With every issue, Animal Man continues to get better and better. Many times when a story is filled with flashbacks, it inevitably causes the story to become muddled and confusing. That is far from the case with this book. Rather, Lemire is presenting two separate yet connected stories, simultaneously, and is succeeding in keeping everything interesting. Maxine’s part of the story, even though it takes place a year ago, is just as exciting as Buddy’s, especially considering she’s the true avatar of the Red. Pugh, Green, Silver, and Kindzierski are illustrating a masterpiece with this book. The art is distinct, unique, and just a touch raw, and all in all perfect for the story. The double cliffhanger is executed perfectly in both the writing as well as the art, leaving this reader anxiously awaiting the next issue. 4.5/5
Star City finds itself host to Hawkman and a group of angry Thanagarians as part of a crossover event. The issue itself is surprisingly decent, once you accept that the art will not be changing until issue #17. The story is fast paced, there’s a nice bit of action throughout the issue, and Green Arrow’s sidekicks make an appearance, which is always nice. Hawkman’s appearance is completely out of the blue, however, though that can easily be chalked up to the fact that the Earth is small and men with wings tend to get around. The biggest thing holding this issue back, and really Nocenti’s entire run, is the inconsistency in which Green Arrow is written. Sometimes he’s aloof and carefree, and then abruptly he’s serious and focused, without there being a change in the situation to warrant a shift in personality or tone. Nocenti’s take on Hawkman is much better than her grasp on Green Arrow has been her entire run, which is unfortunate. 2.5/5
Scott Snyder is writing up a fantastic story in this series. Swamp Thing, who is now in a desolate, dystopian future, is off to find the woman he loves and save the world, with only Boston Brand at his side. A great villain is able to take the hero out of his or her comfort zone, essentially taking away their confidence. What is fantastic about “Rotworld,” in both Animal Man and here in Swamp Thing, the heroes are not just out of their comfort zone, they’re in a world that is unnaturally uncomfortable. In a sense they’re cut off from the very thing that makes them a “hero,” and that is what makes this story so great. Swamp Thing is not just unsure of what to do, he is physically getting weaker with every step he takes, and that ups the ante for this story. Snyder has taken a relatively unknown hero and quite literally put the weight of the world on his shoulders, and it’s a blast to read. There have been quite a few fill in artists throughout the series, and they’ve all been fantastic, but there is something epic and grand about the way Yanick Paquette illustrates this book that makes it all seem perfect. 4.5/5
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