Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ani-Max One Shot

Ani-Max One-Shot
Created by Sharad Devajaran, Gotham Chopra and Jeevan Kang
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Jeevan Kang
Published by Dynamite Entertainment and Liquid Comics
Review by Lan Pitts
Click here for preview

"It was like this wave washed over me. I could sense every animal in the jungle. I had this connection to them, I was in tune with them. I understood every growl and chirp and grunt. I understood everything." -- Max Duncan

Imagine if you will, a hero that is Ben 10 meets DC's Vixen, and what you get is twelve year-old Max Duncan, aka Ani-Max. While on a vacation to the rainforest, Max becomes lost and is confronted by a panther who passes the mystical object known as the Animus Stone to Max. The panther transforms into an old man who informed Max of an impending danger and runs off. Max now possesses the ability to become part animal he touches, and his duty is to protect the Earth Spirits.

Marz hasn't touched anything all-ages since his Dragon Prince two years ago, and while the story may be as old as time (or at least as old as Dial H For Hero) it still has an underlining message of environmental consciousness. The message conveying is that the youth can be responsible for the planet they will inherit, so it's not exactly a Ben 10 rip-off story-wise. Max is someone who is willing to accept his responsibilities as the new guardian, in somewhat of a Harry Potter mentality. We don't know much about Max's main threat, the Locusts, as they were just mentioned by the former protector and hinted at the end of the issue.

Jeevan Kang's art is pretty standard for something like this. It's Sean Galloway mixed with Bruce Timm with a slice of Mike Kunkel for good measure. Layouts are simple and easy to understand. As this is a one-shot, I've heard that this is merely an introduction to the character in preparation for a venture into an animated project, which could easily work since the world is thinking more "green" these days. As a comic, it easily stands on it's own merits and I would recommend this to any Elementary School who are adding more and more comics to their library.

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