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!"
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.