Buddy was once a happy punk rocker, playing in a garage band, and trying to win the affections of his high school girlfriend, Ellen Frazier. One autumn afternoon he went hunting in the Adirondack Mountains. When he returned home, he had changed.
Encountering some escaped animals from a nearby zoo, Buddy discovered that in the presence of an animal, he was able to absorb their abilities; the spring of a tiger, the strength of a Gorilla, or the power of an Elephant. During his first adventure Buddy was met by a large alien beast, presumably from the crash, but later discovered to be the envoy of the other aliens (important to Buddy later in his life) with similar powers to his. After a fight in the town, Buddy lured the beast back to the mountain range by attacking it with a fire truck. Once there, the hulking alien destroyed the truck, but was defeated when Buddy exposed the alien to frightened field mice. The alien took on the attributes of the mouse, as well as its fear. Initially Buddy only displayed the powers of the Animals he came in contact with during the manifestation of his powers: the Tiger, the Gorilla, the Elephant and the Sea Lions, but he later progressed onto other Animals.
Animal Man first appeared in Strange Adventures #180, created by writer Dave Wood and artist Carmine Infantino. He made a few appearances before disappearing into obscurity. Buddy went on to star in his own solo series, initially intended to by a four-issue mini-series, until he was revamped post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, by writer Grant Morrison, penciller Chas Truog and cover artist Brian Bolland.
His most recent relaunch under the banner of 'The New 52' has been under creators Jeff Lemire ,Travel Foreman and returning penciller Steve Pugh. For the latter issues, Jae Lee does the covers, and Rafael Albuquerque provides the interior art.
After his initial outing into the world and life style of the Superhero, Buddy went on to have many more adventures. During Buddy’s next big superhero outing, he dealt with more Aliens. Coming to Earth to check on the workings of the beast he had defeated on the first manifestation of his powers, they unleashed their hate ray on the inhabitants of the city, leaving only Buddy unaffected. After discovering why the aliens sent their beast to the earth, Buddy defeated them, sending them packing to their own planet. Buddy then went on to defeat minor thugs and villains in his next two appearances as a hero before facing off against the Mod Gorilla Boss, which he eventually defeated. It was Buddy’s long time friend, Roger Denning, who convinced him to wear the orange and blue costume and become the Animal Man.
Along with his new found powers, a new level of confidence came to Buddy. He finally plucked up the courage to ask Ellen, his high-school girlfriend, to marry him. After she accepted his proposal Buddy retired his Animal Man identity, and moved to San Diego. Living on the salary from Ellen's work as an illustrator and Buddy's newly-started career as a movie stuntman, the couple mortgaged a house in the suburbs and raised two children, Cliff and Maxine.
Buddy made a brief appearance to lend Aquaman a hand during the formation of the Justice League during the Appelaxian invasion. He used his powers to mimic a Dolphin and create a Whirlpool, with the assistance of Aquaman, to draw and contain the water-based aliens into a freshly created hole his future Forgotten Hero colleagues Dane Dorrance and Cave Carson had just created.
Major Story Arcs
Buddy gathered together for what might have been the very first meeting of the Forgotten Heroes. They initially joined because of a “coincidence” between the members of the group. All of them had witnessed an Ancient glowing golden temple; Buddy had witnessed it himself in Brazil, however the Government was quick to quiet him down, revoking his passport and sending him packing back to the US, as they did with the other heroes. As what would come to be a common thread for the Forgotten Heroes, Vandal Savage was working and plotting behind the scenes. The Golden Temples, also known as the “Time Pyramids” were built by an unknown race. Savage was peppering Superman with Prehistoric Seedlings so his every movement would spread these spores over the surface of Metropolis, where they grew quickly and voraciously. Savage intended to completely recreate his prehistoric world in Metropolis with the aid of these spores. After some quick thinking and telepathic alerts from Immortal Man, the spores were burnt off of Superman by the Sun’s rays, whilst the Forgotten Heroes traveled over the world to visit the Time Pyramids. In Brazil, Buddy was able to alter the codes of the Pyramid, stopping it from going back to the creation of the universe, and preventing Savage from using the energies released from the big bang to control and devastate the world.
Buddy was spotted as one of the hundreds of heroes battling the robotic invasion of the Construct. Eventually, like all the other heroes, Buddy was beaten back and his mind taken over by becoming a slave, until the Red Tornado defeated it and returned the world to normalcy.
Again, working with the Forgotten Heroes, Buddy helped to track down a group of villains, under the lead of Vandal Savage, called the Forgotten Villains. The Villains were attempting to recover pieces of “The Primordial Meteor”, the origin of both Savage’s and the Immortal Man's ever lasting life. Buddy’s part in this was to distract the Faceless Hunter, who was acting as sentry, to allow the Immortal man to get to the Primordial Fragment before Savage. By enlisting the help of the prehistoric wildlife, in this case a herd of Mammoths, Buddy was able to take the Faceless hunter by surprise and knock him off his guard. Sadly, the Immortal man was defeated, and the group had to return home defeated.
During the first Crisis, Buddy’s role was to investigate the formation of “New Earth” Or “Earth Sigma”, with Rip Hunter, Dolphin, Captain Comet, Adam Strange and the Atomic Knight; their destination was Brainiac's ship, once on board they discovered the Monitor’s viewing screen, which had once been aimed Earth showed nothing but Cosmic Static. Since the universe itself was threatened, Brainiac did something uncharacteristically altruistic and took the group through space, eventually meeting with Darkseid. Their meeting with Darkseid alerted him to the presence and dire events caused by the Anti-Monitor, which eventually led to his aiding Alex Luthor by providing him with extra power, allowing the heroes to defeat the Anti-Monitor.
The Human Zoo
After much deliberation Buddy came to the conclusion that he wanted to return to the Superhero Business. He felt as though he was an actor who had wandered into the wrong play by living a relatively normal life and taking just Stunt Man work, and after a small argument with his wife about it, she eventually agreed to allow him to return to his superhero work. After getting himself an agent, his friend and former neighbor Roger Denning, he went on a small time talk show, hosted by Dick Griffiths, who openly mocked Buddy. However, due to his appearance on TV, an intern at S.T.A.R. labs got Buddy to attend the scene of an apparent break in. Whilst the scientists were working with Primates to synthesize a cure for Aids, someone had broken in and merged the monkeys together. The lab had been wrecked by an eight foot tall Cockroach, according to the eyewitness accounts. Buddy decided to try and track the bug man by latching onto the sense of smell of the dogs in the lab; however he was disturbed by their treatment. After very little luck, and a confused Aquaman fan, he briefly met Superman, before being attacked by a hybrid rat creature. Being beaten to a pulp and having his arm forcibly removed by the Rat creature, Buddy he was able to re-grow his arm by latching onto an Earthworm’s regenerative powers. It transpired that B'wana Beast was behind the eight foot Cockroach and the rat Creature that had hurt Buddy, Buddy found out by doing some research in the library. He had come from Africa to rescue his friend and benefactor Djuba the Red Ape from Star Labs, where she was being experimented upon.
B’Wana Beast rescued Djuba from the labs, and shortly afterwards it was revealed to Buddy that they were experimenting on a Military grade variant of the Anthrax virus, something which would kill an armies livestock, but leave the invading army unharmed. Buddy, disgusted with this went off to the San Diego Zoo to try and prevent the spread of the Anthrax virus. Meanwhile, in the Woods Maxine and Ellen had escaped a deadly situation which nearly ended in Ellen’s rape, but thanks to the timely intervention of their neighbor. During Buddy’s final battle with B’Wana Beast he managed to avoid fighting the entire Zoo, as B’Wana beast, in a fit of rage had combined many animals together, including a Tiger and Gorilla. When they finally met, they battled briefly before Buddy latched onto B’Wana Beasts own powers and defeated him as he tried to over take Buddy’s mind. The beast apparently died shortly after their battle but Buddy, thinking quickly managed to save the Beast's life by merging some of his white blood cells into super-powerful defensive cells.
Buddy’s next adventure was meeting Crafty the Coyote, an anthropomorphic coyote from another universe, who had been sent to the “higher realms” of Buddy’s universe as punishment for rebelling against his God’s will. The cartoon Messiah was forced to live out his life in the hell of Buddy’s world, being killed over and over again. He tried to get Buddy to read his story, however it was mere scribbles and Buddy was unable to understand it. Sadly Crafty was shot through the chest and killed shortly after meeting Buddy.
During the Invasion event Buddy played a very small part in witnessing the life of a Thanagarian Martyr artist, who gave his life to perform his final artistic masterpiece; to create a planet wide image of Fractal geometry. Sadly Buddy did little more than witness his life, until Hawkman came and switched the bomb off, which Buddy was unable to do because of its unique design.
The Aliens were defeated and Buddy took part in the clean up efforts, particularly in Miami where he was around to witness the last moments of a Golden Age villain the Red Hood. Discovering that he was dying, the Hood decided to try“one more stunt” and let loose a group of barley working Robots around the war ravaged city. Buddy spent some time talking to him, even hearing his “secret origin” before flying away to see if he could get the Red Hood a TV spot, so he wouldn’t throw himself off the edge of the building. The Hood did this anyway, which left Buddy feeling very depressed. As he flew back towards L.A. he was hit with the Gene-Bomb.
Buddy was rescued by Booster and the Blue Beetle when his powers were affecting Local life, including huge swarms of angry birds. He was placed inside Boosters force field and kept in stasis for the duration.
After this, Buddy received an invite, along with a multitude of other heroes, to attend a “party” at the Justice League head quarters. He attended, confessing to Ice and Power Girl that he had no idea why he had been invited and felt a little out of place. After a few hours of mingling, some Khund Warriors who had been miniaturized during a previous encounter with the JLI returned to their original size in the Kitchen, and after they burst through the door they found the next room completely full of heroes. The Khund Warriors retreated, leaping into the teleport tubes of the JLI head quarters, but sadly scattering their atoms since they were destined to the now non-existent JLI Australia head quarters. The heroes’ numbers had worked against them, but after a selection process to thin the group, made by Oberon and Maxwell Lord, Buddy made the initial cut allowing him to finally draw a salary from being a superhero.
Buddy is left somewhat powerless from the Gene-bomb, and after being accepted into the Justice League, Buddy’s next encounter is with the Mirror Master, who attacks him for what is apparently no reason. However, Buddy learns that the Master was sent after him to “teach him a lesson” from a private party concerned with Buddy’s counter-establishment ideas, and his aid of Subversive Animal Rights groups. Luckily, Ellen was able to defeat the Mirror Master instead of her Husband, by kicking him in the groin and pushing him down the stairs.
After Buddy’s house was partially destroyed by the Mirror Master, the JLA, who offer a service to help rebuild their members’ households represented by the Martian Manhunter turned up to fix the house. Buddy took off with J’onn to explain that his powers aren’t working correctly. Whilst J’onn explains the JLA will not carry passengers he also lets Buddy know he is impressed with his stance to protect the Earth and not just be a hero for “White bread” reasons. J’onn does try to help Buddy understand the problems with his powers, but Buddy describes the malfunction as though he felt he was dying every time he reached out for an Animal.
