Saturday, August 10, 2013

Animal Man #16

"Rotworld: The Red Kingdom Part Four"

Writer Jeff Lemire
Artist Steve Pugh (pages 1-4, 8-14, 18-20)
Penciller Timothy Green II (pages 5-7, 15-17)
Inker Joseph Silver (pages 5-7, 15-17)
Colorist Lovern Kindzierski
Letterer Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor Kate Stewart
Editor Joey Cavalieri

The cover is by Pugh and Kindzierski, and I like the surprise factor of it. When we see a Green Lantern, we assume it'll be somebody like Hal Jordan. But instead, we got this guy:

Medphyll is a plant-based Green Lantern the Guardians of the Universe sent to battle the Rot, since he was the only member of the Corps that was immune to the Rot. The Guardians then sealed off the planet so the Rot wouldn't spread to other planets. Medphyll, however, was captured by an evil wizard named Blackbriar Thorn, who kept the Green Lantern in captivity for several months until he was rescued by Animal Man, John Constantine, Beast Boy, Black Orchid and Steel.

The heroes defeated the wizard, rescued the Green Lantern, and then teamed up with Frankenstein and his army to storm Arcane's stronghold. But as they got closer, they were attacked by Arcane's strongest zombie warriors — the Justice League — including the undead Flash, who took out a large portion of Frankenstein's army and killed John Constantine.

In the side story drawn by Timothy Green II, we learn that Animal Man's daughter, Maxine, willingly turned herself over to the Rot to save her family.

The Good:

The story. Jeff Lemire is a master, what can I say? I might not particularly enjoy this style and genre, but this comic book is a lot better than most of everything else. In this issue, I really liked the inclusion of the Green Lantern to show that Rotworld is potentially an intergalactic threat and not just a global threat. I also liked how Lemire saved the best characters (the Justice League) for last. These are the toughest of the tough, and as such, should be protecting the leader of this evil empire of decay. And I am happy that the Flash is shown to be incredibly powerful here, even in his zombie state.

The Bad:

Gory art. I didn't need to see Flash's hand stick through Constantine's chest. There's a million different ways he could have killed him. But actually, I guess I should be glad it wasn't worse, which it easily could have been. But as I've said before, and I'll say at least once more, this style is unsettling for me, and the only reason I'm putting up with it is to see what an evil Flash looks like.

Final score: 5 out of 10

Next time: Animal Man #17

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