Animal Man

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Animal Man
Animalman1.png
Animal Man #1 by Brian Bolland.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceStrange Adventures #180 (September 14, 1965)
Created byDave Wood
Carmine Infantino
In-story information
Alter egoBernhard "Buddy" Baker
Team affiliationsJustice League Europe
Forgotten Heroes
White Lantern Corps
Justice League United
Justice League
Justice League Dark
Black Lantern Corps
PartnershipsSwamp Thing
Notable aliasesA-Man
AbilitiesAbility to gain the powers of any animal that exists or has existed via access to "The Red"

Animal Man (Bernhard "Buddy" Baker) is a fictional superhero in the DC Comics Universe. As a result of being in proximity to an exploding extraterrestrial spaceship, Buddy Baker acquires the ability to temporarily "borrow" the abilities of animals (such as a bird's flight or the proportionate strength of an ant). Using these powers, Baker fights crime as the costumed superhero Animal Man.[1]

Created by writer Dave Wood and artist Carmine Infantino, Buddy Baker first appeared in Strange Adventures #180 (September 1965) and adopted the name Animal Man in issue #190. Animal Man was a minor character for his first twenty years, never gaining the popularity of other DC heroes such as Batman or Superman. He made only five, non-consecutive appearances in Strange Adventures (four of which were reprinted in Adventure Comics), followed by two appearances in Wonder Woman, two in Action Comics, and two in DC Comics Presents, appearing in consecutive issues of each. These eleven stories constitute the entirety of his pre-Crisis appearances. However, he became one of several DC properties, such as Shade, the Changing Man and Sandman, to be revived and revamped in the late 1980s for a more mature comics audience. As seen in Strange Adventures #195, he was billed as a "full-time hero," an aspect that would be the most changed by the revamp.

Publication history[edit]

Beginnings[edit]

Strange Adventures #190 (July 1966). First appearance of costumed Animal Man, originally A-Man. Cover art by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson.

Movie stunt man Buddy Baker, to whom aliens gave animal-themed powers, debuted in Strange Adventures #180 (cover-dated Sept. 1965), in the story "I Was the Man with Animal Powers" by writer Dave Wood and penciler Carmine Infantino.[2][3] Baker gained a costume and a name, initially A-Man, in Strange Adventures #190 (July 1966).[3][4] He continued as a semi-regular feature in the book, making occasional cover appearances, through #201 (June 1967).

His subsequent appearances were sporadic. In 1980, he had a guest appearance in Wonder Woman #267–268. His main appearances in the remainder of the decade were as a member of the "Forgotten Heroes", a team of minor DC heroes.[5] It was in that capacity that he appeared in the company-wide crossover storyline Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Grant Morrison revival[edit]

In the late 1980s, following the slate-cleaning Crisis on Infinite Earths event, DC began employing innovative writers, many of them young and from the U.K., to revamp some of their old characters. In the period that saw Alan Moore reinvent the Swamp Thing, Animal Man was reimagined by Scottish writer Grant Morrison. Morrison wrote the first 26 issues of the Animal Man comic book, published between 1988 and 1990, with art by Chas Truog and Doug Hazlewood; Brian Bolland provided the covers.

Although the series was initially conceived as a four-issue limited series, it was upgraded into an ongoing series following strong sales. Consequently, Morrison developed several long-running plots, introducing mysteries, some of which were not explained until a year or two later. The title featured the protagonist both in and—increasingly—out of costume. Morrison made the title character an everyman figure living in a universe populated by superheroes, aliens, and fantastic technology. Buddy's wife Ellen, his son Cliff (9 years old at the beginning of the series), and his daughter Maxine (5 years old) featured prominently in most storylines, and his relationship with them, as husband, father, and provider, was an ongoing theme.

The series championed vegetarianism and animal rights, causes Morrison themself supported. In one issue, Buddy helps a band of self-described eco-terrorists save a pod of dolphins. Enraged at a fisherman's brutality, Buddy drops him into the ocean, intending for him to drown. Ironically, the man is saved by a dolphin.

