Saturday, October 26, 2013

Animal Man #24

I'm Team Brother Blood! That's a cool thing all the kids do, right? Make teams out of characters and shit? When I was a teenboy, we would say, "Golly gee, I sure as heck really respect Mr. Brother Blood! I wisht he were my uncle!"

I got into a bit of an argument with my downstairs neighbor a few nights ago about his late night music. As part of his evidence as to why I was wrong, he pointed out that I had horrible social skills. To which I said, "I know I do! I'm an anti-social recluse!" I don't know if he expected me to agree with his point but he was correct! I then called him a dick but he didn't find that characterization particularly apt. Man, I hate engaging with people and I particularly hate confrontations like this. I wonder what it was like on his side, arguing with a neighbor who could barely make eye contact with him? I just want to be left alone, dammit! Don't draw me out into the neighborhood to request some peace and quiet!

Apparently the greatest crime you can commit when living in a neighborhood is not interacting with the other people in that neighborhood. I should go to the next block party just to find out what the local legends are about me! I should also carry a big leather bound book covered in dried blood! Then when anybody says anything to me, I can scribble furiously into the book while occasionally glancing furtively over my shoulder.

One of my big fantasies when I was a kid was living in a completely abandoned city and exploring the houses of all the people that had suddenly gone missing. So that was my dream life. To be left alone while being able to explore the stories of the people that I didn't actually want to interact with previously. I like stories about people but I don't like to have to interact with people. I suppose that's why I have five times as many Tumblr Followers as Facebook friends.

Buddy Baker getting the good news!

Brother Blood may have infiltrated The Red by using Buddy Baker's blood but that's just the beginning. Blood has the backing of one of the Totems in the Parliament of Limbs and now it's time for them to go to war against the others. I hope there isn't too much battling between Creatures of the Red. Can we just get straight to the one on one cage match duel to the death between Brother Blood and Maxine? I may be an Initiate and Biggest Fan of Brother Blood but I really want to see him get his ass kicked by a five year old girl. So I guess I'm Team Maxine now!

The war kicks off with Brother Blood and his Totem Backer kicking the shit out of all the friendly, cute, benign animal Totems in the Parliament of Limbs. They don't put up much of a fight because they're peace loving peaceniks full of peace and love. Singing All You Need is Love might work to win a war in a cartoon but this is a fucking comic book! You need muscles and throat punches to win here!

See? This Totem gets it!

That Totem does get it too! His head ripped right off of his body! And then all the other Totems fall because it's The Red's turn to run amok and destroy the careful balance between Red, Green, and Grey. Except none of that can happen until Brother Blood murders a five year old girl. So good luck with that, Brother Blood, because even though this is a Teen Plus Rated Comic Book, I don't think little girls can be killed until you're in a Mature Rated Comic Book.

While war is breaking out in The Red, Buddy Baker gets a call from his wife Ellen informing him that their daughter has disappeared. And since she's a precocious little anti-hero, Buddy Baker probably knows that she's goofing off in The Red trying to save her brother Cliff. It's pretty much the only conclusion a person can come to.

Meanwhile Maxine and Socks and the Shepherd get the news that war has come to The Red. They need to find a place to gather their strength and their troops so they can make a stand. Which means they have to stop their search for Cliff. I must say, I didn't think Lemire would leave Cliff dead but I think that's what he's planning.

Even as The Avatar of the Red, she can't save everyone. It's an important lesson for Maxine to learn early.

I think this is a subtle difference between the lesson DC's big heroes learned and the lesson Spiderman learns. Superman learns through the death of his parents that he can't, ultimately, save everyone from everything. Batman spent his whole life understanding this which is why, I think, he's less traumatized by the piles of corpses left by the bad guys of Gotham. But Spiderman kind of realizes the opposite. He did have the opportunity to save his Uncle Ben and ignored it. The DC heroes learn about futility while Spiderman learns about responsibility. Ultimately, although tragic and sad, Spiderman's origin is more hopeful than the others. Unless it's all different somehow.

The Splinterfolk are sucked into The Red to be Blood's army. Back on Earth, The Church of Brother Blood has begun hunting down Buddy Baker to kill him. At first I thought Buddy would enter The Red to help Maxine, but she might be on her own. Buddy Baker recently had a falling out with the Totems and, I believe, was banished from The Red. So Buddy will have to make war on Earth while Maxine takes care of business in The Red. I guess. Maybe Buddy will just forget the whole thing and just enjoy his time at the award show.

I can't wait until The Chicken Thief movies are actually made.

Brother Blood's acolytes take over the award ceremony and send a message to Buddy Baker. They'll kill everybody at the show in an hour if he doesn't give himself up to be executed publicly. If Buddy doesn't give himself up, the movie industry will be ruined! Or maybe it will just save a lot of money as all the big name, big money actresses and actors are murdered by the Church of Blood. Movies still have to be made and now you can pay lesser stars less money and most likely get the same quality of acting (or better even!). Way to go, Church of Blood! Although what the fuck do I care?! It's not like that savings will get passed down to the moviegoer!

Animal Man #24 Rating: No change. There's a feel about this comic that brings me back to reading comics in my youth. A big part of the reason is that the bad guys have clear motivations that really don't rely on the hero of the book. Sure, they want to kill Buddy Baker and Maxine but that's only to help solidify Blood and his new Totem Master's power. Their main goal is to make The Red the most powerful force on Earth while they pull the strings. It's a fairly standard evil villain motivation but it makes more sense in this context than just a vague "I want to rule the world" mentality. Brother Blood has a perfect connection to The Red that I suppose I have to thank Howard Mackie and his editors for setting up. At least something decent came from The Ravagers comic book although Blood's character has been completely revamped here. Thank God! And by God I mean Lemire and the editors at DC that made the decision to change Brother Blood and not some unknowable cosmic entity that made it possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment