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DC Comics' 'Animal Man' No. 6 Preview (Exclusive)

Written by Jeff Lemire, this issue of the horror comic centers on the independent film that starred hero Buddy Baker.

Animal Man
DC Comics

This week, Animal Man no. 6 hits the shelves and appropriately the story features a cool movie tie-in.

Animal Man is one of the more interesting books of DC’s New 52 relaunch and is written by Jeff Lemire, a well-regarded writer of independent books now making his mark in DC’s corner of the off-beat and dark (he also writes Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.).

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Animal Man is a horror comic but this issue centers on the independent film mentioned in earlier issues that our hero, Buddy Baker, acted in before the timeline begun with Animal Man no.1.

As the opening credits reveal, the movie is called Tights from "Liramax Films" directed by "Ryan Daranovsky."

“This issue is a bit different in that it focuses in the ‘indie film’ that part-time superhero, part-time actor, full-time Dad, Buddy Baker made before all of this trouble began,” Lemire tells Heat Vision. “The character that Buddy plays in the ‘film’ is a washed up superhero who has lost almost all connection to his own wife and son. It is very much a mirror reflecting Buddy's darkest fears back on him. The film is a metaphor for what he may become if things don't turn out right.”

Lemire also said the movie is heavily modeled after character movies like Darren Aronovsky's The Wrestler or Wim Wender's Don't Come a Knockin', and that he tried to pace the comic like a film.

“Artist John Paul Leon and I employed mostly horizontal, widescreen panels in our layouts so the book reads like your watching a film or TV screen rather than looking at a page of panels,” he said. “And I tried to pace the dialogue and scene cuts the way a film editor might.”

For Lemire, Animal Man is the most realistic of all the superheroes. “He has a real life: A wife, kid, a mortgage to pay,” explains Lemire. “He doesn't dress up and fight giant cosmic despots, he is fighting to keep his family together and pay the bills amidst all kinds of weird and horrible things. In other words he is a character that most readers can actually relate to.

Here’s a preview of Animal Man no.6, which will be on sale Wednesday.