Buddy fought several menaces, such as an ancient, murderous spirit that was hunting him; brutal, murderous Thanagarian warriors; and even the easily defeated red robots of an elderly villain who was tired of life. The series made deep, sometimes esoteric references to the entire DC canon, including B'wana Beast, the Mirror Master, and Arkham Asylum.

Soon after the launch of his series, Animal Man briefly became a member of Justice League Europe, appearing in several early issues of their series.

Following Morrison's run, Peter Milligan wrote a six-issue story featuring several surreal villains and heroes, exploring questions about identity and quantum physics and utilizing the textual cut-up technique popularized by William Burroughs. Tom Veitch and Steve Dillon, then took over for 18 issues in which Buddy returns to his work as a movie stuntman and explores mystical totemic aspects of his powers. Jamie Delano wrote 29 issues with Steve Pugh as artist (with occasional issues by other artists, like Will Simpson), giving the series a more horror-influenced feel with a "suggested for mature readers" label on the cover, beginning with issue #51.

Vertigo[edit]

After Jamie Delano's first six issues, wherein, among other things, he killed off the central character of Buddy Baker, created the "Red" (analogous to the "Green" of Swamp Thing) and resurrected Buddy as an "animal avatar", the series became one of the charter titles of DC's new mature readers Vertigo imprint with #57, and its ties to the DC Universe became more tenuous. Vertigo was establishing itself as a distinct "mini-universe" with its own continuity, only occasionally interacting with the continuity of the regular DC Universe. The title evolved into a more horror-themed book, with Buddy eventually becoming a non-human animal god. The superhero elements of the book were largely removed—since Buddy was reborn as a kind of animal elemental, and legally deceased, he discarded his costume, stopped associating with other heroes, and generally abandoned his crimefighting role. He co-founded the Life Power Church of Maxine to further an environmentalist message, drifting along U.S. Route 66 to settle in Montana. Delano's final issue was #79, culminating in Buddy dying several more times.

Between issues #66 and #67, Delano also penned Animal Man Annual #1, focusing on Buddy's daughter Maxine. It was the third part of Vertigo's crossover event "The Children's Crusade". This event ran across the Annuals of the five then-Vertigo titles --- Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Black Orchid, The Books of Magic, and Doom Patrol—book-ended by two Children's Crusade issues co-written by Neil Gaiman, and starring his Dead Boy Detectives.

A brief run by Jerry Prosser and Fred Harper featured a re-reborn Buddy as a white-haired shamanistic figure before the series was canceled after the 89th issue due to declining sales.

Back in the DCU[edit]

After the cancellation of his own series, Animal Man made cameos in several other titles, returning to his standard costumed form.

He has been utilized in most of the recent DC company-wide crossovers fighting alongside other less-mainstream heroes, including Infinite Crisis and 52, the latter of which was co-written by Grant Morrison, as well as Justice League of America #25.

The Last Days of Animal Man miniseries[edit]

In 2009 Gerry Conway and artist Chris Batista produced The Last Days of Animal Man, a six-issue limited series telling the tale of Animal Man in the future.[6][7] The series portrays a middle-aged Animal Man in the year 2024 on his final adventure.

Relaunch[edit]

As part of The New 52, DC Comics relaunched Animal Man with issue #1 in September 2011 with writer Jeff Lemire and artist Travel Foreman.[8][9]

The relaunched Animal Man has been met with a great deal of critical acclaim. MTV Geek said, "I don't want to oversell this, but if there is a better book put out by DC during the month of September, I will eat the other 51 comics. It's just that good."[10] The A.V. Club writer Oliver Sava wrote that the "first issue of Animal Man combines family drama, superhero action, and macabre horror into a cohesive story that is unique, yet still true to the history of Buddy Baker."[11] Read/RANT said, "Along with Action Comics, Animal Man is among the best the line has to offer," and gave the book an A+ overall, calling it the Must Read Book of the Week.[12][13] Greg McElhatton at Comic Book Resources was less complimentary, giving the book 3.5 stars (out of 5) and saying, "The art might be uneven in Animal Man #1, but the script is dynamite.".[14]