Buddy was one of the first members of the newly created Justice League Europe. On the first meeting Buddy was initially very wary of the League, and none too impressed considering they’d spent weeks fixing a teleport tube in his basement, that they decided fly him, along with his team mate the Red Rocket known as Dmitri, out to Paris. After Captain Atom’s long and rambling introduction, the League settled in for what appeared to be a long first day. A man turned up dead on the doorsteps of the Embassy in Paris, only for it to be revealed later that he was a Nazi. To top things off Animal Man’s costume and luggage had been vaporized by the teleport tubes and a meta-human, controlling the minds of the locals caused them to attack the embassy.
Looking into the case more, Animal Man and Captain Atom traveled to California, where they met and were attacked by the Wild Huntsman in the rubble of a Nazi Camp. The Huntsman, who accused Buddy and Atom of being Nazis, was quickly dispatched by Captain Atom, since Buddy was having trouble with his powers. It transpired that the Huntsman was in an apparent coma; his breathing was shallow, almost unnoticeable. When a small group of Justice League Europe members went to the national monument to the Global Guardians (The Dome) a minor incident occurred resulting in a battle with the Guardian Jack O'Lantern, and the destruction of the Dome. Whilst Buddy wasn’t directly involved, he watched the results of the battle on the TV, as well as the slander against the Justice League, and raced with the others down to the Dome.
Out of Africa
At the beginning of perhaps one the most important chapters of Buddy’s life, he journeyed to England to help out on sabotaging a Fox hunter. After rescuing the Fox, he returned to England, complaining that his scrambled powers were making him feel unwell. Upon his return he found that Mari Jiwe Macabe aka the Vixen had appeared at his house, knowing only that she should reach out for Animal Man. She had been pursued by invisible Animal spirits, all the way from Africa, after Hamid Ali “The Undying One” had begun to excavate a spot of tribal importance. The invisible creatures tracked Vixen, and Buddy to his home where they attacked. Buddy was “unraveled” by their gaze, the second time he was to die, and ceased to exist disappearing before Ellen’s own eyes. However, her grief and confusion was cut short by the arrival of the two yellow Aliens, who had formerly attacked Buddy.
The aliens, rebuilding Buddy the same way they initially worked on him rebuilt him from a template. His powers were boosted and he was released, along with Vixen into Africa, though his colleague, performing the equally complicated maintenance on“the Continuum” was having a much more difficult time, in both controlling it, and keeping things as they were. Ellen faded out of existence at least once stating they Buddy and her were not able to have kids. Animal Man and Vixen were both taken hostage by Hamid Ali and his servant, Tabu, who also possessed Animal powers. Hamid who attacked them both with Tabu and his tank, Buddy was tranquilized and placed, along with a depowered Vixen in a sterilized room, preventing Buddy from using his powers. Tabu was to kill them in the morning. Meanwhile, the Alien’s craft, the Traveler was breached by Hamid’s laser weaponry; it transpired that the Traveler was the sacred tribal object.
After reaching out into Hamid’s body, Buddy was able to duplicate himself in a similar fashion to a bacterium replicating itself. As they escaped, leaving Buddy’s duplicates to deal with Hamid and Tabu, Vixen planted a bomb inside the complex, apparently destroying the Animal Masks. Buddy then threw himself down the hole, where the breached Traveler lay. The Alien explained to Buddy about the Template; how the invisible beasts were Memory-forms; and that every few thousand years they return to the surface to give out items, or powers to allow people to touch the “Template” (Which would later be known as Space B). Buddy was told that he was a Paradox that his Pre-Crisis form was an older man, who should not have existed in the post-crisis continuum. Buddy re-wrote his history, with everything the Alien told him taken into consideration. The Monster that first attacked him was re-written in as Memory form, and he was a much younger man when his powers manifested.
After seeing Vixen onto the plane in Africa, Buddy ran into an old acquaintance - Mike Maxwell, the B’Wana Beast. Mike included Buddy in the ritual to find the new Beast. After what happened in San Diego Zoo, Mike found it nigh impossible to continue being the beast. After donning the garb a final time, Mike and Buddy found Dominic Mndawe in a cell. He had been arrested for trying to smuggle photographs out of Africa. After helping Dominic route a potential disaster at the hands of some racist white supremacists, Buddy left Dominic the hands of Mike who insisted that the Beast belonged in mythology, not in politics. Dominic however, had other ideas.
Whilst Buddy was in Africa, a number of events clicked into place. Ellen, Maxine and Cliff had all been seeing or experiencing“Ghostly goings on”. Maxine had seen and even met a Ghost. When Buddy returned from Africa he even tried to track down the Ghost, after it appeared in the Window of his house. Chasing it outside Buddy remembered the vision of the Ghost from when he was ten.
Whilst Buddy was“Ghost hunting” he received a call from his former Forgotten Hero colleague, Dane Dorrance. Dane wanted Buddy to help prevent the annual slaughter of Dolphins on the coast of the Faeroe Islands. Buddy assisted in preventing any more of the slaughters, along with the help from the Sea Devils and Dolphin. In an uncharacteristic move for the time in Buddy’s life, he lost his temper and carried the head leader right to sea, before dropping him and leaving him there, potentially to die. Luckily for him he was saved by a Dolphin, who had forgiven him even though he killed many of the Dolphins family.
After the revelation that Jack O’Lantern was working and living in Bialya with the Queen Bee, Powergirl and Buddy went under cover to see what exactly was going on. Whilst visiting Biayla the duo now reunited with the majority of the league sets out to infiltrate the royal palace via the sewer system. However, they are headed off inside the sewers after Buddy notices that there a tiny cameras lining the walls. After a brief battle the League defeated Lantern and headed off the Queen. After a short discussion the Queen and the League came to an agreement – she’d stop attacking the name of the league and controlling the minds of innocents, and they’d keep quiet about the way she ran her country.
When Metamorpho’s wife turned up at the JLE headquarters, Buddy along with the rest of the league were surprised to learn Rex had a wife, but nobody was more surprised than the amnesiac Metamorpho. It turns out that Sapphire had married Java in the interim whilst Rex was dead, and was in a rage about his wife returning to her former spouse. Ralph Dibny and Buddy tried to delay Java in the lower levels whilst Rex and Sapphire talked it out. Ralph and Buddy opted to “sit outside” whilst Java and Rex wrecked the headquarters.
Buddy was part of the JLI envoy that traveled over the planet“familiarizing” themselves with the staff and layout of the JLI embassies. During which they experienced the London Embassy’s fire drill, and overly officious chief of staff, the repairs of the Australian Embassy after the Invasion, A visit to the Paris embassy, where Blue Beetle’s anger at Captain Atom was apparent, and the trip to the Russian embassy, where Buddy got the Flash almost into trouble with the very butch chief of staff there. Eventually the league was offered a station on a tropical island, where the league spent the rest of the day relaxing.
Under the suggestion of Max Lord, J’onn and Catherine Cobert, the French Liaison with the JLE, most of the group went to learn French at a night class. However, by a twist of fate, the Injustice League also attended the same class. A brawl ensued, which resulted in both Leagues being arrested. However, the Buddy and his fellow JLI members were later released from prison after they learned they had diplomatic immunity!
When Captain Atom lost his powers Buddy was initially very against the idea of lying to the press about it. Since he’d recently become a media darling at the hands of his own actions as well as publicity from the Justice League he felt it might compromise the integrity and the respect of the Justice League as well as himself, from the Press.
When Ellen received word that her children’s book was going to be published, Buddy took her to Paris to celebrate. While they were in Paris, the newly escaped Time Commander took “control” of time, and caused all sorts of havoc in the streets. Buddy fought a Tyrannosaurus Rex, before the rest of the JLE caught up with him. Upon discovering the Time Commander was behind the problems, the other heroes tried to beat him up, which was met with little success. Ever the different hero, Buddy simply talked to the Time Commander, finding that he was trying to make the world a better place, reverting back to the Garden of Eden. However, his Hour glass was destroyed by Metamorpho, who also broke his nose. Buddy felt sorry and even guilty for what had happened to the Time Commander.
When the League was called to a small European village, they found themselves at the receiving end of the wrath of Dr. Irwin Teasdale, who was working with The Gray Man. The European town’s people were apparently turned into Vampires, and rampaged across the town infecting non-vampires, and attacking the JLI members. During the day light hours Buddy confessed to Dmitri how out of place he felt, and how he felt, literally, out of his league around so many other heroes with stronger and more useful powers, in such weird situations.
It transpired that Teasdale was working for Simon Stagg, who initially funded the creation of the gas, which had turned the townspeople, and in a later attack, the U.N troops into Vampires. Buddy had to forcibly restrain Metamorpho, who was more than willing to beat Stagg into a pulp. Teasdale, along with his Vampire army moved on the Stagg industries plant, whilst Dr Fate and the Spectre went to try and neutralize the threat of the Gray man, who was using the ultimately fatal disease to expand his power base, by causing all the “Vampires” to kill themselves on the electrical fences of the plant. Buddy didn’t stomach this very well, and was more sensitive to the loss of life here than the other members of the League, particularly Guy Gardner. Eventually, with the combined powers of the Lords of Chaos and Order, they gave the Gray man a “Cosmic Lobotomy” allowing him to continue his work, without the risk of him returning to his power hungry search.
During the battle with the Vampires and the Gray Man, Powergirl had been badly wounded and ended up in Hospital. After the quick thinking of Sue Dibny, she was saved, after the Doctors and Superman helped to treat her. Buddy watched the results of the operation, as well as the news report on TV with Dmitri.
When a Painting, under the control of the Brotherhood of Dada, ate Paris Buddy and his colleagues in the Justice League called on the Doom Patrol to sort the situation out. Whilst they didn’t go on the adventure with the Doom Patrol, they witnessed the Doom Patrol’s unique brand of Weirdness in action, when the group moved inside the painting, and then caused the painting itself to regurgitate the “ Fifth Horseman” in the form of a Rocking Horse.
While Buddy was away dealing with other Business, namely the problem with the Painting that Ate Paris, and the Doom Patrol, the Crimson Fox was offered JLA membership, however she declined forcibly by spitting on Captain Atom, and leaping through the window. The next day she reclined her previous statement and moved into the embassy!
The End of Animal Man
When Buddy returned to America he took part in a raid on an Animal testing facility. Disturbed and shocked by the monkeys, whose eyes had been sewn shut for experiments on animal testing, whilst the other animal rights protestor torched the place, Buddy discovered through Ellen that the fire was chemical in nature, and had put a fireman into critical condition. Buddy was horrified by this; Buddy quit the JLE, and his Animal Man identity, giving over his last pay cheque to the injured fireman. As Buddy came home to tell Ellen the bad news, he found the physicist and sufferer of an existential fourth wall breaking trauma, James Highwater, half corporeal, half “sketched” on his living room floor.
James Highwater had been led to Animal Man after “coming into the world”. He’d felt that even though he had memories of his entire life he was only now just existing. Visiting Arkham Asylum, he met with the Psycho- Pirate, who was babbling insanely about dead universes. Picking up a piece of paper at the Pirates feet, he had found images of Buddy from his Pre-Crisis days. Tracking him down to his house in San Diego, he tried to show Buddy these images, but found they had been transformed into a map of Native American preserves, with a Mesa circled.
Once they reached the Mesa, they both took some Hallucinogenic Peyote Buttons, experiencing cosmic truths and visions. Buddy was greeted by a ghost-messenger, since his position as the Animal Man prevented him from having a totem. It all led James to come to the conclusion that Buddy was connected to the Morphogenetic field, the place where every animal that ever existed is represented by it’s perfect form, it’s own ideal form.
