Not Just Perfect, But Beyond
The Good: Travel Foreman nails it with another great cover. The split down the middle face is a bit of a cliche, but it works very well in its stark simplicity, and the usually calming blue actually makes things a little creepy since its a stark contrast to the usual red.
The panel layouts are fantastic this issue, following Swamp Thing's lead with the addition of Marco Rudy, Travel Foreman steps up his game to 11, producing some absolute outstanding work here. Not that it was bad before, but the art quality for the 'normal' scenes has returned to first issue quality, and the issue is absolutely chock full of godlike subtlety in the artwork. Some little divisions in panel layouts drawing the eye to certain details, slow transitions not blatantly pointed out, superb facial expressions. Travel Foreman has delivered the best issue of the series yet.
While The Green is showing a darker side, The Red is actually getting brighter. The Totems are displaying genuine emotion, kindness, willingness to reveal information, a desire to protect rather than go to war. The Green told Alec Holland that only The Green should be allowed to exist, barely mentioning The Red. The Totems straight up told Animal Man about Alec Holland.
Swamp Thing also fills every available space with black, but Animal Man has so much empty white. It's kind of creepy with it's hollow soulless kind of feeling.
Another parallel to Swamp Thing is the tremendous focus on Animal Man's family. Nobody would read a comic called 'Buddy Baker And His Family' but that's what this really is. It's a family drama that's interrupted and blown into astronomical and mythological proportions with the horror, and balanced out with superhero elements. Never does one overdo the others, everything is balanced out with finely tuned pacing.
The Bad: HA! Yeah right. Bad.
In Conclusion: 5.5/5
Yeah, that's right, I'm giving out another one of these. Animal Man #1 and #3 were just so perfect, and this issue was actually above and beyond those. The phenomenal pacing was taken up a notch, and the panel layouts began to get wild and experimental. This is easily within the top 3 at least of the New 52. It's unlike any other superhero comic on the market, and it's just an absolutely astounding piece of work that I will treasure for years to come.