According to ICv2.com, the relaunched Animal Man #1 sold over 55,000 copies, while Animal Man #2 was one of the 50 best-selling comics in October 2011.[15][16]

The storyline of the relaunched version essentially builds on previous Animal Man continuity with Buddy as a happily married family man and superhero. Buddy is forced to take his family on the run after he discovers that his daughter Maxine is the avatar of The Red (the force which sustains all animal life), and that agents of The Rot (the elemental force of decay that are also called The Black) are seeking to kill her.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Buddy Baker gained animal powers when he encountered a spaceship that blew up, infusing him with radiation. He used his powers to fight crime and ward off alien attackers.

He then joined the Forgotten Heroes group prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths. He was seen with this group during the Crisis.

Baker's Post-Crisis origin was slightly altered, but it retained the essence of the original. While hunting as a teenager, he encountered a crashed spaceship that apparently endowed him with his abilities (the slight discrepancies between the two stories were addressed as Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis origins, and were acknowledged in-story, with the "original" Buddy Baker appearing, and not wishing to be written out of existence). After an apparently unsuccessful stint as a superhero, followed by a hiatus where he utilized his powers to work as a film stuntman, Baker decided to restart and make a career out of it after being inspired by the headline-making Justice League International; this is where his self-titled series begins.

He is married to his high school sweetheart, Ellen, a storyboard artist and, later, an illustrator for children's books. They have two children, Cliff and Maxine, who are a pre-teen and toddler, respectively, when the series starts. They live in a suburban area outside of San Diego.

Through the series, Animal Man becomes a man of great compassion toward all creatures, an ardent animal rights activist, an environmentalist, and a vegetarian. Later, he finds his link to the M-field has been passed on to his daughter, Maxine, who is also connected to the animal kingdom. Although he wears a mask, he goes to no great lengths to conceal his true identity. A jacket was added to Animal Man's costume (so he could have pockets and a place to put his keys as well as notes from his wife). However, this jacket was denim and not a leather jacket: Buddy specifically discusses that he will not wear leather, out of moral considerations.

An early aspect of the character was his desire for fame, and is manifested by his wish to be in the Justice League. He is initially driven by a desire for the publicity from interviews and public appearances more than any altruistic impulse. Buddy joins the newly formed Justice League Europe and bonds with Dmitri of the Rocket Reds over the shared experiences of being fathers.[17] However, he soon resigns due to tragic events taking place later in his series.[18]

After a brief period of reconditioning and exploration of his limits, Baker's first work is a job from S.T.A.R. Labs investigating a break-in at an animal testing facility. He traces it to the hero B'wana Beast, whom he is able to befriend and aid. The conditions he witnesses at the testing facilities compel him to become vegetarian, a sudden decision that briefly puts him at odds with his family. Baker also becomes a staunch animal rights activist and goes on several missions with environmental themes.

During his further adventures, he experiences glitches with his powers. He also begins experiencing evidences of his existence within a comic book, although he does not immediately understand them for what they are. He is targeted for murder by a mysterious organization upset with his environmental work, and must face the new Mirror Master. Baker is also pursued by Dr. James Highwater, a physicist with no memory of any prior existence, and seemingly no purpose other than to contact Baker. A parallel story involves a pair of yellow aliens (described as "agents of some unspecified 'higher power'" that engineered the spaceship wreck that granted his powers) who are aware of the events of the Crisis and monitor Baker's actions. They are aware of "a second Crisis" coming, which they believe that only Animal Man can avert. They reconcile the two variations of Animal Man's origin through an unexplained "surgery" that also extends his abilities. Elsewhere, in Arkham Asylum, the Psycho-Pirate, aware of "continuity" and his fictional environment, opens a gateway into the real world and other comic book realities and begins bringing several characters no longer in continuity into existence.[19]