Witnessing the Prophecy rock, Buddy traced the path of images to the Crisis, then finding a suggestion of “a second crisis.” As the duo reached the ultimate revelation, Ellen was visited by a man known as Lennox.
During the second part of the vision, Buddy met his pre-crisis predecessor, who had been wiped from Continuity. Unlike Buddy he didn’t receive his powers until he was thirty, and when he married he was unable to have kids. The Radiation that gave him his animal powers made him sterile as well. After explaining that Buddy worked for people who twisted his life for entertainment, he broke the Fourth wall, looking outside of his comic book existence, and then Buddy and James finally started to understand the nature of reality, and Buddy’s powers. Feeling born again Buddy returned home to Ellen and his kids to explain his new experiences only to find that they had been shot, and killed by the man known as Lennox.
Just days after his Family was killed Buddy went back to the JLE Embassy, to gain some support from his friends. Dmitri, who had grown close to Buddy, looked out for him when he first arrived. However that was soon sidelined when Metamorpho, enraged by Stagg’s recent experiments as well as Batman labeling him “unstable” went to seek out his son, with Buddy and Dmitri tagging along to prevent any kind of violence breaking out. However, Metamorpho broke free of the duo to see his son, who was “being treated like a monster”. He beat up Guy Gardner, but before he could get to his son, he was confronted by the Metal Men. Once Buddy woke up, he got into a typical “misunderstanding” fight with Java, who later had his arms melted by Metamorpho’s baby. Once all the excitement had died down, Buddy who was still in a lot of turmoil and grief over his family, quit the Justice League forever.
Buddy was devastated beyond words. Roger and his ex-wife as well as their neighbours tried to comfort Buddy, but with little success. He later held a funeral for his children and wife, in which most of the JLE attended to offer their condolences. In a fit of depression and desperation, Buddy decided to take his own life, but was saved at the very last minute by a phone call from the Mirror Master.
Donning his old punk costume, Buddy and the Mirror Master took off around the world tracking down the corporate “big-wigs” who killed his family. Buddy drowned the first man, buried the second man alive, and finally punched an elevator containing the third man off the side of the building, allowing him to drop to his death. Buddy finally faced Lennox, who was wearing a suit of enhanced armor. Eventually defeating him, he found that killing the murderer’s of his family didn’t help his pain at all.
Grasping at straws Buddy went ahead and got a time traveling machine from Rip Hunter, by lying about a possible threat from time controlling enemies. He traveled backwards through his own timeline, appearing to be the ghost that Buddy had encountered a few months ago. James Highwater was recruited by the aliens to help prevent the Psycho-Pirate from bringing about the second crisis, which would collapse the continuum, whilst Buddy, trapped in the Seventies was taken to lunch with the Immortal man, Jason Blood and the Phantom Stranger. Finally Buddy was rescued, pulled back through time by one of the Aliens to help prevent the rip in the architecture of the real.
As Psycho-Pirate's mind gave birth to every possibility, every character that had been erased from continuity, including Over-Man, a superman variant from a world where he enacted Doomsday. Stepping outside of the Continuum, into Space B, Buddy was able to effectively fight and eventually defeat Overman. During this Battle James Highwater put the Medusa mask on, and took the Psycho-pirates place inside the Asylum. The aliens took Buddy back to his house, to tell him that there was time for just one more adventure, and as he opened the door to his house he stepped into Limbo.
Meeting up with the Inferior Five, more specifically with Merryman first who gave him a small tour of Limbo. In the background of these events, a Monkey with a type writer sits underneath a tree, typing the script for “Animal Man”: Issue 25” before suffering wooziness and falling face first into his type writer. Merryman explained that the Monkey is important to Limbo, which led Buddy to suggest he take the Monkey somewhere it could be helped. So the plan was formed, for Buddy to take the Monkey to the City of Formation, to try and heal it. Searching for weeks, months possibly even years, Buddy finds there was no city, and he’s been led directly back to his own house. Stealing the script from the Monkeys hands he reads and carries out the final parts – cutting a key from the script and using it to unlock a door in his house, stepping out into the “real world” where he met his “writer” Grant Morrison.
Buddy spent a good long time talking to his creator. Finding out if he was real, or not. Grant explained that he always wrote Buddy, but didn’t create him. He killed his family because there was something about bloodshed and death what excited people. He also told Buddy that he was moving on, he wasn’t going to be writing him anymore, and he might change. He might find himself no longer a vegetarian or interested in Animal rights, as they were Morrison’s passions. Finally at the end of the story, Morrison leaves Buddy sat on the couch in his home, only for his family to come walking through the door. Buddy is upset, but he doesn’t know why.
Buddy emerged from a three month long Coma, with no knowledge of how he got into the coma, or what had happened leading up to it. Everything was very strange, dreams of murderous saber-toothed cats and horses plagued his thoughts as he woke up to a world where Ellen and his kids were very, very different. Buddy, had also changed during his coma. More uninhibited, more animalistic, he created some problems for his family when he "marked his territory” and sniffed the buttocks of Ellen’s publisher's wife. Finally Buddy created a real problem for himself when he was taken over by primal urges and tore the throat of a police horse out in front of thousands of people.
After doing some research Buddy found that he was elsewhere, in a different universe apparently. Things didn’t make sense here, Marvin Gaye was still alive, Hitler was put on trial and Neil Armstrong wasn’t the first man on the moon. After discovering that this wasn’t his world, he went to talk it over with Ellen. He discovered that she was having an affair, which threw him into an animalistic rage. Beating the man and forcing him to submit, he declared that he had won ownership of Ellen back. Ellen, however, had other ideas. Buddy was taken from the bedroom by the Nowhere Man, a molecularly displaced individual, who informed Buddy he’d been drafted to protect the President from some super powered toddlers known as the Angel Mob.
After killing the Nowhere Man's former friend, the Front Page, and earning the hatred of the Notional Man, Buddy took off from his assignment to protect the president and took Cliff and Maxine with him, against the wishes of Ellen who had put a court order on him, preventing him from seeing them until after the Divorce. Maxine was kidnapped shortly afterward by the Notional man, who was dispatched by Buddy, possessed by animalistic rage. Stopping in a church afterward, Buddy’s prayer was disturbed by the shattered sky light and his own body falling down in front of him.
Discovering that the Buddy in front of him was, in fact, a hallucination from one of the three super-powered children, Buddy retracted from the church, only to have the CIA and Nowhere Man catch up and detain him. His children were returned to their mother, whilst he was briefed about the children and their powers, and his mission. However, Buddy found that the hallucination he thought he was having about the Jungle in the bathroom, was in fact truth, and is possibly the reason for his more animalistic and ape-like behaviors, as he was confronted with saving a young primate from a saber-tooth tiger. Buddy then faced one of the children, but was apparently killed for the second time when a piece of glass pierced his heart.
At Buddy’s funeral, the Nowhere Man managed to sneak past Ellen and into the house, trying to sneak a glimpse of this jungle in the bathroom. With the aid of Maxine, he was able to access the jungle. Upon later explanation, it appears that the Buddy who died was of a divergent reality. The Buddy who came back with the Nowhere Man from the Jungle had originally walked into the Jungle. The Buddy who died was from a divergent branch of reality where he slammed the door closed. The reason both were allowed to exist was solely to do with the Jungle, a point in the distant past connected to the present. A group of future scientists traveled to the divergent point in humanities evolutionary history; however after a tussle one of the ape-man was trapped in the time-door preventing it from closing properly.
Upon further explanation it seems that two Buddy’s could not inhabit the same world at the same time, every time the Buddy from the jungle entered a world, that world’s natural Buddy was killed. In the Jungle many Buddy’s from different time lines could meet and discuss their apparent problems, which led our Buddy to eventually work out a way to break the reality loop. Buddy managed to make friends with one of the children, called Lucinda, and after the promise of a presidential pardon he managed to get the kids to turn themselves in. However, Buddy was betrayed by the President and the kids were taken to be experimented on.
Buddy flipped out, killing the president and then escaping his guards. With the aid of the Nowhere Man he was able to find Lucinda, who implanted a hypnotic suggestion inside of him, allowing him to remember all of his experiences after the trigger word “Mr. Baker” was spoken. After stepping into the jungle bathroom again, Buddy rescued the Ape-man who had been caught in the time door, and threw himself off a large rock. Waking from a Coma, and finally remembering what happened, Buddy found himself in the correct universe finally, where he was met by his true wife and children.
A Month after his experience with the Coma, Buddy’s life was back on track. Making a lot of money from his career as a stunt man, he is living comfortably with his family until endangered birds begin to turn up dead around him. Their insides appear to be cooked. On a flight home from a stunt shoot, Buddy is shot at by a “crazy hippy” named Travis Cody with a bow and arrow. Whilst the arrow misses Buddy, it hits his son in the side. Chasing up the hippy later, the police find that while he had no bow and arrow, he did have an array of interesting machinery. Altered to more raptor deaths, Buddy is attacked by a Wolverine, and after defeating the animal he tries to turn its powers off, but is unable too. The powers even begin to mutate his arm into a wolverine’s claw.
Buddy’s connection to the Red was affecting both his behavior and his powers. Unable to make his hand return to normal, or to control his temper, he found that his daughter was tapping into the same power set he was. She was becoming more animalistic, tearing her soft toys apart with her teeth, and then making friends with a pack of rats, which were drawn to her. Using his own powers he was able to quiet the rats and remove them, retracting Maxine’s powers and behavior with his own abilities. After confronting the Hippy, who accused Buddy of killing the birds of prey, he had the man arrested, only to find at a later date that he was in fact correct – his own powers were killing the Animals.
Working with Travis the hippy, Buddy and he tested his Animal powers. When he took the powers directly from an Animal, as he used to, he was able to take the powers fully and control them. However, when he tried to take it directly from the M-Field he found he was unable to, and his connection began to degrade. He took this theory and managed to apply it to a stunt for a film, an electrical stunt which sadly for Buddy went horribly wrong, particularly when the director ordered the murder of three dogs.
Continuing to work with Travis Buddy began to research more into animal lifestyles and their structures. He bought a van and looked into new methods of using his powers without killing animals. Meanwhile, Buddy’s daughter was being visited by an entity she called “ Mr. Rainbow”, when Maxine made one of her frequent trips inside Mr. Rainbow she met an old native American, who she named “ All the Animals”. He told her to pass a message on to her father. “The Animals are going to teach him a Big Secret.”
Trying more experiments with his Animal powers, Buddy began to experiment some negative effects from his powers. Taking the poison squirting ability from a fire Salamander, he also changed his facial features, making them more elongated and extending his tongue. All of these changes led Ellen to take Maxine and Cliff away for a few days. Meanwhile Travis was visited by Mr. Rainbow, who convinced him that the end of the world was coming. In an attempt to gain some of his old popularity, Buddy did a one off demonstration at the San Diego Zoo, which culminated in the power of the Red exploding out of him, killing every Animal around him.
Maxine and Ellen went to visit Ellen’s mother in Vermont, leaving Cliff in Buddy’s care. Cliff and his friend Ace torched Travis’ place imitating the ultra violent comic book character “ The Penalizer”. Travis left Buddy as well, going off to New York to get on the “Angels space ship”, to avoid the world ending. Buddy’s powers went more haywire, trying to patch him into every Animal he kept in his basement, as a reserve power base. Finally witnessing Mr. Rainbow, Buddy attacked it, and defeated it, using his ability to fire energy bursts from the Red for the first time.
