This book is in a weird place right now. It just wrapped up a storyline that was basically 18 issues long, it was an epic, and unlike Swamp Thing, the creative team isn’t changing. Where does Lemire take and Animal Man now that doesn’t seem like small potatoes compared to Rotworld? The answer is the up the personal stakes. Last issue ended with the shock death of Buddy Baker’s son Cliff, and whilst I thought that was kind of cheap at first, the way it’s handled here is really good. Obviously, having a kid that dies is one of the worst things that can happen to a person, and Lemire really nails the seriousness of this situation. I wonder if we’ll see Animal Man and Batman bond with each other over the deaths of their respective sons, that would be very interesting to see. But the immediate impact is more important, Buddy’s marriage is now over, he’s threatening to kill members of the press, and to top it all off, he’s been cut off from The Red. Now of course, the most famous Animal Man story before this involved all of Buddy’s family getting killed, and that was reversed, and I can’t help but feel that maybe Cliff will be back somehow. Maxine certainly seems to think so too. This was an emotional issue, and I’m excited to see where Lemire takes things. Also noteworthy in this issue was Steve Pugh’s art, he’s been good before, but to my eyes, this was a real step up, this issue was beautiful. So, whilst this issue doesn’t have the epic scale of Rotworld, it’s different, it’s more personal, it’s probably better.