Baker is demoralized, however, when firefighters are injured in a laboratory blaze started by activists that he was working with. He is approached by Highwater just as he decides to give up his costumed identity. While away on a vision quest with Highwater, in which he learns the true nature of his powers and briefly sees the comic's reader, Baker's family is brutally murdered by an assassin sent by the corporate heads seeking to stop his environmental work. With the help of the Mirror Master (who had turned down the hit), Baker tracks down the businessmen and assassin and kills them. While trying to undo his family's deaths with a time machine, Baker accidentally becomes warped through time and meets the Phantom Stranger, Jason Blood, and the Immortal Man in the 1960s, who help him learn to accept his grief. Baker is then contacted by the aliens and taken to Arkham, where he stops the Psycho-Pirate and prevents damage to the continuity. Baker is transported to Limbo and encounters several comic book characters who are not being used in stories. Ultimately, Baker encounters his own writer (Grant Morrison themself), and the two share a conversation on the relationship between the creator and the fictional characters whose lives they write. After this encounter, Baker is sent back home and his family are restored back to life; it is left ambiguous as to whether or not Baker remembers the full nature of these events.

Next, after falling into a coma, Buddy finds himself in a strange alternative reality, which he correctly deduces is a divergent phase of existence and is then able to return home.

Having since left the Justice League, Baker resumes his stunt work career. He also finds himself frequently displaying uncontrolled animalistic behavior. He is assaulted by a neighbor, Travis Cody, a burnout with a PhD in electronic engineering from MIT. Cody has deduced that Baker's powers have become skewed, and that unfocused usage of his abilities kills animals. After reaching an understanding, the two work together to measure and enhance Animal Man's powers. They are themselves targeted by a group of shamans, one of whom was present at Animal Man's origin, and who are aware of the yellow aliens and the writer. During this time, Baker's daughter Maxine begins demonstrating powers similar to his own and is able to communicate with the head shaman, who is attempting to bring Baker to him.

S.T.A.R. Labs again contacts Baker, offering a position as their spokesman on environmentalism, but he declines. After an accident in which Baker kills the entire population of the San Diego Zoo, his wife takes their daughter to live with her mother in Vermont to avoid the media attention. Baker descends into depression and his son runs away, eventually ending up with an uncle, a lecherous predator. Baker goes to Vermont as well, where he finally meets the shaman. Meanwhile, Cody has been hired by S.T.A.R. Labs for his expertise, and while there he uncovers a conspiracy involving one of the shamans, but is mentally trapped in cyberspace.

Baker continued to split his time between his family, his career as Animal Man, and regular stunt work for films. He occasionally lent his talents to various superhero groups, including the JLA and the Forgotten Heroes, and played a prominent role in the Swamp Thing's task force, the Totems.[20]

Post-series[edit]

This marked the reappearance of Buddy in costume, and heralded his return to the mainstream DC Universe (although his Vertigo appearances were clearly meant to take place inside the DCU as well). He subsequently appeared alongside Aquaman, Hawkman, and the Resurrection Man.[21] In JLA #27 (March 1999), Buddy officially joins the League to battle a rampaging Amazo in the Florida Everglades; however, since Amazo was able to mimic the powers of any and all members of the League, they were only able to defeat Amazo by disbanding the League. Buddy does not stay for the reorganization. During a JLA crossover event, Animal Man's expertise in the morphogenetic field assists the League.[22]

Animal Man also makes an appearance in the Identity Crisis limited series, helping to search for the murderer of Sue Dibny.

Animal Man kept out of the spotlight during the OMAC Project that was happening, and was very devastated when he heard the news that his good friend Rocket Red VII was killed by the OMACS in Moscow. The two of them had been good friends since the JLE back in the 80'S, they both had families, and got along quite well in the JLE.

After encountering danger signs from the animal world, Animal Man is recruited by Donna Troy as part of a team journeying to New Cronos to stop the Infinite Crisis, mirroring his role in Crisis on Infinite Earths, in which he journeyed into space with the Forgotten Heroes on Brainiac's ship. During this adventure, he formed a mentoring friendship with the new Firestorm, Jason Rusch.

Due to a malfunction of the Zeta Beam, which Adam Strange deploys to return the team to Earth, Animal Man, along with most of the heroes, go missing after Infinite Crisis. Eventually, some of the heroes are recovered, but Animan Man, Adam Strange, and Starfire are still missing. They become core East Coast members of DC's weekly series 52.