As Buddy’s powers continue to go haywire, he descends into the depths of depression and almost insanity. Cliff left Buddy after he struck him in a depressed stupor, and finally released the animals in his basement. Buddy’s powers had also been affecting local wildlife, bringing in three large packs of Wolves, which terrorized the city, as well as driving birds and other animals crazy. In a final drop of sanity, Buddy ran around naked with the wolves, being “at one” with them, before trying to pull himself together and visit his daughter and wife.
On his way to visit Ellen and Maxine, Buddy stopped off in a sleep little village. During his stay here he was almost recruited to the Dr. Fate and the Phantom Strangers cause to defend the planet, but he rejected them, exploring the village and finding America’s only black bear farm. The energies released by Circe and the Gods gradually transformed the Men into twisted versions of the bears they hunted and slaughtered. Buddy finally managed to control his powers, meeting and communicating with a bear then controlling or persuading the bears of the surrounding areas to come down and kill the men.
Whilst the other heroes from around the world were squaring off against Gods, or the Gods themselves battling each other Buddy was recruited by some of the most powerful mystics on the planet in the form of Dr. Fate, Zatanna, Madame Xanadu and the Phantom Stranger. Circe's original spell to free the Gods, as well as set Beastimorphs off all over the planet was taking hold but a solution seemed to present itself. By taking some of Buddy’s blood, Dr. Fate was going to attempt to tap into his blossoming powers, and mix it into Circe's original spell. Once the spell was cast, Animal Man was charged with standing in the center of it, assuming the essence of the Animals. With Buddy’s role at the center of the spell he was able to whittle down Circe's Beastimorph army to just a few; however it paid a terrible toll on Buddy, taking him out of the equation for the duration of the War.
Buddy finally made it to Freeport, staying with his Wife and Daughter and his wife’s Mother. Travis, who had been offered the chance to train with the Shaman, “Stone that cracked the Earth open like an Egg”.
However, Travis was picked up a man known as Mr. Samson, who had previously offered Buddy a job for S.T.A.R labs. However, Buddy had refused it; Travis on the other hand was not in a position to, as he had broken his probation by leaving the state. Whilst on the farm, Buddy’s, now completely malfunctioning caused a number of Animals, mostly the larger ones such as the horses and cows, to float in the air.
Buddy was contacted by his old Hawk, Harriet, who was being used as a vessel for Stone. Upon approaching Stone, he was struck and told that the two of them had much to accomplish.
Cliff had wound up in San Francisco, saved by his uncle Dudley from a group of “ruffians”, whilst Travis was seduced by Samson’s assistant, whilst the S.T.A.R. labs released prototype genetically engineered warriors, who went rogue and killed the soldiers they were being “field tested” against. Buddy’s essence inhabited a black bear, whilst his conscious mind was being tested on the spirit planes. Whilst his Bear form met up with Maxine, and played with her, Buddy woke from his dream trek to meet the other Animal master who had been by his side his entire journey. Buddy and Tristess, the other Animal master, then proceeded to make love in both the form of Black Bears and humans. Eventually meeting up with Travis again, and engaging in a short battle with Vixen, who wore the Animal master Tabu’s masks, Buddy returned to the farm to learn that Ellen had traveled to New York to get work to provide for their family, while he was off effectively doing “nothing”.
Reunited with his family, Buddy expressed a concern for the work that Ellen was doing for a “grim and gritty” comic book, especially since the writer was using the story submitted by Cliff. Buddy and Ellen also had some trouble locating Maxine, who appeared to have disappeared. Whilst this was going on, Raney Fox, the movie director Buddy originally did some stunt work for, wanted to buy the rights to the Animal Man life story and make a film about it.
The more time Buddy spent with Stone the more he began to realize they had a shared past, in fact the Bakers all had a shared past with the Red. Going back to “Old Jack Baker” who fought with Tomahawk in the revolutionary War, Buddy’s father told him that all Bakers were close to nature, and natural hunters. Deep within Buddy’s repressed memories, he found that he had met Stone before. On a hunting trip with his Father, Stone had rescued Buddy’s dad from death by treating the wounds he received when killing a grizzly. Stone also wanted to use Buddy his “Son” to kill a beast who had fallen to Earth in a cosmic cocoon.
Buddy, using his powers, managed to locate Maxine, who was a mile below the surface of the Earth. It turns out that Maxine, along with Mike Maxwell, had tapped into the powers of the “ Antagon”. The entity that fell to Earth in the Cosmic Cocoon some years ago, this power was the source of Buddy’s problems, after fighting with Maxwell; he was absorbed into the Antagon.
With the Antagon now possessing Mike Maxwell, it set off on its rampage across the country, killing plant and Animal life along the way. Killing Raney Fox, Ellen feared that Buddy and Maxine had been killed, but Buddy had used his powers to shield the two of them. Traveling to the Sweat Lodge of Stone, he moved into the between realms, with Tristess and Vixen.
Taken into the between realms Buddy passed one of the final tests, calming and controlling the massive guardian of the realm, a Dustmite. Riding on the mite, they met up with Stone who told me of the remaining three Animal masters, himself, Krate and Arum. When the world was young, the Animal masters used their powers to create Animals. They still create animals. Meanwhile, Samson from S.T.A.R labs had used dead animals, touched by the M-Field, to create a super human body for himself, as the Antagon ravaged through Vermont. Buddy returned, learning that he was supposed to be one of the five animal masters, a long with Vixen, Tristess and his daughter Maxine that would finally defeat and kill the Antagon.
The Animal Masters, the old ones pulled the Antagon, who now possessed the body of the super human Samson, into the M-Field. Within the field Buddy, Tristess and Vixen pulled together, their powers reaching out into the uncreated and doing something that had not been done since the big bang. They created another universe, a universe inside the M-Field, away from this creation and this world that would contain the living embodiment of destruction.
Flesh and Blood
Flying out to the last known location of Dudley, Buddy began the search for his missing son. In the meantime, Maxine had something of a prophetic dream showing Cliff being vivisected by what appeared to be a twisted version of Uncle Dudley, whose fingers were transformed into knives. As Buddy grew closer to the trail of Dudley, and Cliff, he was hit, deliberately, by Dudley’s truck, apparently killing him.
Ellen flew into the city to meet Buddy’s remains, but was met with a horrible shock. Buddy had reanimated himself only to find that his body was a wreck, a completely destroyed shell that he could no longer feasibly inhabit. Before that, Buddy had embarked on the mammoth task of moving against the flow of life and death, swimming up from the Red where the spirits of all animals went and returning to his original body. The climb and movement was difficult for Buddy, and every fragment of his being called for him to go back into the Blood Sea.
Buddy was reborn in that moment, clinging to life, even though he didn’t know it as a mite living on Ellen’s eyelash. As she cried he was pulled from his precarious position and pulled down into the pond where his ashes were just scattered. He then moved through various animal life forms, a Hydra, a Fish, and then a Dragonfly Larvae, which eventually metamorphosed into a Dragonfly. Buddy’s emergence was greeted by an elated Maxine, who became distraught when Buddy’s Dragonfly body was eaten by a passing Bat.
Buddy moved his way up the tropic levels of nature, from the bat he was eaten by to Maxine’s pet Triceratops, Winky. Whilst inhabiting Winky, he found something of a kindred spirit. They were both somewhere they didn’t belong, both somewhere outside of their own realms of existence, and they were both desperately lonely.
Meanwhile, Dudley had taken Cliff to a place where he and his friends had made old slasher movies. It began to dawn on Cliff that Dudley had gone wrong somewhere in his life, and was insane. His uncle later trapped him in a “church” worshiping death itself. Over the other side of the country Buddy was being reborn again, using Winky’s capacity to lay an egg, as well as his own abilities to tap into the Red, even unconsciously at this stage, to grow himself a new body. As he had generated Winky before, Buddy managed to dig deep into the template and make himself anew.
Buddy, now alive inside of the egg hatched out in a chimeric form that disturbed and disgusted Ellen and her mother. As he grew, his meetings with Ellen became less and less frequent, she was disturbed by his transformation, to the point where she could no longer see him. Running away from this disaster, he finally sought out his son, rescuing him from his insane uncle, leaving the older man to drown in the cave systems they fought in.
Returning to the farm in Vermont, Buddy found that a small pouch held by Cliff contained two of his fingers, they were a “keep sake” that Dudley had kept to remind him of his first kill. Ingesting the fingers, Buddy hoped to return to his original form, and after letting his current form return to the Red, by being eaten by other Animals, he found he was reborn in his own death, back in his original human body, which was later discovered, freezing and starving by Ellen.
When Ellen went back to the City to try and raise work, Buddy was left to spend a day with the kids, which ultimately ended up as an exercise in control. Cliff wandered off immediately, getting into trouble in a video store, whilst Buddy offended a Christian outreach worker, and Maxine released all the animals in the pet shop.
Whilst Buddy bayed at the moon, wanting the return of his mate, Ellen had a hell of a night in the city. Leaving the couple she was staying with after she was almost raped, Ellen found herself in a similar situation with a police officer, after being mugged. After she punched the police officer she found herself in a situation where they planted Drugs on her, and then took her in on little to no charges. Buddy found out when he was informed by the woman from the couple, Juliet.
Buddy was arrested for harassing a woman in Ellen’s coat. Putting in a cell over night, the Police officers decided to transfer him to a mental institute after he slipped into the mind of a crocodile being bound and lashed out. Managing to escape his prison, by using the stench of a skunk to divert attention, and flying away, he found that Ellen had met a liberal woman in her cell, who introduced her to a group of feminists who dealt with her problem, leaving her with a way out of prison and to make sure there were no repercussions from her attempted rape.
Tooth and Claw
After all these disturbing and shocking events, Buddy and his family went down to the coast for a vacation. Traveling down to the coast Buddy found he was over come with negative thoughts, anger and tension that permeated his body. Attacking another family, he had a small falling out with Ellen. Local animal life also appeared to be disturbed by his anger, attacking both Maxine and Cliff. Later, on a boating trip across the ocean, Buddy, Maxine and Ellen were attacked by Dolphins, who were again thrown into a rage by Buddy’s malfunctioning powers.
Buddy prevented further harm from coming to his family, by using his powers to fend off the Dolphins. Meeting a woman called Annie, she seemed to have a strange predilection to painting animal attacks on humans, more importantly almost predicting their attacks, painting dolphins drowning people, rabbits attacking (such as the Warren that attacked Cliff and her daughter, Lucy) and Lobsters killing people, a fate that had befallen a man on the coast. Buddy found a kindred spirit in the angry Annie, and spurned his wife after she suggested that the Animal Weirdness might be centralized around him.
Diving into the Ocean Buddy found the Leviathan, the ancient giant beast that was the real reason for the Animal Aggression. Around the coastal cottages both Annie and Buddy’s families were staying in, there was a small cave, which Annie used to take refuge in to try and calm herself. Ellen and the others learned that this was causing the Leviathan to feed off Annie’s anger, and actually wake up, which would be very bad for the world. Luckily, Ellen and Lucy snapped Annie out of it and the Leviathan went back to its century long slumber.
