Animal Man is without a doubt one of the best books DC is publishing right now. This series entered Rotworld a strong title, and ever since Rotworld ended has been absolutely amazing. While the seeds were planted in the last issue, this issue really distinguishes the different directions the two heroes of the Red will be going in. Maxine is on a journey to bring her recently deceased brother back to life. It’s comics, so anything is possible, but I can’t help but think that this is a futile attempt that will end up with her being even more heartbroken. Jeff Lemire does a fantastic job here voicing multiple views and developing this idea that there are some things that you can only learn by trying it for yourself. On the flipside, Animal Man is left fighting for his life as the Church of Blood kidnaps him to become one with the Red. Lemire is doing a great job with Animal Man’s mourning. While Batman has an entire family and support system that is helping him deal with his son’s death, Animal Man has been cut off entirely from his family, and as a result is left coping in a much different way. Steve Pugh’s art is amazing as usual. Coupled with Lovern Kindierski’s colors, Pugh’s art has brought out the best in Lemire’s story. 4.5/5
Batman’s quest through the stages of mourning continues as two women help break him out of his emotional cave, as well as his actual cave. Carrie Kelley returns to the series as the newly hired, by Alfred, dog caretaker. Three days a week she stops by and spends her time with Titus, who had abruptly lost his owner. Her interaction with Bruce is great, because she’s a reminder that he’s not the only one missing Damian. Obviously Tim, Jason, and Barbara didn’t want the boy to die, but at the same time their relationship with Damian was minimal. Alfred and Dick were the closest to Damian, and while Alfred has been helping Bruce cope this entire time, Dick’s part has yet to come. Which is why Carrie’s appearance in this issue is so important, because it highlights the fact that Bruce doesn’t necessarily need to mourn in solitude. Catwoman plays her part in this issue as well. She’s written perfectly by Peter Tomasi and illustrated beautifully by Patrick Gleason. She gets Batman out of the cave and into the world, saving a young girl. These two women did a fantastic job building the foundation to break Bruce out of his depression. 4/5
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