Ani-Men

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Ani-Men
The cover to X-Men #95, featuring the original Ani-Men fighting the X-Men. Art by Gil Kane and Dave Cockrum.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Daredevil #10 (Oct 1965)
Created by Wally Wood and Bob Powell
In-story information
Member(s) Ape-Man, Bird-Man, Cat-Man, Dragonfly, Frog-Man

The Ani-Men is the name of several fictional teams within the Marvel Universe. Four of them are villain groups, while one of them was introduced as a team of agents serving the High Evolutionary.

Fictional team history[edit]

Original Ani-Men[edit]

The original lineup of Ani-Men (Ape-Man, Bird-Man, Cat-Man, Frog-Man) are recruited by a man named the Organizer. The Organizer is secretly Abner Jonas, a candidate for mayor of New York City, who sends the Ani-Men on missions to undermine the current administration. Daredevil defeats them and the Ani-Men and Organizer all go to prison.[1] Later, Ape-Man, Bird-Man, and Cat-Man form a team called the "Unholy Three" and work with the Exterminator.[2]

Count Nefaria creates a new team of Ani-Men, consisting of Dragonfly and new iterations of Ape-Man, Bird-Man, Frog-Man, and Cat-Man. Nefaria's scientists submit the unwilling Ani-Men to processes that give them superhuman powers. Following an assault on the NORAD base at Mount Valhalla, they are all captured by the X-Men.[3]

Nefaria sends the four original Ani-Men to kill Tony Stark; however the Spymaster had intended to kill Stark with a bomb, which kills the Ani-Men instead.[4]

Dragonfly continues her career as a villain, both on her own and as part of a team, such as the Femizons,[5] and the Masters of Evil.[6]

Exterminator's Ani-Men[edit]

The Exterminator, now known as Death-Stalker, recruits a new team of Ani-Men, with a new Ape-Man, Bird-Man, and Cat-Man.[7] He sends the new Ani-Men to capture Matt Murdock. The Black Widow defeats Bird-Man, and Death-Stalker murders Ape-Man and Cat-Man upon the completion of their mission.[8]

The Bird-Man is later murdered by the Scourge of the Underworld in the "Bar with No Name" incident.[9]

High Evolutionary's Ani-Men[edit]

A new group wearing the name Ani-Men are a bunch of New Men created by the High Evolutionary that carries out his orders. The High Evolutionary's Ani-Men included Buzzard (an evolved hawk), Crushtacean (an evolved crab), Flying Fox (an evolved bat), Komodo (an evolved lizard), and Spinneret (an evolved spider). The Evolutionary dispatches the Ani-Men to a laboratory operated by his former assistant Miles Warren (the Jackal) to clean up Warren's files. After three weeks, the Ani-Men are almost done with their cleanup and have spread a virus into all of Warren's files, but they are discovered by the Scarlet Spider. When the High Evolutionary teleports the Ani-Men back to his home base at Wundagore, the Scarlet Spider is accidentally brought with them, having stuck himself to Crushtacean with his webbing. Later, the Scarlet Spider joins members of the Cult of the Jackal in sneaking into the citadel of the High Evolutionary in an attempt to learn the truth about Warren's involvement with the High Evolutionary. The Ani-Men come to face the cult members and the Scarlet Spider, but the fight is brought to an end after the Scarlet Spider is able to learn the truth from the High Evolutionary. The High Evolutionary sends the Scarlet Spider home, but Crushtacean foolishly touches a ball of impact webbing the hero has left behind, covering himself and the other Ani-Men with webbing, much to their embarrassment.[10]

Independent Ani-Men[edit]

This assemblage has no known connection to any prior incarnations or any info on their history. This group consists of Giraffe-Man (a humanoid giraffe), Great Horned Owl-Man (a humanoid great horned owl), Pig-Man (a humanoid pig), and Rabbit-Woman (a humanoid rabbit). The history of this incarnation of the Ani-Men are unknown except for the fact that they resemble humanoid animals of what each one is based on. They attack the Milwaukee Convention Center, holding humans responsible for transgressions against the animal kingdom. Model Ashley Crawford (AKA Big Bertha) is at a modeling shoot there and phones her teammates in the Great Lakes Avengers for help. By the time the Great Lakes Avengers show up, the actual Avengers are there and tell them to sit this one out so that they won't get hurt. The Ani-Men are defeated by the Avengers.[11]

Hammerhead's Ani-Men[edit]

During the Secret Wars storyline, a new version of the Ani-Men (consisting of a new Ape-Man, Bird-Man, and Frog Man) commit crimes while the heroes are on Battleworld. They obtain the equipment of the original Ani-Men and use it to rob a vault wagon only to be opposed by the NYPD.[12]

A new set of these Ani-Men (consisting of a new Ape-Man, Bird-Man, Cat-Man) are among the many criminals hired by Hammerhead during the Civil War in an effort to take over the underworld while the Kingpin is incarcerated. Unbeknownst to them, the Kingpin has tricked Iron Man into leading a S.H.I.E.L.D. unit to the warehouse where they are meeting, which Iron Man believes to be the headquarters of Captain America's Secret Avengers. Iron Man and the S.H.I.E.L.D. unit break in, and a huge fight breaks out. The battle results in arrests, injuries and death, but it is unrevealed if any of those apply to the new Ani-Men.[13]

Other versions[edit]

Earth X[edit]

In the Earth X universe, the Ani-Men were animals in the Wakandan preserve that were mutated when the Terrigen Crystals were detonated in the atmosphere.[14]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, there is a group called the Ani-Men who are associated with Dr. Arthur Molekevic.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Daredevil #10-11
  2. ^ Daredevil #39
  3. ^ X-Men #94-95
  4. ^ Iron Man #115
  5. ^ Captain America #389-392
  6. ^ Thunderbolts #24-25
  7. ^ Daredevil #157
  8. ^ Daredevil #157-158
  9. ^ Captain America #319
  10. ^ Scarlet Spider Unlimited #1 (November, 1995)
  11. ^ Great Lakes Avengers #1 (June 2005)
  12. ^ Code of Honor #3
  13. ^ Civil War: War Crimes #1
  14. ^ Earth X #4
  15. ^ Ultimate Fantastic Four #3

External links[edit]