Annie and Buddy discussed their own views on Religion, whilst Maxine and Cliff were forcibly withdrawn from their school by Ellen, after the head teacher insulted them. The incident that led to their detention stemmed from Maxine using her own Animal powers to resurrect a Raccoon the other children had chased into the road.
Acceptance seemed to move through the Vermont farm like a snake, Ellen wishing she could learn more about the life web and accepting the animalistic passion of he husband, Lucy and Cliff’s acceptance of their relationship, as well as their own mortality, Ellen’s mother accepting two lesbian travelers, who had helped Ellen during her hardship in the city. However, the grouping was also greeted by what Ellen’s mother considered to be God, an Anthropomorphized wolf man.
While Buddy tracked “God”, Ellen and Annie discussed the emptiness she felt after touching the life web during sex with Buddy. She felt desolate and scared. Annie described her views on reproduction, stating that Mother Nature was trying to close down the human race by throwing up more genetic problems, and halving sperm counts.
Buddy found that it was not God at all; in fact he was a member of secret group of higher Mammals, the Silent Walkers, who have existed since the dawn of Mankind. They live peacefully and with love for every animal, only taking what is offered to them, rather than hunting and killing. They teach Buddy in the ways of peace, and embracing the Red for what it is rather than trying to force human ideals and comprehension on it. Buddy came back a changed man, particularly his eyes which now resembled white slits, rather than human eyes.
Maxine was part of the Children’s Crusade, where a number of Super power children, including Suzy the Black Orchid and Tefé Holland, traveler to a parallel world where Children had been captured by an entity similar to the pied piper. Maxine was discovered by her Father hiding in a collapsed Rabbit Warren, her mind severely traumatized by the events. In actuality Maxine had split herself in two; a mindless “baby” Maxine which was the Maxine found by Buddy and brought back to the house.
On Cliff's Birthday, it seemed his whole family went to hell and back. His dad was transformed into some multi-beast state due to his contact with the Silent Walkers; his Mother was distraught since Maxine’s return from the Children’s Crusade as a different person, almost empty. Cliff was despondent, especially when forced to cycle into town in the rain, where he was accidentally hit by police car breaking his leg. Cliff discovered that the Officers wife could perform “miracles”, healing his leg. Getting an idea, Cliff brought both Officer Dan and his wife, Evelyn back to his house to heal both Lucy, who had terminal Leukemia and Maxine.
Evelyn, joining with the group, allowing the power of God, and then love to run through them, was able to cure Lucy of her condition. However, she had much more of a problem with Maxine, stating that she was like a drain, the energy would not fill her up, it wouldn’t move through her. After Dan was called out and shot by a criminal, she opted to stay with the Bakers.
A few days later, Maxine wandered off into the snow driven night, with Ellen watching. When asked why she didn’t stop her, Ellen said that she thought Maxine was dead, and wished she was so she could properly mourn her. Buddy and Cliff went out into the wilderness to try and find her, with Buddy shifting into a Polar Bear to aid their search. They found her, dead in the snow, without eyes, as birds at eaten them out.
On the day of Maxine’s funeral Ellen left Buddy, she couldn’t forgive herself for letting her daughter die in the snow. Buddy confided in Annie, which ended up in frantic animalistic copulation, whilst Cliff discovered that Maxine was in fact alive.
Maxine had crawled out of her impromptu burial to scare the living daylights out of Cliff, who wailed and peed himself when he saw her, but many of the family, particularly Ellen’s mother, were elated to see her return. Buddy, on the other hand had given up his humanity, letting himself go to the Red, as a form of Griffin. Buddy’s anger over rode the natural mindsets of the Birds and Vermin of the area, calling them all to converge on the White House. When Buddy found that Maxine wasn’t dead, just as he was about to fly back to Vermont to see her, he was shot down.
Buddy and Ellen’s marriage deteriorated, with Ellen and Buddy revealing their feelings, or actions towards others, like Buddy screwing Annie, and Ellen forming a relationship with one of the fundamental feminists, Sarah, who had got Buddy out of his “prison sentence”. Buddy had traveled back and immediately gone to see his Daughter, who was being pestered by Media agents. At the Dinner table they all began to discuss Buddy’s recent behavior and how he wanted to scare mankind, show them that everything had a face. Annie suggested something radical, that Buddy should start a religion, with him as the main “prophet” and Maxine as the center figure, The “Life Power Church of Maxine”
Buddy and Maxine went on TV to try and persuade the world to stop in the tracks, to try and save the planet. According to the host of the chat show, they’d heard all of this before, however, Buddy ranted and raved about humans being destructive and killing the environmental, filling the studio with the howl of the Red. It wasn’t until Maxine stepped in and began to talk sense, her innocence and natural wisdom cutting through Buddy’s rage that people started to take notice of what was being said.
Children from all around the country flocked to the farm in Vermont, to take part in something big, to be connected to the new natural rebellion of the Life Power Church. Buddy, Cliff, Lucy and Annie were even invited to a party thrown by a band, Year Zero who wrote about the church. Meanwhile, people all over the country were having “Red Dreams” imagining themselves as Animals in a crumbling world.
Dubbed the “Red Plague” by the medium, thousands of young adults, and Animals moved across the country, trying not to stay in one place as to avoid legislative and governmental friction. Buddy was most at home in this nomadic state, whilst elements of the life power church, particularly new members seemed to sew discordance amongst the members.
The Life power church ended up in a stand off against the police just outside of a state line, coming into blows with the Guns for God Organization, as well as troubles from within. One of the members of the church, Locust, who got his name from his Red dream about devouring a crumbling Manhattan, had his father turn up, with a gun. When he refused to return with his father, his dad fired off a shot that hit cliff in the bottom. Cliff refused to go to hospital as it would damage the credibility of the Church.
Cliff became more Ill, so Buddy took him to the “Promised Land” a place in the Arizona desert which had been bought up by Year Zero to be the base camp for the Church. The Government had actually placed a “mole” inside the church, who took the opportunity to infect Buddy with a potent cocktail of mutated diseases when he landed after leaving Cliff to be cured by Evelyn.
Buddy was close to dying, but as the life power church made it to the Promised Land, he came up with the perfect solution. He would die to join humanity back to the Red and calm it, allowing the life power church to exist peacefully. His body was devoured by the Animals that accompanied the church, whilst all the followers were taken over by the Red song, committing to a massive orgy. Annie also revealed that she was made pregnant by Buddy before he died.
When Buddy awoke he was still inside of the Red, inhabiting some sort of dream space within it. His old dog, Mr. Cow was there, only this time he could talk, guiding Buddy through what was going on. Buddy went on dream journeys into the Red, each time moving up through the realms of existence, being born into the life web with a little more consciousness a little more of himself.
Meanwhile, Tension was mounting in the Promised Land, not just amongst the inhabitants, some of which protesting that their budget be spent on paying for Maxine to appear on TV, while other pressures came from outside of the Promised Land, particularly from Christian peer groups. Maxine had also been suffering terrible dreams, one striking her memory more than others – gathering the body parts and innards of her Dad and bringing her to a giant celestial spider, who’s Avatar had destroyed and eviscerated a Giraffe previously. The Spider Queen promised to join herself to Maxine, as well as her Father with one of her silken threads. Soon after this dream Buddy’s new form was lowered from the sky into the Promised Land.
Buddy’s position as Messiah and avatar of the Life-Power faith was firmly cemented when he healed the injuries of a girl who believed herself to be a bird during a Red Dream and leapt from a window. The Pastor considered Buddy the devil and hurled a rock at him, hitting him in the head. During his time unconscious he was able to witness the death of some big game hunters, at the hands of a baboon troop. Traveling to the site of the deaths, buddy came to a startling revelation. He was an accomplice to the murder.
Since an evolutionary leap had been taken by Mankind, the Baboons were offered the opportunity to stand trial, rather than be immediately put down. Buddy walked with the baboons whilst they turned themselves in, and even protected them from the threat of the Baboon keepers, who resented the Animals for leaving their pen and forcing the Game Park to sack them.
Whilst Buddy and Annie discussed the impending birth of their child, and that it felt different Maxine had a disturbing dream. A dream of alien abduction where she met some aliens called “Nothing” who were the space between Atoms, the synapses to neurons, all of which were taken and killed by the Spider Queen, who forced Maxine to dream through a twisted version of her favorite book series.
Back at the Promised Land Buddy meets an existential scientist who takes him to his abandoned tie die psychedelic military compound. Buddy and his associate at the time, Dr Ananda Sharma, a pioneer of Holographic and psychological disciplines were transported into another world, a virtual world which was revealed to be part of the Imaginal realms.
It turned out that each of the aspects that both Buddy and Maxine had traveled through were parts of the Three Kingdoms; the Aliens in Maxine’s dreams represented the Small matter world, whilst the reality where ideas were born and bred was known as the Pandemonium realm. The Spider-Queen was spreading and controlling their realms to create a web to capture the World Soul in the real world. The Spider Queen took control of Maxine’s body, forcing Buddy to aid her in taking control of the final imaginary realm, the realm of Spirit.
The Spider Queen explained that under special circumstances, an idea can be born from the imaginal realms into the real world, when a number of special dreamers, people who are connected to nature or think in a unique way, such as the ones gathered in the Promised Land, facilitate this process, the Spider-Queens babies would move up her web strands and into the minds of these unique people.
Buddy found his “self” removed, torn off him by the Spider-Queen to feed her babies, their first meal would be Buddy’s Ego, whilst he moves into the realms of being a true Shaman. Taken to where his Daughters mind was trapped, in the dream aspect of the three kingdoms, Buddy was greeted by another unknown quantity. The Black Queen, apparent opposite number to the Spider Queen, she taught Buddy the central aspects of shamanism and that the Life Web was indeed inside of him as well, his body made of Spirit, Mind and Matter.
With the birth of Annie's baby imminent, Buddy began to fall down the path of insanity, spending the two months after his visitation and cleansing by the Black Queen drinking and sitting around in a bath robe. He found that Ananda had experimented on himself, creating a Virus years ago which was the cause of his now fast approaching death. Apparently, the Spider Queen was using the virus to infect the real world and the World soul, being born from Annie herself. Finally, Annie was abducted by the Grey Aliens calling themselves, "Nothing".
Buddy moved into a higher state of consciousness, now he was fully understanding everything. He was the body of God, as Diamond and Coal are the same substance, human and the divine are also the same. Buddy reminded the Spider Queen of her true place in the universe, and as well able return in time to witness the Birth of Annie’s daughter, and the World Soul.
The next time Buddy appeared, a competitive super villain called the Gamesman had kidnapped Maxine, just to playing a hunting game with Buddy. With the help of Aquaman, who engaged the Gamesman in physical battle despite being blind, Buddy was able to search the ocean floors for Maxine, who was trapped inside a giant diving bell. Eventually, Buddy was able to defeat the Gamesman and save Maxine. His time with the temporarily blind Aquaman, made him realize he had elemental connections, specifically to the Clear.
After this, the first significant event to herald the return of Animal Man to the superhero community was his appearance in the battle against Amazo, where he and the other members of the newly expanded Justice League went into battle, only to be defeated by pumping up Amazo to God-like levels of strength. Absorbing all the powers of the Justice League members present, he was only defeated when Ray Palmer suggested that Superman tell the Android that the Justice League was disbanded. Without a Justice League to destroy, there was no reason for Amazo to exist.
