“SPLINTER SPECIES” begins here as Buddy’s grief and increasing celebrity threaten to tear him apart. Plus, a major new antagonist is revealed!
Buddy Baker is alone in his hotel room still being depressed about the death of his son Cliff, when his phone rings. It is Roger, Buddy's friend and agent. Roger tries to talk Buddy into coming out but something else catches Buddy's eye. Its a newspaper headline about pet abductions baffling police. Buddy then hangs up with Roger and dons his Animal Man costume, and flies off to investigate.
Meanwhile back at the Frazier Farm, Ellen Baker puts her daughter, Maxine, to bed and assuming she's asleep heads down stair to talk to her mother. Mary, Ellen's mother, tries to talk to her daughter but Ellen still blames herself for her son Cliff's death. The adults continue to talk not knowing that Maxine is not really asleep and once her mother is gone she calls upon her pet Socks, and the pair sneak off to the Red.
Once there Maxine finds Shepard, and tells him she needs to talk to the Totems. Shepard does not think this is a good idea but is not able to change Maxine's mind and she storms into their cathedral. She convinces the Totems, to let her look for her brother in the Red.
Back in the real world, Animal Man finds a clue that may lead to the missing pets, and it leads to an old industrial park. When he enters a abandon warehouse he is overwhelmed by animal phys-ices in his head. Animal Man is forced to disconnect from the life web and explore on his own.
This leads him to find dozen of animal corpses that have been experimented and dissected in grizzly ways. Animal Man starts looking for the man who did this but is blindsided by a Splinter Man, who is later reveal to be Clinton Houge, who attacks Animal Man then runs off. Animal Man gives chase but outside comes face to face with a media circus who has followed him.