Animal Man. Issue 6. Comic Book Review

90s Miramax Superhero Film!

Animal Man #6
(Lemire. Leon. Foreman. Huet.) 

 

PREVIOUSLY… well, this is a standalone issue. You just need to know Buddy Baker starred in a film once.

This comic ends.

There’s your main critique. Well, that and we don’t get to see the whole of the Animal Man film. Lost? 90% of this issue revolves around Jeff Lemire and his crack team of artists letting us see the film that Buddy Baker made years ago. More embarrassing than porn, it’s a superhero film in the style of The Wrestler, showing what happens when someone broken can’t leave their addiction behind: in this case, being a superhero. It’s dark and gritty and realistically horrifying, a minimalist piece which shares little connection to Buddy’s actual life, while at the same time never feeling like an exercise in futility.

And it’s just brilliant.

Comic-book films within comic-books aren’t inventive as such. JMS did it in his Spider-Man run for some gallows humour. So did Bendis, to arguably better effect. But here, it’s not a joke. Lemire plays the dialogue a tad ham-fisted to underscore that this film isn’t of actual quality… yet he keeps it enthralling all the while, letting us see, as Johns does in a comedic way, the nature of the DC universe when it comes to superheroes.

We see them as Gods, but how do the people in the universe see them?

It might not have much to do with the ongoing arc, but this is a perfect self-contained issue. Lemire and co nail the look of a 90s Miramax style superhero film, a mix betwene Pulp Fiction and The Wrestler. Lemire is quickly emerging as someone who loves challenging his arists and the artistic conventions of the medium. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Grade: A+

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