Buddy was next called in by the Justice League for a consultation when the JLA were turned into Apes. The Martian Manhunter and Batman discovered that one of the bombs used by Grodd and his followers to turn humans into apes had pieces of crystal in it which had a similar resonance as Animal Man. J’onn met up with Buddy, who had been turned around by his experiences as Animal man, both the metaphysical ones and the more real ones (such as the Anthropomorphic Coyote being the savior of mankind.) Buddy informed J’onn of the possibility of re-writing an organisms DNA by changing their morphic resonance, thereby forcibly changing their species. Eventually the team was reverted thanks to Animal Mans information and reverse engineering of the crystal that changed them.
He has also rejoined the new Forgotten Heroes, with the Resurrection Man as a member instead of the Immortal Man. Once again the Forgotten Heroes were after Vandal Savage, this time however they needed Mitchell Shelly for their plans, rescuing him from the clutches of Dewitt, a man who hunted Shelly, and was in fact Savage’s Son. The group is tracing another Meteor, sibling to the original meteor that gave both the Immortal man and Savage their powers. Using Shelly’s powers they were able to track the Meteor, which was traveling through time rather than space, to the Antarctic Circle, where it crash landed destroying Savages Camp. The effects of the impact were vast, vaporizing some, melting others, and causing temporal outwash which affected both the surroundings and the perception of the heroes and villains involved. The repercussions of the hit were so vast that the JLA and the Titans became involved. Ultimately, it was down to Savage, the Immortal Man and Mitchell to sort the “Warp Child”, which was at the centre of the reality warping field. The Immortal man gave his life to kill it, leaving the teams to round up Savage and his Henchmen and leave the area.
After a long period of inactivity, Buddy was next seen fighting demons in Africa alongside his friend and comrade Freedom Beast. Demons which had been released from hell by the demons Neibrios and Etrigan who had the Spectre under their thrall by using the power of the Spear of Destiny on the Day of Judgment where Hal Jordan assumed the Mantle of the Spectre.
At the start of the new millennium, Buddy attended a party thrown by John Constantine together with Swamp Thing; Shade the Changing Man, Black Orchid, and Robotman, though there were a variety of other heroes attending the party, from Brother Power the Geek, to Zatanna. Shade, upset by the “madness” that was bubbling underneath Bernie Madden’s brain brought him to the attention of the other heroes. Shade, suggesting that he was tapping into the madness of the world, planted the seeds for a “joining” between Swamp Thing, Animal Man and Black Orchid. However, when Shade joined in on the link he sucked them all into a bleak future where mankind had destroyed the Animal world as well as the Green. Eventually the group broke free of the hold of that world, and Bernie was left to ruin the final fragments of a relationship with his ex-Wife and Daughter.
Buddy was next seen arriving to the scene of an already finished battle. Courtney Whitmore, Stargirl, had just defeated the menace of the Nebula Man in time for the Combined forces of the JSA, JLA, Metal Men, Young Justice and the Titans to appear to “save the day”, after Pat Dugan, formerly Stripsey, had raised the alarm. Buddy along with the other heroes went away shortly after learning the Stargirl had defeated the villain all by herself.
These small scale events marked the return of Buddy’s super-hero life, because a few months later, He appeared to assist the JLA in their battle against Mageddon. Noticing that the Lizards were reacting to a strange stimulus, Buddy sparked an idea that might save the planet, after discussing it through with Steel he presented the idea to the JLA itself. Mageddon was stimulating the R-Complex in human brains; the lizards were tearing each other apart. Theorizing that Super humans are the evolutionary step up from Human beings currently, the JLA scientist created a machine that could temporarily empower the entire planet. With this added power the JLA and the entire population of the world, coupled with added help from Angels managed to defeat Mageddon.
Buddy’s next appearance in costume after this was simply to “party” with the rest of the Superheroes on the Watchtower. The Party itself was organized by Plastic Man, and almost every member of the Justice League, as well as other superheroes such as the Heckler and Ambush Bug attended, even some big name celebrities and political figures.
Buddy then came to the aid of the Hawks when they were dealing with a suspected case of an Animal Avatar, specifically the Hawk avatar. When facing the former Thanagarian Warrior, Katar Hol, the Hawk's and Hawkwoman were mistakenly led to believe that he had no died as he was possessed by the Avatar of the Hawk. Buddy was called in for a “consultation”. He let Hawkwoman know hat the Hawk Avatar had returned to the Red some months ago, along with the Lion and the Tiger. The Katar Hol who had been flying around was in fact a villainous shape shifter known as Byth, the reason Hawkwoman and Katar Hol had come to Earth in the first place. After a prolonged battle, during the first half of which Buddy was knocked unconscious, they finally defeated Byth by flying Hawkwoman's starship into him.
When Sue Dibny was murdered, Animal Man was called in to investigate the crime scene, whilst he is not trained forensically he was to use his Animal powers to catch a scent, or any other sign of that may be missed by human sense. He also attended Sue's Funeral with his own wife, Ellen, to mourn the loss of Sue.
The Infinite Crisis
Day of Vengeance
For more information see: Day of Vengeance
When the Spectre began his attack on the world of Magic, Buddy was seen in the Oblivion bar with other mystical super humans, and nature based heroes including Freedom Beast, Black Orchid and Vixen. During this onslaught Buddy lost his connection to the Red, since the connection was always considered to be more mystical than Scientific. He was also one of the many mystical entities to pass on his energies to Captain Marvel whilst he fought the Spectre.
Buddy also found himself a part of the small Meta Human army that fought the O.M.A.C.s. Though he didn’t play a huge part in this battle, he did survive which is more than could be said for other members of his JLI team. The loss of the Rocket Red #7 aka Dmitri Pushkin was particularly sad and painful for Buddy Baker, as the two had bonded during their time in the JLE over their shared connection as family men.
Infinite Crisis (Main Event)
During the event known loosely as the Infinite Crisis, Buddy was recruited by Donna Troy to join many other heroes in space to take part in the damage control of the War between Rann and Thanagar, and inadvertently the damage control of Alex Luthor, as he manipulated the Multi-verse. Buddy briefly teamed up with Firestorm to save a Thanagarian Hawk from its Rannian kidnappers, however, as in most Wars, none of the parties could be saved, not even the Hawk itself. Buddy did form a“mentoring” relationship with Firestorm, serving as a friend to the young hero while they were in space.
Towards the end of the Crisis, when Alexander Luthor’s hands created a massive energy backlash, Animal Man, along with Adam Strange and Starfire were thrown out into the far flung corner of space.
52 The Missing Year
Animal Man, Starfire and Adam Strange were stranded on an alien planet, shortly after being thrown out into the depths of space. The trio was pursued by Devilance the Pursuer, who ultimately captures them. They manage to launch an escape, but the group is eventually tracked by Devilance once again, only this time the New God is slaughter by Lobo. Following Lobo’s Lead, they are taken to a small planetoid inhabited by hundreds of different races, all falling under the leadership of “Pope Lobo”. On revealing the “ Emerald Eye”, held by Lobo, their presence was detected by the Lady Styx, who sent her Hench men after them. During a battle with Lady Styx and her horde, Animal Man was killed by a necrotoxin, which causes its victims to rise again in the service of Lady Styx. Animal Man made Starfire promise not to let him come back as a zombie. At t he moment of his death, Ellen, still on Earth, appears to sense his death and began to cry.
Mere moments after Starfire and Adam Strange leave Animal Man in on an uninhabited planetoid in space, Buddy comes back to life. The Aliens who originally granted his powers pluck Buddy out of the time-stream and begin to repair his body. The Aliens, in the short time Buddy had been with them upgraded Buddy’s powers, allowing him to reach out to claim the abilities of a group of Sun-Eaters, including their homing sense. Using these abilities, he is able to survive the rigors of space and access Space B for the first time. Once again Buddy meets with the Aliens that gave him his powers, they tell him about Space B, how it is removed from Time and Space, and what purpose it serves. From Space B Buddy observes his wife from a wormhole; Ellen is seeing another man, yelling the name of his wife Buddy throws himself into the wormhole and out of Space B, appearing exactly where he intended to go – his own home.
Buddy then returns to Earth glowing with the energy he had absorbed from the Sun Eater, mere moments after Ellen rebuffed the advances of Buddy’s friend and former Agent, Roger. Buddy goes on to describe the marvels of space to his delighted family, as he sits glowing on their front lawn. Ellen throws a party to celebrate his return, until it is interrupted by some followers of Lady Styx, who are attempting to kill the Baker family. They are eliminated by Starfire, who has only partially recovered from wounds suffered in space, come only to deliver Buddy's jacket. She faints from weakness and surprise when she sees him alive, leaving the family to care for her.
Buddy stayed out of the lime light for some time after the events of Space, only wearing his costume to attend the wedding of the Black Canary and Green Arrow. The wedding was a huge superhero event, with the JLA, JSA, Titans and various other heroes in attendance. It was marred by the wholesale attack of a number of supervillains after they got their hands on an invitation (From Snapper Car). Deathstroke, Sivana and a large number of supervillains crashed the party, pulling the Green Lanterns, Wonder Woman and Superman away before continuing their attack. Buddy joined the rest of the heroes in defending the guests, in this case, Ellen from the Supervillains, until they were defeated and Green Arrow and Black Canary were properly wed.
The Holy War
When the natives of Rann turned to the religion of Lady Styx to give their lives a greater meaning, Adam Strange turned to Starfire and Animal Man. He wanted to use a telepath, like Captain Comet, to beam their joint memories of Lady Styx to the population of Rann to cure them of their delusion. Journeying with Strange back to Rann, they met up with Hawkman and Strange’s wife Alanna.
When the Thanagarians' tried to steal precious minerals from Rann, Buddy, along with Tigor and the rest of the assembled heroes, went to prevent them. After the quick defeat of the Thanagarians', Buddy and the others encountered a giant dinosaur, something Sardath would later call an “Anachronism”. After the heroes collective might, and the aid of the Weird, the heroes defeated the Dinosaur. As the group returned to Sardath’s labs, they discovered that many time displaced creatures and events had been witnessed across Rann. Like many of the other gathered heroes, Buddy was reluctant to join or create a cosmic group, as suggested by the Weird. Journeying to Hardcore Station, the group found it’s inhabitants lost in a trance, as caused by the Deacon Dark of the Eternal Light Corporation. They found Captain Comets friend Chief Justice Max, pinned to the symbol. Confronting the Deacon, they discovered his powerful benefactor, the cosmic being known as Synnar. Buddy was injured during the battle, and despite the power of the group, even with the additions of Starman and Bizarro, they had to retreat.
After taking some time to recover, Buddy regrouped with the rest of the team to fight Synnar in his place of power, an ancient pyramid in the deserts of Rann. During the battle, Kory was wounded, but ultimately saved from a fatal blast by Bizarro’s bulk. Distraught that he had to shield her, Buddy offered comfort. Just before the final battle with Synnar, Buddy spoke to Adam Strange and Kory, stating that he’d only regret this situation if he didn’t go back to his family. In the final battle with the forces of Lady Styx, in a battle that would eventually destroy the planet Rann, forcing the population to move to Starman's now deserted planet, and rename it New Rann, Buddy was badly injured and spent most of the important moments recovering and heading home to see his family.
During the search to return the Red Tornado to his body, and the subsequent battle against Amazo, Zatanna had a vision showing both Animal Man and Vixen strung up by what appeared to be red strands of webbing. Firestorm, Vixen, Black Canary, and Red Arrow all journey to San Diego to talk to Animal man, the idea being if that could understand his powers, they might be able to understand Vixens.
