My goodness, can this book get any better? Seriously? There has to be a saturation point of awesomeness somewhere along the line, but Jeff Lemire and Travel Forman are pulling out all the stops on Animal Man. The action in issue 5 is insane, and the freaky horror makes the book so gripping.
As Buddy and Maxine return from their trip through the red, Cliff and Ellen are being attacked by the ridiculously warped agent of the rot, and buddy gets there just in time.
Maxine is able to save the day by utilizing the aid of a bunch of animals, but her intervention has dire consequences. The last page sets up the inevitable crossover with Swamp Thing., which is great, because that book is awesome as well. I love the interconnectedness between the two books, with Animal Man being part of the Red, Swamp Thing being of the Green and the Rot, which both are fighting, are the Black.
I also love the family dynamic in Animal Man, and it plays out well in this issue. As a happily married man, one of my pet peeves is the lack of solid, committed families in comics. I love that Buddy is totally and unequivocally committed to his family. The stuff with his daughter, Maxine is really cool as well. I love the idea that a little girl knows more about her Father’s powers than he does. Maxine is like a cross between Layla Miller and Valeria Richards.
Travel Foreman’s art is fantastic. I know not everyone likes his style, but it suits the book really well. I love the thin but hard lines, and his horror elements are just downright creepy. Animal Man is, for me, the best thing DC is publishing, and Issue 5 just solidifies its pole position even further.