‘American Vampire’ artist sinks teeth into Jeff Lemire’s ‘Animal Man’

July 03, 2013 | 11:52 a.m.
The cover for "Animal Man" issue No. 24, written by Jeff Lemire with art by Rafael Albuquerque. (DC Entertainment)

The cover for “Animal Man” issue No. 24, written by Jeff Lemire with art by Rafael Albuquerque. (DC Entertainment)

Rafael Albuquerque, artist and co-creator of the Eisner Award-winning Vertigo series “American Vampire,” is bringing his dark-and-gritty style to “Animal Man.”

Albuquerque is taking over art duties on the DC series, written by Jeff Lemire, beginning with issue No. 24 this October. Hero Complex readers get a first look at Albuquerque’s debut cover, right.

The series follows Buddy Baker, a.k.a. Animal Man, who puts his special power to borrow abilities from animals on the back burner while he focuses on being a family man. But after his young daughter Maxine starts to manifest dangerous powers, Buddy discovers their connection to the Red, which connects animal life on Earth and is the source of Buddy and Maxine’s abilities. After tragic events separate Buddy from his family, issue No. 24 picks up with his efforts to reunite them.

“‘Animal Man’ is a book that’s very close to my heart,” Lemire said in a statement. “Since we launched the series as part of the New 52, I’ve been blessed to work with two incredible talents in Travel Foreman and Steve Pugh, and now I get to collaborate with one of my favorite artists, and favorite people, in Rafael.”

Albuquerque’s experience on “American Vampire” makes him uniquely well-suited to emphasize both the horror and the human elements of “Animal Man”; “American Vampire,” written by Scott Snyder, has been a tender love story as much as a horror tale.

“Just wait until you see how he draws Maxine; it’s heartbreakingly beautiful,” Lemire said in the statement. “Rafael’s pages look so stunning. Full of kinetic brushwork and life.”

“Animal Man” issue No. 24 hits shelves Oct. 16.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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