“Animal Man” #22 Review

Animal Man #22

Written By: Jeff Lemire
Art By: Francis Portela, Steve Pugh

“Imagination is running wild” as Lemire, Portela and Pugh deliver an expertly creative and endearing issue with Animal Man #22. The team of Portela and Pugh show in a unique scenario how two very distinct styles can speak more for the script, and in this case, the hope in Maxine and the darkness falling on Buddy.

The scenes in the Red feature some of the most abstract art in comics, featuring familiar animals with truly gruesome body parts, while playing the scene as some childhood dreamland.

In the Red, Maxine seeks to bring her brother back to life, where she learns that despite now being a part of a supernatural world, she cannot bring him back. The characters Maxine interacts with bring out the innocence in her, as characters like the Shepherd (who would be traditionally terrifying) are written as folksy and whimsical, as though everyone she talks to is written from her perspective as a child.

Buddy endures one of the most twisted blood transfusions of all-time, sold by the art from Pugh. Going from the grounded streets, to half-animal, half-man monsters, Pugh adds genuine horror to the story. The twisted, dark threat Buddy faces in Brother Blood matches thematically the dead-end place he finds himself in his adult life.

With Animal Man #22 comes a truly layered, artful comic that deserves to be reread from multiple perspectives.

Score: 9.7/10