‘Animal Man’ preview: Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman bid Buddy farewell

March 17, 2014 | 5:00 a.m.
anman cv29 Animal Man preview: Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman bid Buddy farewell

The cover for "Animal Man" No. 29, by Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman. (DC Entertainment)

The emotional final issue of “Animal Man” hits comic-book stores Wednesday, and Hero Complex readers can get an exclusive first look at five pages from the finale.

Written by Jeff Lemire, the New 52 series helped bring Buddy Baker, a.k.a. Animal Man, back to prominence in the DC Universe. Though the title delves into Buddy’s special power to borrow abilities from animals as well as his struggles with celebrity, the series’ real focus is his relationship with his family.

Over the course of the series, Buddy discovers his young daughter Maxine possesses dangerous powers and is destined to become the Avatar of the Red, which connects animal life on Earth. He sets out to protect her, as well as his wife, Ellen, and son Cliff, from the powers of the Black, also known as the Rot — a force that brings decay and death. Despite his best efforts, Buddy can’t protect his family from everything, and though Maxine cultivates her newfound Animal Girl powers and helps him defeat their foes, Cliff sacrifices his life to save his father.

Cover | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9

Issue No. 29, with art by Lemire and Travel Foreman, includes a heartbreaking look back at the family’s journey, including Cliff’s death, told by Maxine in the form of a bedtime story. Read the preview pages in the gallery or by clicking the links above.

Though “Animal Man” has come to an end, Buddy Baker is poised to return in “Justice League United,” from Lemire and artist Mike McKone. Previously called “Justice League Canada,” “United” debuts next month with a roster that so far includes Stargirl, Supergirl, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter and Adam Strange.

Are you ready to say goodbye to Lemire’s “Animal Man” run? Let us know in the comments.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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