If there's one thing, one plot element, that Morrison is famous for, it's here, in the on-the-page meeting of Animal Man and Grant Morrison. Everything, it seems, was working towards that moment, when the fourth wall abruptly ceased to exist entirely. It could have been gimmicky, but Morrison managed to pair that with a storyline about characters I actually cared about and were invested in. So when Buddy looks directly off the page and into the eyes of the reader? If you're invested enough, absorbed enough, care enough, it will give you a chill. It got me. It wasn't the last time in this book, either. The thing is, I really liked Buddy and his family, and the twists their story took were heart breaking.
There are faults, of course. The very Morrison fault of brilliant concepts presented as finished stories, which I expect. The meeting between Buddy and Morrison was a little underwhelming, too, though the background action added a surreal weight to Morrison's animal rights lecture. (And yes, although Buddy's newfound animal rights activism was Morrison putting his opinions in Buddy's mouth, they also make perfect sense for the character.) The art, too, is unremarkable. But there's such a solid core of decent metafiction and really great characters that I entirely forgive Morrison, this time.