Since both their powers changed after Countdown, Vixen only being able to siphon Super-humans, and Buddy only able to channel the powers of alien animals, they thought there was a possible connection. Something had been altering not only their powers, but also their minds, as showcased by Buddy as he bit into a chicken leg without knowing he was doing it.
When Vixen is sucked into the Tantu totem by Anansi, who was revealed later to be behind the changes in Vixen's powers, Buddy was shortly drawn in as well. Anansi tried to trick Buddy into believing that the Yellow Aliens aren’t real, but he then confesses that everything he says is a lie, casting more doubt onto the Aliens existence. Buddy was kept in Anansi’s webbing until Vixen, and an alternate reality version of the JLA eventually defeated the spider god, returning everything to it’s normal place in the universe, and Vixen’s powers with it. Buddy, however, retained his universal power levels after getting everything back to normal. Animal Man and Vixen were training in the watchtower for a bit when Black Canary and Vixen said to Buddy Baker that he should be in the Justice League of America. Black Canary and Vixen told Buddy that everyone would be happy to see him again that it had been a long time since he was in the Justice League. Buddy answered that he is a part-time member of the JLA and that his family needs him more Thanking Black Canary and Vixen for the offer. Black Canary told him that if he ever made up his mind there is a seat there waiting for him. Buddy Baker teleported home,back to his family.
Cry For Justice
After Green Arrow and Green Lantern broke away from the Justice League, to become a more proactive crime fighting force, they uncovered a large scale criminal plot orchestrated by the super villain Prometheus. Along with many other heroes, Buddy was dragged into this war between Prometheus and the Justice League, when Congorilla and Starman came to his house in San Diego. Initially reluctant to get involved in what he thought was going to be the Murder of Prometheus at the hands of Congorilla and Starman, he was persuaded by Starfire and Donna Troy. Linking up with the other members of the Justice League, Buddy and Dr. Light shot down to review the security camera footage of the hall of Justice when Red Arrow stumbled from the communications room, missing an arm. Buddy later assisted in the damage control for Star City, after Prometheus let off a number of bombs to cripple it, as well as other cities across America.
During the Blackest Night event, Nekron was revealed the be the "Guardian" of the Black Lantern Corps, Buddy, along with a group of other heroes, aided the various members of the colored corps as well as Barry Allen and Wally West during their attack of the Black Hand on the communal grave site of Coast City. Buddy had already survived one experience of the Black Lanterns, as he had rescued his family from an attack of Extinct reanimated Animals. When Nekron reached out to Buddy, filling his mind with his various deaths, and the piled bodies and bones of all the animals he'd failed in his life, Buddy awoke from the mental image implanted in his brain to find the bones of the Extinct Animals that had attacked him arranged into the symbol of the Black Lanterns. After Nekron established an emotional tether using the reanimated corpse of "Bruce Wayne", heroes who had died, such as Ice, Kid Flash and Superboy were killed and brought as Black Lanterns, to do Nekron's bidding. After a pitched battle with Starfire, where Buddy's emotions got the better of him and he tried to force himself on the princess, Animal Man was converted from Black Lantern to White Lantern, opting to fight on the side of life, when Hal Jordan took the life entity, that made up the life of the universe, and used it to bring back the once alive heroes and over-ride the power of the Black Hand and Nekron. The Life Entity told Buddy that his Journey was just beginning, he came back to life because he wanted too, and his body was evolving. He was the spirit of the animal population of Earth, their Elemental. It also told him to beware, as there is another.
Buddy was also witness to the return of many other dead heroes, such as the Martian Manhunter, Ronnie Raymond, and even the return of Deadman, back into the land of the living. He was also there to witness Saint Walker, and Carol Ferris save the life of Mera when her connection to the Red Light was lost, as her rage subsided when Aquaman was no longer lost to her. After the battle, Buddy returned home to his family, and rededicated himself to not only being Animal Man, but also to being in control of his life and destiny.
Return to the JLA
During the Justice Leagues confrontation with the Omega Man, two of their number - Congorilla and
Starman, worked independently to try and find a way to bring down the Barrier. After they recruited Rex the Wonder Dog, and Buddy to their cause , which was locating Congorilla's friend, and scientist Ape, Malavar. Traveling to the Florida Everglades, they discover a troop of Gorilla warriors attempting to prevent them from finding Congorilla's friend, as well as a natural Lazarus Pit which resurrected the previously deceased hero known as Tasmanian Devil. With Malavar's technology, they are able to help the JLA pierce through the barrier created by Jade and rescue the heroes inside.
When Eclipso made a bid to take over the Starheart Citadel on the Moon, with his captured Shadow powered meta-humans, Animal Man was seen with Congorilla and Australian superhero Tasmanian Devil as reinforcements. They were seen helping the Justice League of America try defeat Eclipso's shadow army but eventually fell under the mind control of Eclipso. Animal Man and the other mind controlled members of the JLA went on to attempt to fight off The Spectre. The Spirit of Vengeance attempted to fight back against Eclipso's control with the Green Light, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Animal Man was seen fighting Jessie Quick but was defeated in his attack. When Shade was defeated, the remaining mind controlled heroes were released, and took part in the Clean up on the Moon and went back home to spend time with his family.
Flashpoint and Beyond
As Barry Allen made his way back into the Time Stream towards the Conclusion of the Flashpoint event
he noticed three distinct Time Lines. The Vertigo Universe, the Wildstorm Universe and the normal DC Universe. Buddy is contacted by a Strange Woman, who reveals that long ago, the three time lines were splintered to weaken his world. Now, he can save them all together and make his world stronger, but only at a cost.
The Spider Queen
Having been established for some time, Buddy, was called by Detective Krenshaw to the scene of a crime. A terrorist known as Biowulf had been terrorising a number of bio-tech firms around the country, and had allegedly given Green Arrow a beating. Defeating Biowulf, Buddy collected his son, Cliff, from school and flew to pick up supplies for his heavily pregnant wife. Along the way, Buddy encouraged by Cliff pursued police to the scene of a crime. Encountering a whole street covered in webs, Buddy reached out, and found his mind invaded by the Spider Queen, Anansa. After experiencing vivid hallucinations where Buddy transformed into a pregnant Spider-Creature himself, he is transported back to reality, only to find that Cliff has been abducted.
Chasing down into the sewer system, Buddy eventually tracks down the Spider Queen, in her physical form. He begs and explains that by her feeding on the minds of people, she is forcing his hand in having to defeat her. She concedes and Buddy allows her to retain the dreams of the people she had attempted to consume, freeing Cliff from the Queen's grasps and letting Buddy take Cliff to the hospital, where they witnessed the birth of Maxine.
In the post Flashpoint Universe, Buddy took the place of the previous avatar of the Red, after he was killed by the Rot's Champion, Anton Arcane. Buddy is unlike previous Animal Men as he was not born into the role of avatar, but instead was manufactured through false means. The Parliament of Limbs created a 'narrative' he would understand and allowed their tailors, to manipulate Buddy. He was tapped into the power of the Red, and given his costume to fit in with the emergence of new heroes across the world. Five years later and Buddy is more of a retired hero than an active participant in the heroic world. He's moved on from being a vigilante to becoming a common face in pop-culture, taking up a bigger role in films, acting as first a stuntman and then as an actor in an indie film. Due to his very public endorsement and involvement in Animal rights Buddy's face has been adopted as an Icon.
Operating as an occasionally active hero, Buddy makes his way across town to prevent a man who lost his Daughter to cancer from hurting any more children in his grief. After subduing the man, Buddy found his connection to the Red far stronger than normal causing his eyes to bleed. After a thorough check-up, and a speedy return home, Buddy found his dreams invaded by the Red itself confronting him with visions of bad things happening to his family. Buddy's prophetic dream shows Maxine, and her pet Dog, Mister Woofus, trying to escape into a River of Blood, and Cliff with his stomach sliced open. Buddy is then faced with the "information" that he isn't the true Father of Maxine, that the Hunters Three, are in fact her "True Fathers". As Buddy is introduced to the "Rot in the Red" he is woken by the screams of his Wife outside. Racing downstairs, Buddy finds his Daughter, surrounded by dead animals. Confronted with the dead animals, Buddy once again begins to bleed from his eyes, only this time, it traces a bloody map over his chest. After being convinced by Maxine to follow the map, and her turning the angry neighbor's arm into a chicken leg, Buddy and Maxine follow the "words" of the Animals around them to find the "Red Tree". Through it, they enter the Red itself, at the same moment the Hunters Three leave it.
Buddy and Maxine commune with the Red and the Totems of the Parliament of Limbs. While they are within the Red, the Hunters Three begin their attack on the Baker family. One attacks Ellen and Cliff, the other two attack Buddy and Maxine; their entry had provided a perfect "back door" for the Agents of the Rot to follow. To protect his Daughter, who was been revealed as the guardian of the Red, Buddy fought the two agents. However, he is badly hurt, unable to contend with their raw power. Maxine manages to dispel the two agents of the Rot from the Red, heal her Father, and pick up a new guardian in the form of 'Mr. Socks', a former totem of the Red, who forsook his power to guide Maxine and Buddy in their journey. The pair return to the normal world in time to save Ellen and Cliff from being destroyed by the final Hunter, who had taken over the close personal friend of Buddy Detective Krenshaw, and attacked him with Animals from the Red itself. This played into the hands of the Rot, which took control of the animals and turned them against Animal man and the Bakers. Escaping into Ellen's Mothers RV, the family is pursued across the country by the agents of the Rot. Their singular goal, provided by Socks, is to find Alec Holland.
Buddy also felt the affects of the Justice League Dark, and their battle against June Moone. When the effects of her magic reached out across the world, Buddy attempted to prevent the Sphinx from killing tourists after it solved it's own riddle.
Animal Vs. Man
The Animals possessed by the Rot make their way through the country, trailing Buddy and his family. They tear a bloody swathe through the country in pursuit, leading the authorities to believe they are in fact, holding a new strain of rabies. Confronted with a Mother-In-Law who doesn't understand what is going on, and trying to maintain his family while escaping a fundamental force, Buddy is under a lot of stress. While the family sleeps, Buddy receives a prophetic dream from a possible future, a future where the Rot has won. Sethe, along with the Hunters Three fight against a greatly reduced Swamp Thing, a much older Maxine, who has taken the mantle of Animal Woman, a crippled John Constantine and Ellen Baker, wielding a shotgun to support her child. Buddy's dream ends when the Rot infested animals confront the Bakers in their RV. They have finally caught up with them.
Desperately trying to defend his family, Buddy attempts to fight off the Rot Animals. However, in his inability to do both, Maxine is torn apart. Fortunately, her abilities as Avatar of the Red, allow her to transform and take control of a fox's body and reform it into her own. Armed with the knowledge that his family will never be safe while the Rot is out there, Buddy heads into town to battle against the remaining Rot infected creatures. Although the battle goes well initially, Buddy is defeated by the Rot forces and his body is re-purposed to be it's sole vehicle.
