-Shirt never goes away, it is probably my favorite Superman costume ever.
- The ridiculously long-term story-telling that we’ve seen in Grant Morrison’s Batman run (there are plot threads from five years ago that we are just now seen bearing fruit) seems to be at play here. How long does Grant plan on staying on Superman? I guess he needs an major idea outlet for when his Batman run ends.
- At first I thought Action Comics was going to be like a “Greatest Hits” album for the New 52 Superman, but it becoming evident that this is a big story and not as episodic.
- We get to see a very early World’s Finest here- and it is fantastic. This new, more socially concerned Clark Kent really plays well off of Bruce Wayne.
- Susie Tomkins is a golden age Superman villain! Well, not really a villain more like a nuisance. But I just found that out and thought it was cool.
- Rag’s art is great here, it feels like characters are actually taking up the space they’re being projected in. I have grown used to the sometimes-wonky eyes.
- It isn’t a seamless transition from Morales’ art to Brad Walker’s, but Walker is a good enough artist that it doesn’t feel like he is just “another fill-in artist”.
- The back-up story is great- simple, self-contained, and funny. Sholly Fisch is one of the unsung heroes of the New 52. Give Fisch a Steel ongoing or put him/her on Superman or something!
- I have heard a lot of complaints about Action Comics feeling too decompressed, which can be applied to a lot of DC ongoings right now- but what we are seeing isn’t decompression, we are being bombarded with story. It just requires multiple read-throughs of the entire series and a bit of patience for things to come to fruition. So I guess it is decompressed in a weird way…. but i’d say this is a good way.