This volume collects all of Grant Morrisons seminal run on Animal Man. Making a character that was once a bit of a one trick joke into an interesting well rounded story.
The stories play around with ideas of continuity and rebooting in the world of comic books and the relationship between the protagonists and the writers. As the book goes on, it's as much a story about comic books as it is a comic book itself.
The Omnibus edition here is a nice chunky hardback, even though the book is pretty heavy and thick the spine holds up well. While not the most comfortable to read at times due to the sheer heft, the bindings are good so the volume should hold up to repeat viewing.
I would recommend this volume to any fan of comics, the writing goes way beyond simple cape adventures and is thought provoking. The art style by todays standards may seem a little old fashioned but it's of its time.
It's fantastic to see DC comics releasing historic runs like this in the big all in one format, here's hoping its a trend they continue.
Its great! - epic, wonderful story telling, a hefty tome of a book printed on excellent quality paper with a slight texture to the rugged dust cover. my only gripe is that as usual with a DC omnibus the binding is VERY tight, this is not as large a book as some others so the tight binding didn't distract from the overall experience as much as it could have done.
it collects all 26 issues of Grant Morrisons run and its a GREAT story, if you like your super hero stories with a dash of darkness and oddity.
It's really great. I'm going to let it simmer in my subconscious for a few months then read it again, I'm sure it will be even better the second time around - and that's the best complement i can really give an epic read like this. i want to read it again :)
** WARNING: Some spoilers below **
Grant Morrison is a very smart man, he tells stories in a smart way. This story is very smart, it is not a standard cape and mask battle romp or a Batman style detective story. Contrary to popular opinion its not even a social commentary on animal rights. Animal Man is the catalyst that the writer uses to tell a story about the nature of reality as perceived by comic book characters themselves and it really creeps up on you. at the starts your reading about a 'new to this stuff' super hero and by the end your reading about a seasoned hero who has been knee deep in strangeness for his whole life, a man who would do anything for his family and in the end goes in search of answers in places that you just don't expect.
Grant Morrison's Animal Man run is brilliant in terms of content, but it is the book format of the hard back omnibus which I wanted to write about. I have had issues with DC's omnibus editions in the past. The binding is almost always poor, and the readability of the books suffers as a consequence. This omnibus, whilst not up to the standard of Marvel's omnibuses, is nevertheless very good. This could well be down to the relatively short length- it is half as long as the impossible to handle Invisibles omnibus. The book is very well presented, in particular the cover hidden behind the dust cover, but more importantly is easy to read and handle once you have given the binding a bit of working to loosen it up.
This is more a review of the Omnibus product itself rather than the content; the latter is pretty much perfectly summarised in William Timothy Lukeman's review (from Amazon.com, below). Having said that, humor me ^_^
It's worth pointing out that this is the first time I've read Animal Man. I'd always dabbled in Morrison and liked most of what I read but I really started to dig deeper a few months ago. Animal Man is a standout moment in the writer's career and it's great to have it finally collected all in one place rather than having to track down the various softback volumes. It is - even after all this time - one of the more thought-provoking and strangely charming runs of any comic I've ever read. There's a good deal or meta-angst within, Animal Man subjected to all the whims and vagaries that Morrison's reflection on the medium of comics throws up. A few creators try to get cute mulling over the relationship between writer, hero and the printed page, but Morrison really feels to have offered one of the most (if not *the* most) personal and authoritative musings on the topic. In a way it reads like a more narratively-focused version of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics (which can only be a good thing) - both Morrison and McCloud choose to live amongst the natives rather than observe from afar. As well as that there's action, absurdity, laughter and drama...it really is the complete comics package.
And, speaking of packages, this Omni's a good one. It is a glue binding, yes, but it feels a good deal more rugged than the recent Invisbles Omni, as well as being a damn sight easier to handle. There's very few extras to speak of - in fact there's only a brief but entertaining foreword from Morrison which I'm sure has already been reprinted elsewhere - but the Brian Bolland artwork seething under the dust cover just about makes up for it. Seriously, this book's a real looker in its birthday suit. It's a shame that there's not the kind of commitment to developmental material available made elsewhere (as enjoyed in the Arkham Asylum TPD for example) and a word from Karen Berger or any number of Morrison's peers would have been great, but then again...maybe it was best to let the comics just do the talking? They certainly have plenty to say, and all of it's worth listening to.
Perhaps one of the best runs on an American cape comic.
This was the book that started it all for me, the comic that finally drew me into capes and the world of the big two. Grant Morrison does an absolutely astounding job at writing Buddy and his family and this is one run that you just can't miss. Issue #5 is perhaps one of the best single issues of a comic in my opinion. The run spans for 26 issues but will pass you in a blink of the eyes, There can be a bit of a slump in the middle for an issue or two when Morrison tries something a little different, but the pace picks right back up. The pacing and story overall are a million miles ahead of Jeff Lemire's current run on Animal Man and is much more focused and rewarding.
A comic filled with many magic, unforgettable moments and a must have for fans of Animal Man and Vertigo in the 80's & 90's. If you enjoy this, I can only continue to recommend the Animal Man trades that DC are releasing with Milligan's run.
If you're unsure about picking it up, give it a go. If you don't like it, donate it to a library or charity and maybe you too can kickstart someone's journey into comics.