52[edit]

In 52, Animal Man, Starfire, and Adam Strange are stranded on an alien planet. The trio escape, but are pursued by bounty hunters. They are joined by Lobo. In issue #36, during a battle with Lady Styx and her horde, Animal Man is killed by a necrotoxin, which causes its victims to rise again in the service of Lady Styx. Animal Man makes Starfire promise not to let him come back as a zombie. He gestures to the reader, saying, "Look, they're cheering us on. I told you the universe likes me." At the moment of his death, Ellen, still on Earth, senses his death and begins to cry.

In issue #37, moments after Starfire and Adam Strange leave Animal Man in space, Buddy comes back to life. The aliens who originally granted him his powers stand next to him, saying: "And so it begins." After plucking him out of the timestream and repairing his body, they leave him in outer space. Animal Man must reach out to another life form in order to survive, and claims the abilities of a group of Sun-Eaters, including their homing sense. He observes his wife from a wormhole in space provided by the aliens, only to discover that Ellen is seeing another man (though it is later revealed she only reluctantly went out with one of Buddy's friends).

Buddy returns to Earth, describing the marvels of space to his delighted family. Ellen throws a party to celebrate his return, but some followers of Lady Styx appear, bent upon killing the family. They are eliminated by Starfire, who has only partially recovered from wounds suffered in space. She delivers Buddy's jacket and faints from weakness and surprise when she sees him alive, leaving the family to care for her.

Countdown to Adventure[edit]

Animal Man joined Adam Strange and Starfire in the series titled Countdown to Adventure written by Adam Beechen. The first issue reveals that his family has been caring for Starfire, who still has not regained her powers. Buddy convinces Ellen to let Starfire stay and act as a nanny to his two children. When a strange form of madness infects the people of San Diego, he and Starfire team up to stop it. Buddy's closeness to Starfire has made Ellen disgruntled, thinking that Buddy is in love with her. Buddy's powers have been in a state of flux, not working at all at some times and manifesting strange abilities at others, such as creating a whirlwind or firing energy beams. Once their extraterrestrial trip is done, Starfire leaves the Baker home, telling them that they will always be in her heart.

Anansi[edit]

In Justice League of America (vol. 2) #25, Buddy is drawn into Vixen's animal totem and captured by the trickster god Anansi, who claims to be the one who gave Buddy his powers, having disguised himself as the aliens (whilst reminding Vixen and Buddy that he constantly lies). Anansi also mentions that Buddy's new powers were a side effect of his manipulation of Earth's morphogenic field. After escaping the totem and defeating Anansi, Animal Man went back to the JLA Headquarters to thank the JLA for their aid. The Black Canary and Wonder Woman told Buddy that there is a seat for him in the JLA. Buddy declined, choosing to focus on his family and remain a part-timer. Buddy used the JLA teleporter to return home to his wife and kids in San Diego.

Cry for Justice[edit]

Buddy appears in the second half of writer James Robinson's miniseries event Justice League: Cry for Justice. While he and his family are entertaining Starfire and Donna Troy, Buddy is approached by Mikaal Tomas and Congorilla, who ask him for help in tracking down the supervillain Prometheus. He accompanies them to the JLA Watchtower to seek help from the Justice League, and is present when the Red Arrow is mauled by an unknown attacker.[23] While searching for the Red Arrow's assailant, Buddy is assaulted and brutally injured by Freddy Freeman, who ultimately turns out to be Prometheus in disguise.[24]

During the finale, Buddy is seen helping Starfire and Firestorm rescue survivors after Star City is destroyed by Prometheus.[25]

Blackest Night[edit]

During the Blackest Night event, Nekron, the Lord of the Dead, reveals that all those who have returned from the dead, such as Buddy, were allowed to do so, in order to become his "inside agents". A black power ring attaches itself to Buddy, canceling out his resurrection and transforming him into a Black Lantern.[26] In the final battle, Animal Man is freed by the power of white light.[27]

Starman/Congorilla[edit]

