Animal Man: Deus Ex Machina

November 17, 2003 | Trades


Animal Man: Deus Ex Machina
Grant Morrison, Chas Truog, Doug Hazelwood
Vertigo/DC Comics
$30.95/$19.99 (Paperback)
**** (out of five)

Animal Man’s life has gone terribly wrong. His wife and children are dead. Murdered. There are gaps in his memory. He can’t remember how he gets from place to place.
And during a spiritual journey on peyote, he realizes the truth: he can see you.
People are watching him. And someone is controlling him, but whom?
The result is Deus Ex Machina, a collection of the culmination of writer Grant Morrison’s masterpiece of the early 90s. The third, and final, volume reprinting these tales, which saw Morrison take an obscure, and let’s face it, lame, character, and twist him into one of the landmark comic book stories of all time.
In a time in which brutal violence and “reality” was the hallmark of most popular titles, Morrison wrote the first really smart comic in several years.
Animal Man is figuring it out. He is a comic book character and someone is writing his life. How else can he explain the horrible things that have befallen him?
To get the answers most people are seeking, he does what many dream of — he seeks out his creator (well, actually just his writer).
The result is a brilliant story full of wit and creativity, which culminates in an illustrated conversation between Animal Man and Morrison that is not to be missed.
The only drawback of Deus Ex Machina, a Latin phrase meaning “God from the machine”, is the art. For those used to comic titles from recent years, which have held themselves up to a very high standard of art and have featured computerized colouring and detail, this book will seem cartoonish and rough, but the story more than makes up for it.

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