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  1. #1
    Spectacular Member theboychild's Avatar
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    Default What makes Animal Man so amazing?

    Just bought the omnibus yesterday and I'm excited to read it. Heard it's Morrison's most notable work.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Timothy Hunter's Avatar
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    It's not his best. Morrison has gone on to write better things. However it is helpful to understand his later work, especially those that relate to the multiverse.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Timothy Hunter's Avatar
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    Anyhow, to answer your question, I think "what makes Animal Man so amazing" is good editors.

    Karen Berger, Tom Peyer, etcetera.The early Vertigo Era must have had some really excellent, dependable
    editorialship considering how much high quality work was churned out.
    Last edited by Timothy Hunter; 10-15-2018 at 10:09 AM.

  4. #4
    (Formerly ilash) Ilan Preskovsky's Avatar
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    It remains one of my absolute favourite things that Morrison has ever written. The opening few issues are fairly standard superhero stuff but it soon becomes something much more interesting. "Meta", yes, but also an intelligent and moving look at the way storytelling and existential philosophy interact. That said, it doesn't vanish up its own naval because it does all this through an exciting and page-turning superhero comic that's definitely not afraid to tug at your heartstrings. It was published before the establishment of Vertigo but it's a quintessential early Vertigo book. The art is serviceable more than anything but the clean and clear linework is a perfect fit for the more heady and trippy ideas that are found in the writing itself.

    Part of its acclaim was definitely about how original it was at the time but I think even without that, it's a really excellent, thought-provoking read with Morrison at both his smartest and most accessible.
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  5. #5
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Before Morrison's work became dense and often confusing, he brought out Animal Man which is much more accessible, but has a lot of the same mad meta-fiction ideas which make him great. It's also possibly Morrison's most emotional work for me.

    As Ilan said, the first four issues are fairly standard, but issue 5 (The Coyote Gospel) is when you first get a glimpse of real greatness.

    The art is merely functional though. It doesn't look good, but the storytelling is fine, so it doesn't get in the way. It's a shame that the definitive Animal Man artist - Steve Dillon - only came along after Morrison left.

  6. #6
    Incredible Member The Odd Man's Avatar
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    Still own the complete original run. Loved all those Bolland covers!

  7. #7
    (Formerly ilash) Ilan Preskovsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancj View Post
    Before Morrison's work became dense and often confusing, he brought out Animal Man which is much more accessible, but has a lot of the same mad meta-fiction ideas which make him great. It's also possibly Morrison's most emotional work for me.

    As Ilan said, the first four issues are fairly standard, but issue 5 (The Coyote Gospel) is when you first get a glimpse of real greatness.

    The art is merely functional though. It doesn't look good, but the storytelling is fine, so it doesn't get in the way. It's a shame that the definitive Animal Man artist - Steve Dillon - only came along after Morrison left.
    I actually think the art is a bit better than you're giving it credit for. Not that it's flashy or particularly eye-catching but it is expressive where it needs to be and the clarity of the storytelling really allows Morrison's more trippy ideas room to breathe. It's not my favourite artwork by a million miles - and there were much better artists around at the time too - but it was actually exactly what Animal Man needed.

    Though, yes, Steve Dillon would have been a similar but significantly more impressive fit.
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  8. #8
    Mighty Member upgrayedd's Avatar
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    The randomness and creativity he has to use with the powers that are available. He can't reach into his utility belt and pull out Bat Shark repellent. He has to reach into the field and see what he can use. The time he got his arm ripped off and he reached out and found a worm and regenerated his arm... perfect example of why Animal Man is amazing.
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  9. #9
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilan Preskovsky View Post
    I actually think the art is a bit better than you're giving it credit for. Not that it's flashy or particularly eye-catching but it is expressive where it needs to be and the clarity of the storytelling really allows Morrison's more trippy ideas room to breathe. It's not my favourite artwork by a million miles - and there were much better artists around at the time too - but it was actually exactly what Animal Man needed.
    I don't totally disagree. It is definitely the right style for the book. It did improve a lot by the end too.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by upgrayedd View Post
    The randomness and creativity he has to use with the powers that are available. He can't reach into his utility belt and pull out Bat Shark repellent. He has to reach into the field and see what he can use. The time he got his arm ripped off and he reached out and found a worm and regenerated his arm... perfect example of why Animal Man is amazing.
    The way he saves the life of B'wana Beast shows how underrated Buddy is. Although B'wana Beast is underrated too.

  11. #11
    Amazing Member gordonm's Avatar
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    I loved Morrison's run on this title. Creative and format-breaking with a purpose. The end of Buddy's search for answers as to why he's suffered so much was fantastic.

  12. #12
    Mighty Member Timothy Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancj View Post

    The art is merely functional though. It doesn't look good, but the storytelling is fine, so it doesn't get in the way. It's a shame that the definitive Animal Man artist - Steve Dillon - only came along after Morrison left.
    No disrespect to Steve Dillon; He was a superlative artist. However, especially considering how inconsequential Tom Veitch's run is, I wouldn't say he is the 'definitive' Animal Man artist. To me that has always been Steve Pugh.

  13. #13
    Relaunched, not rebooted! SJNeal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    No disrespect to Steve Dillon; He was a superlative artist. However, especially considering how inconsequential Tom Veitch's run is, I wouldn't say he is the 'definitive' Animal Man artist. To me that has always been Steve Pugh.
    Ditto. To this day Pugh remains my favorite, with Travel Foreman a close second.

    Dillon is great, but he had the misfortune of being paired with Tom Veitch...
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  14. #14
    Spectacular Member theboychild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by upgrayedd View Post
    The randomness and creativity he has to use with the powers that are available. He can't reach into his utility belt and pull out Bat Shark repellent. He has to reach into the field and see what he can use. The time he got his arm ripped off and he reached out and found a worm and regenerated his arm... perfect example of why Animal Man is amazing.
    Yeah, that worm scene was incredible!

  15. #15
    Spectacular Member theboychild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilan Preskovsky View Post
    It remains one of my absolute favourite things that Morrison has ever written. The opening few issues are fairly standard superhero stuff but it soon becomes something much more interesting. "Meta", yes, but also an intelligent and moving look at the way storytelling and existential philosophy interact. That said, it doesn't vanish up its own naval because it does all this through an exciting and page-turning superhero comic that's definitely not afraid to tug at your heartstrings. It was published before the establishment of Vertigo but it's a quintessential early Vertigo book. The art is serviceable more than anything but the clean and clear linework is a perfect fit for the more heady and trippy ideas that are found in the writing itself.

    Part of its acclaim was definitely about how original it was at the time but I think even without that, it's a really excellent, thought-provoking read with Morrison at both his smartest and most accessible.
    I agree that the first few issues were definitely standard superhero stuff. Haven't reached the best part yet.

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