Following the events of Blackest Night, Buddy helps Starman and Congorilla during their search for the Fountain of Youth, using his abilities to help translate for Rex the Wonder Dog.[28] Buddy is later revealed to be a member of the JLA's reserve team, and joins the League during their battle against Eclipso. Shortly after joining the battle, Buddy and his teammates are possessed by Eclipso.[29] The reserve JLA members are all freed after Eclipso is defeated.[30]

The New 52[edit]

In The New 52, Buddy Baker has returned to his role as an environmental activist and actor.[31] After his daughter Maxine manifests powers of her own, they journey into The Red, where they learn that Maxine must fight a battle between The Red and The Black.[32][33] The Baker Family travels cross country to unite with Swamp Thing.[34] Buddy's son Cliff sacrifices himself in battle with The Black.[35]

Animal Man appears as a member of the Justice League of America.[36] After the events in Justice League United, Animal Man takes a break to care for his family.

DC Rebirth[edit]

In 2017, after the events changed in the series DC Rebirth, it was revealed that Animal Man will be a reserve member of the new Justice League in the aftermath of the series called Justice League: No Justice. Animal Man will be helping the Justice League with some other new reserve members like Adam Strange and the Swamp Thing. In the aftermath of the Justice League: No Justice series it was revealed that Animal Man's name was mentioned in the new Justice League Series by Wonder Woman.[37] Animal Man was helping Vixen fixing the Earth with the rest of the Justice League. Animal Man was seen helping the Justice League fight the Legion of Doom and protecting a doorknob key from getting in the hands of the Legion.[38] Animal Man was seen with the rest of the Justice League, Justice League Dark, and the Teen Titans at a get-together party in the Hall of Justice, as tourists were coming into the Hall of Justice to tour the history of the JLA up until it was underwater, and the beginning of the series called The Drowned. Animal Man was seen helping evacuating people from the Hall of Justice with the JLA. It led up to Aquaman's disappearance in the aftermath of The Drowned series.[39] Animal Man was seeing again with the JLA in the series called Year of the Villain.[40]

Animal Man was seen as an emergency call on the JLA, the Teen Titans, and the JSA by Batman's request to call in all the heroes wanted to fix the Source Wall, and that there was going to be a war. Animal Man was also seen in Dog Days of Summer with his family visiting South America, exploring a waterfall, where he encountered a massive shrimp. Animal Man was seen helping out the JLA, Teen Titans, and JSA with spacetime in the multiverse to defeat Lex Luther, and the Legion of Doom with the help of Perpetua bring tragedy to the DC Universe.[41] Animal Man was seen again in a line-up with different versions of the JLA from different Earths helping out in the battle to attack Perpetua in an all-out war to the end. In the aftermath of the war with Perpetua, the Earth version of the JLA had won there defeat in the second wave to fight Perpetua.[42] Animal Man was seen helping his friend Swamp Thing with Wonder Woman, Zantanna, John Constantine fight off a battle of the rot army controlled by Anton Arcane and fighting their way in the rot to get to him. Animal Man, Wonder Woman, John Constantine and the Justice league Dark had to louse there powers to bring back there friend Swamp Thing after a fight with Anton Arcane rot army with the help of Dr. Fate helping the Justice League Dark. Animal Man and the Justice League Dark where glad to have Swamp Thing back on the team but as a different Swamp Thing protector of the Green. Swamp Thing turned Anton Arcane into a living tree leaving his soul buried deep in the tree. Animal Man was glad that the Justice League Dark got the job done, and the team was seen in the JLD liberty.[43]

During the "Dark Nights: Death Metal" storyline, Animal Man was among the prisoners in New Apokolips after The Batman Who Laughs and his Dark Knights took over Prime-Earth. They were freed when Wonder Woman, Batman, and Harley Quinn freed Superman from the control of Darkfather.[44] During the heroes fight with Robin King, Animal Man accompanied Red Tornado and Blue Beetle into battle against Robin King. After he sprayed Red Tornado with the Mortal Coil chemical that caused him to spin out of control, Robin King summoned the Anti-Living versions of Animal Man's family who start to devour him. When the final effect of the Mortal Coil turned a still-spinning Red Tornado into a human who ripped apart, the shrapnal from his death flew towards Animal Man's remaining body enough to kill him.[45] Batman later revived him using a Black Lantern ring.[46]

During the events of Infinite Future storylines series in # issue 2 of Batman & Superman. Batman called for Animal Man to help out the animals that were in pain by Professor Pye's experiments on them, and Animal Man came to get rid also destroy the planted chips in them from the pain they were in.

