Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man, from Doom Patrol #89
Art by Bob Brown
|First appearance||Doom Patrol Vol. 1, #89 (August 1964)|
|Created by||Arnold Drake (writer)|
Bruno Premiani (artist)
|Alter ego||Dr. Sven Larsen|
|Abilities||Can change his body into the form of any animal, vegetable, or mineral.|
Fictional character biography
Dr. Sven Larsen is a Swedish scientist and a former student of Dr. Niles Caulder, but they had a falling out after Larsen accused Caulder of stealing his idea for the anti-decay ray. Larsen gains his superpowers after falling into a vat of amino acids. He uses his powers to get revenge on Caulder and his Doom Patrol. The Doom Patrol defeat Larsen and are able to remove his powers. He later regains them and fights the Doom Patrol again.
Larsen returns to face the second incarnation of the Doom Patrol in Doom Patrol vol. 2 #15 (December 1988) and #16 (Winter 1988), in partnership with General Immortus. He is defeated after Celsius encases him in ice.
In the twelfth issue of the series, Larsen is now a member of the Front Men, a team of super-powered guards working for Mister Somebody Enterprises. His team is working to discredit the Doom Patrol, having been coached in various ways on how to make the heroes look bad for the cameras. Unknown to the Front Men, 'Mister Somebody' has rigged their uniforms to deliver fatal blows in ways that make it seem as if the Doom Patrol killed them intentionally.
The New 52
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man is re-introduced as part of an experimental security measure that Niles Caulder unleashes on intruders when his underground complex is breached.
In the "Watchmen" sequel "Doomsday Clock," Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man is listed as a member of India's superhero team The Doomed in light of "The Superman Theory" that started a metahuman arms race.
Powers and abilities
Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man can change any part of his body into the form of any animal, vegetable or mineral, including combining several at once. In most of his appearances, his arms, legs and the left side of his face take on various forms, leaving his torso and the right side of his face normal.
In other media
- Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Last Patrol!" voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. He is among the Doom Patrol villains (alongside Brain, Monsieur Mallah, Mutant Master, and Arsenal) assembled by General Zahl to target the Doom Patrol. He attacks the carnival that Negative Man works at with the carnival barker asking about him and wondering who his agent is. Batman and the other Doom Patrol members arrive, and Negative Man helps them fend off Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. He later appears on General Zahl's ship with the other villains and ends up defeated by Batman.
- Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man makes an appearance in the third episode of Doom Patrol played by Alec Mapa. This version is a tourist in Paraguay named Steven Larson who travels to Fuchtopia in hopes to be given superpowers - "magnetic feet", specifically - via a machine built by Strumbanhfuhrer Von Fuchs. His transformation into Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man is shown at the end of the episode when he accidentally stays in the machine too long. This particular version has a human head and a separate dinosaur head, rather than the combined head of the comic version. A running joke throughout the season involved various news updates on Larson's activities, including a disastrous convenience store robbery, subsequent arrest, and a failed assassination attempt on his life by an admirer of von Fuchs.
Media tie-in comics
- Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man had a cameo appearance in issue #28 of Teen Titans Go!. The Doom Patrol discuss a battle they (along with a younger Beast Boy) had with Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. He makes a full appearance on page 10, which itself is based on the cover of the Doom Patrol comic.
- Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man made a cameo appearance in issue #7 in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold tie-in comic and the cartoon series.
- Doom Patrol vol. 1 #95 (May 1965)
- "Giffen New Chief Of 'Doom Patrol'". ComicBookResources.com. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Doom Patrol #12 (2010)
- Ravagers #11
- Doomsday Clock #5 (May 2018). DC Comics.