Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Trade Marks: Animal Man: Book 2 - Origin of the Species

When Animal Man was first on the shelves, I saw it as just another one of the relatively forward thinking and unique titles being published by DC at the time (Suicide Squad, Green Arrow, The Question etc... all fit into that category). I only picked up the odd issue here and there and was never really fully sold on the concept. Tackling the trades years later, I can really appreciate what Grant Morrison was trying to do - channelling his feelings as an angry young man into the Four Color world in a viable and entertaining way. I think that, for the most part, he succeeded and this second volume builds nicely on the momentum created in the first volume. With the back story out of the way, Morrison can focus on certain themes, such as Animal Rights and Apartheid. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these stories have actually dated quite well, and Buddy Baker remains a great everyman-type characters. Morrison uses guest stars such as Vixen and Bwana Beast to great effect, as he's able to put together a seemingly independent world here that manages to keep one foot in the larger DCU. All in all - it's a very entertaining and thought provoking read that manages to avoid being preachy. Trade Mark: A-

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