Powers and abilities[edit]

Buddy can mimic the abilities of any animal as a result of his encounter with a crashed alien spacecraft. He does this by either focusing on a specific animal near him, or, as he learns later, by drawing power from the animal kingdom in general (this enables him to even mimic animals that are extinct). The nature of these powers has been described in various ways, including the superficial "alien radiation" explanation of his early appearances, the reconstruction of his body by aliens with "morphogenetic grafts" at the cellular level, and, currently, mystical access to a "morphogenetic field" created by all living creatures, also known as "The Red". He does not grow wings to fly as a bird (instead he flies in classic "Superman style"), nor does he form gills to breathe underwater when mimicking a fish, but he has occasionally been known to mimic the actual appearances of animals, such as adopting the claws of a wolverine temporarily, or his metamorphosis toward the end of Delano's run on his series.

Among the "animal powers" Buddy has been known to use are:

The level of Buddy's abilities is proportional to the size of the animal they are drawn from. Hence, drawing the jumping ability from a flea would allow him to cover great distances. However, taking the abilities of a larger animal does not result in diminished power for him. In some appearances, he can also talk to animals and enter their minds.

Tapping into The Red, Animal Man can also fire blasts of force or unidentified energy. In cooperation with Vixen and the woman known as "Tristess", he helped to create an entire universe.[47]

In 52, Buddy experiences an upgrade that allows him to connect to the Universe's morphogenetic field, providing him unlimited access to all animals in the universe regardless of origin. At first, Animal Man knew nothing about the alien creatures whose abilities he took, but later has ample knowledge.

Other versions[edit]

JLA: The Nail[edit]

In the Elseworlds story JLA: The Nail, a captured Animal Man makes an appearance in Professor Hamilton's Cadmus Labs.[48]

The Last Days of Animal Man[edit]

In the May 2009 series The Last Days of Animal Man, set in 2024, a middle-aged Buddy Baker finds he is losing his super powers and is forced to explore what it means to not have them and how much being a superhero affected his relationship with his family.[49] He uses the last of his powers to stop two murderers then retires from the hero business. The series was written by veteran Bronze Age of Comic Books writer Gerry Conway.

"Flashpoint"[edit]

In the alternative timeline of the "Flashpoint" event, Animal Man is an inmate at the Doom's prison after he was framed for the murder of his wife and kids. During the prison break, Animal Man is ordered to kill Heat Wave by the Atomic Skull, but, despite his powers, he is defeated when Heat Wave bites his nose off and then shatters his skull against a stone staircase.[50]

Injustice 2[edit]

In the Injustice: Gods Among Us continuity, Animal Man appears as a sympathizer to the new League of Assassins under Ra's al Ghul. Unlike the main continuity, Buddy appears to shapeshift into animals similar to Beast Boy.

In his first appearance in the series he explains the importance of the animals left within the sanctuary belonging to Ra's, and explains to Damian the flaw in his fathers method, the short term sidedness that cost so many lives. Making his discoid to wipe out humanity for the sake of letting the animals survive difficult but necessary. He later turns against the League when Damian convinces him, Vixen, and Jason Todd about the carnage Amazo is wreaking on humanity. When they try to escape, Buddy is killed as he is shot through the head by Athanasia al Ghul.

In other media[edit]

Film[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Animal Man appears in an episode of Mad. He joins the other superheroes in a musical number that asks Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman about being called "Super Friends."
  • Animal Man appears in his own DC Nation Shorts, voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic. He is shown as a hero who completely ignores people in danger and saves animals instead even if a supervillain is close to harming them.
  • Animal Man makes appearances in the Teen Titans Go! animated series episode, "Forest Pirates".

Web series[edit]

Video games[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). "Animal Man". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1.
  2. ^ Strange Adventures #180 at the Grand Comics Database.
  3. ^ a b Animal Man at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
  4. ^ Strange Adventures #190 at the Grand Comics Database.
  5. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  6. ^ Animal Man R.I.P.? Gerry Conway Talks, Comic Book Resources, February 27, 2009
  7. ^ The End? Gerry Conway on The Last Days of Animal Man, Newsarama, March 13, 2009
  8. ^ DC Comics Announces "Justice League Dark", "Swamp Thing", "Animal Man" and More Archived 2013-01-07 at the Wayback Machine, Comics Alliance, June 7, 2011
  9. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (June 8, 2011). "Lemire Aims for Less Meta, More Family in DCnU ANIMAL MAN". Newsarama. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
  10. ^ "MTV Geek – New 52 Review: Animal Man #1 Is The Pick Of The Litter". Geek News. September 8, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  11. ^ Phipps, Keith (September 9, 2010). "The New DC 52, Week 2 (Action Comics, Detective Comics, Swamp Thing and more) | Books | Crosstalk". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  12. ^ "Review: Animal Man #1 « read/RANT!". Readrant. September 8, 2011. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  13. ^ "NewU Reviews: Week One of the DC Relaunch « read/RANT!". Readrant. September 8, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  14. ^ "Review: Animal Man #1". Comic Book Resources. September 7, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  15. ^ "Top 300 Comics Actual-October 2011". ICv2. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  16. ^ "Top 300 Comics Actual-September 2011". ICv2. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  17. ^ Justice League International (vol. 1) #24 (February 1989)
  18. ^ Justice League Europe #12 (March 1990)
  19. ^ WPage / Crisis-Relevant Text: Animal Man
  20. ^ Tom Peyer's one-shot Vertigo Totems
  21. ^ Resurrection Man #24–27 (May–August 1999)
  22. ^ JLA #40 (April 2000)
  23. ^ Justice League: Cry for Justice #5 (November 2009)
  24. ^ Justice League: Cry for Justice #6 (January 2010)
  25. ^ Justice League: Cry for Justice #7 (March 2010)
  26. ^ Blackest Night #5 (November 2009)
  27. ^ Blackest Night #8 (March 2010)
  28. ^ Starman/Congorilla one-shot (March 2011)
  29. ^ Justice League of America (vol. 2) #56 (June 2011)
  30. ^ Justice League of America (vol. 2) #57 (July 2011)
  31. ^ Animal Man (vol. 2) #1 (November 2011)
  32. ^ Animal Man (vol. 2) #2 (December 2011)
  33. ^ Animal Man (vol. 2) #3 (January 2012)
  34. ^ Animal Man (vol. 2) #12 (October 2012)
  35. ^ Animal Man (vol. 2) #18 (May 2013)
  36. ^ Justice League United #1
  37. ^ Justice League Vol. 4 #1. DC Comics.
  38. ^ Justice League Vol. 4 #7. DC Comics.
  39. ^ Justice League Vol. 4 #9. DC Comics.
  40. ^ DC Year of the Villain Preview
  41. ^ Justice League Vol. 4 #30. DC Comics.
  42. ^ Justice League Vol. 4 #37. DC Comics.
  43. ^ Justice League Dark #20-21. DC Comics.
  44. ^ Dark Nights: Death Metal #3. DC Comics.
  45. ^ Dark Nights: Death Metal: Robin King #1. DC Comics.
  46. ^ Dark Nights: Death Metal #5. DC Comics.
  47. ^ Animal Man (vol. 1) #48–50 (June–August 1992)
  48. ^ JLA: The Nail #3 (October 1998)
  49. ^ "THE LAST DAYS OF ANIMAL MAN". DC Comics. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  50. ^ Flashpoint: Legion of Doom #2 (July 2011)
  51. ^ Justice League Unlimited #29 (March 2007)

External links[edit]