Extinction is Forever
Falling through the Red, a world where the spirits of the dead in the animal kingdom go upon Death, lost in the Bone Orchard, Buddy is confronted with a Guardian, Shepherd. At first, the Shepherd is unaware of who Buddy is, or his lineage. However, upon hearing that he is the father of the Guardian of the Red, he decides to take Buddy to the Totems. Shepherd guides Buddy through the Orchard and out onto the Sea Of Blood. Here he explains to Buddy the balance of the world, how the Red, Rot, and Green interact and balance each other. Buddy and Shepherd battle the Islands of Rot which continue to pierce the barrier between the elements.
Meanwhile, the Rot infected form of Buddy slowly makes it way toward the Baker family, interacting with the Rot along the way to mark the progress of Buddy's "soul". Maxine, with Cliff, attempts to put as much distance as possible between them and the Rot animals, by staying in a hotel, only to come afoul of John Constantine, who has been waiting for them.
Along with Madame Xanadu and Zatanna, explain they are with the Justice League Dark, although not quite superheroes, they were there to prevent a terrible future from coming to pass. A future where the world is over taken by the Rot, and Ellen is at the heart of it.
Banished from the conversation with the JLD, Cliff comes across his "Father" in an alleyway, who convinces Cliff that Ellen and Maxine are in danger, and they need to be brought to him.
When the three Justice League teams came together in battle over Pandora's Box, a variety of heroes, possessed by the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man, attempted to gain possession of it. However, it was only when Shazam! gained possession of the Box, did it's evil reach out and attack other mystical and nature aligned heroes. Buddy was seen screaming in pain, along with a number of other heroes, when Shazam's evil-possessed power spread out over the world, and through time.
Justice League Unlimited
Buddy was seen, as the League joined together after the events of Rebirth, helping Aquaman deal with a group of Aquatic Neanderthals, while the remainder of the League faced their own versions.
Buddy was also present, along with representatives of the Justice League and Justice League Dark, for the surprise return of Starman who would go on to assist in the War with Perpetua.
Dark Knights: Death Metal
Buddy was one of many heroes recruited by Wonder Woman to assist in the fight between the Heroes of Earth, and the Batman Who Laughs. During the Battle of the Final Crisis of both the Dark Multiverse and Positive Multiverse, Buddy fought alongside Adam Strange and other heroes to attempt to defeat the Robin King. However, the Robin King, in the true style of Batman, was prepared for all eventualities. He transformed Buddy's family into the Unliving, who succeeded in hunting him down and consuming the Red from him, killing him in the process.
Fortunately, at the end of the battle, Wonder Woman reset the timeline, saving all those who died during the battle.
An alternate version of Animal Man was present at the closed casket of Jack Carter's funeral in England,
along with Elijah Snow, The Drummer and Jakita Wagner. It was noted by the Planetary group that the people of the '80's England were all bound together by the Strange and Occult nature of the times. It was also noted that they all looked faintly ridiculous.
The Last Days of Animal Man
In the future of 2024, Animal Man is still a member of the Justice League. During the unveiling of the new sea Defenses at San Diego, in light of half of it sinking and becoming " Sub Diego", Buddy is on hand to fight a villain known as Bloodrage. It is during this confrontation, that Buddy first discovers his waning abilities. Having witnessed the battle on TV, Ellen confronts Buddy about his dissolving powers. Their confrontation leads to an argument and Buddy speeding off to his full time professional job as a Stuntman coordinator. In the mean time, Bloodrage escapes from prison and is once again confronted by Buddy. This time, however, his powers were not regained during the battle, and he is thrown over the top of a building by the greatly enhanced villain. Fortunately, Buddy is saved by a Whale Green Lantern, who defeated Bloodrage for him. However, it left Buddy in a terrible mood, pushing away both the Lantern offering help and a diagnosis for his powers, and a phone call from his wife. Attacked by Prismatik for no reason, Buddy found himself without his powers and fighting for his life. His powers reactivated, but acting more like they did initially, allowing him to take the abilities of an Animal he was close too. Luring Prismatik to the San Diego Zoo, he took on the abilities and rage of a Silver Back, beating the woman until the Justice League of Titans had to intervene.
After extensive testing by Red Tornado, the JLT deduce that he will loose his powers within days. Unable to accept this, Buddy suggests the possibility that his children may have the key in allowing him to keep his abilities. After visiting his angry wife, his disassociated daughter and his workaholic son, Buddy realizes that he's ruined his family and his role within it. Taking comfort in Starfire when the Tornado breaks the fact that he won't be able to fix his powers, it eventually leads to a kiss that has been building to a head since their days in space. Breaking the kiss Buddy reveals he cannot go any further as he's already let his family down so much. Before he can pour his heart more to Kory, Bloodrage and Prismatik attack in tandem. Prismatik manages to severely beat Kory, and Bloodrage near beats Buddy to death, before some quick thinking and his life flashing before his eyes allows him to tap momentarily into his powers, and escape.
Recommitting himself to his family, he makes the difficult decision to return to the JLT HQ in order to rescue his team-mates, who had been called and captured by the villainous duo. Loading his car up with his stunt gear and ready to go into battle, Buddy covers himself in stunt armor, and launches into the attack on Bloodrage. Beating the villains, if only for a moment, Buddy is then whisked away to a platform high over the San Diego streets. The Justice League come to "rescue" only to find that Buddy had used the last of his abilities to communicate with Virus' and tell them to infect Prismatik and Bloodrage. The villains, finally defeated, and Buddy finally out of his Animal Man abilities, he dedicates his new lease on life to actually living it, and is invited to become a part of the Justice League of Titans, as their "Watchman."
Before being sent to the former Legion of Doom head-quarters, which now acted as a prison, Buddy was framed for the murder of his Wife and Children. Spending a large amount of his "superhero" life in Prison, Buddy never really took to it the way others inside did. That all changed when Heatwave, a new prisoner, smuggled in his partner in Crime, Plastic Man and began to run a rampage through the Prison. Coming into contact with a "Meta-Gang" run by the Atomic Skull, which Buddy Baker was a member of, he was forced to fight for his life and his role in the prison against Heatwave. Using his abilities, as well as his own strength and tenacity, he looked as though he would beat and kill Heatwave, until the villain bit off Buddy's nose, and curb stomped him to Death.
Buddy was seen to be dead in a vision of the future by Madame Xanadu, piled on top of the bodies of other heroes, such as Etrigan, Swamp Thing, Zatanna and other members of the Justice League Dark, who were killed as a result of John Constantine gaining access to the Books of Magic. This future was prevented by the Justice League Dark.
After spending many years working together on the Justice League, and initially acting as a source of irritation and foiled for each other, Buddy spoke a eulogy at the Funeral of Green Arrow, who had been killed after Firestorm had been reluctant to tear himself away from a girl. Buddy, along with other heroes, assisted in carrying the coffin of the Fallen Hero.
Powers and Abilities
Buddy is connected to the Morphogenetic field (M-Field).
As a youngster, he was out hunting when he witnessed the crash of an Alien Spaceship. This crash killed Buddy, however the aliens within the ship took pity on Buddy, recreating his body and allowing him to tap into the M-Field "Continuum", or the “Red” as it was later known. The Morphogenetic field is where all the genetic, behavioral, mystical and phenotypic information about animals is kept. It holds everything from the first animal life on the planet to the possible evolutionary branches of organisms alive today. Initially thought of as a layer of Ozone around the planet, it transpired that the M-Field, also known as the Red, is part of the Fundamental Forces of the planet, representing Blood.
Strength Level: When not accessing the M-Field, Buddy has the basic strength level of a man who is maintaining an athletic shape (exercising daily). During shape, shifting he goes from 10 tons to 100 tons
Powers (Displayed In the New 52)
Imitation: Buddy has an intuitive knowledge of Animal behaviors extending for his connection to the Red; it allows him to understand when animals are under stress, or simply when they are hungry, or unwell. This makes him a very effective Animal rights activist, as he can accurately discern whether the Animals are being mistreated or not. However, this doesn’t always gel well with the protestors.
Understanding: Buddy’s connection to the Red also offers him a different view point – looking at the situation from the point of view of the Animal, or Animals involved. He can see the possibilities open for the Animals, as well as the limitations or the possible cruelty.
Communications: Buddy discovered that he is able to communicate with Animals on a level he was unaware of. He is able to openly converse with the Animals, much to the Animals and Buddy’s disbelief in most instances. This used in conjunction with his ability to control Animals gives Buddy a distinct edge on other heroes, as he can communicate directly with all animals down to the smallest protozoa.
Channeling: Buddy’s Physical attributes are linked directly to whatever Animal he is currently tapped into. Initially Buddy had to be within direct contact of the Animal, or within a certain range, but since his experience with the Animal Masters, he is able to reach directly into the life web and Morphogenetic field of the planet and take whatever Animal he can think of, or feel out for the situation. When channeling an animal Buddy is able to pick up more than one attribute of several different Animals, e.g. when he went up against B’Wana Beast the second time, he took the Regenerative abilities of the Salamander and Camouflage of a Chameleon.
Proportions: Buddy’s powers, particularly the channeling of particularly attributes is proportional. For example, taking a Flea’s abilities, Buddy is able to leap a great distance into the air, since the power set is scaled up from the size of the Flea. However, were Buddy to take on the attributes of a much larger Animal, for example an Elephant or a T-Rex, the powers are not scaled down because of his reduced size.
Shape-Shifting: Buddy has been able to use the M-Field to completely reorganize his phenotypic make up. For example, During the God War Buddy was able to transform his body into that of a Polar Bear, or when his family was murdered he was able to Morph his hands into those of a Bear, and a Wolverine. However, this is not always the best use of his powers. Recently, Buddy Baker was killed and the Red regrew him a new body that allows him to take on the characteristics of the animals that he is tapping into.
Taming : Buddy is able to use his natural ability of calming Animals to tame them. Whilst with most normal humans it takes months to tame a wild animal, Buddy can do it in minutes by reaching into the Red and showing it has nothing to fear.
Intelligence : Buddy is able to see things from a slightly different view point, the point of view of the Animal. As a result of this he is able to put into practice the intelligence of whatever animal he is tapping into, its experiences, and its perception of the world.
Chimera: After Buddy was killed by his Uncles truck, his mind jumped from Animal to Animal, until eventually he grew himself a chimeric form. Warping his channeling abilities and his morphing abilities he took a number of different Animal abilities and traits and melded them into one being – A Birds wings, Eagles Beak, Horns of an Antelope, strong muscular legs with reversed kneecaps, and powerful brown furred body with long talons on his hands.
Longevity: As an Animal Master Buddy has natural longevity. The other Animal masters had lived for hundreds, if not thousands of years, so Buddy feeling old at 30 years is something of a false Economy.
Spirit Guides: During an experience with James Highwater when they went atop a Shamanic stop and had an experience with Peyote, they witnessed their spirit guides. James’s was of an Eagle, but it was never revealed exactly what Buddy saw. His spirit guide was immaterial, never giving away exactly what it was.
Totem Guides: During his Shamanic Identity, Buddy came across a number of different guides and spiritualists as he traversed higher dimensions in search of Universal Truth. During this time he found himself working with a Spiritual Bulldog called Mr. Cow. Mr. Cow was his Totem Guide for a short period of time, but may turn up at another juncture in Buddy’s life where he needs guidance.
PreNew 52 Abilities (Includes above)
Demiurgic: When the entity known as the Animal Antagon took over the body of Mike Maxwell, AKA the former B’Wana Beast, Buddy used his powers in Tandem with the other Animal masters to create an entirely new universe for the Antagon to exist in – A Universe devoid of any humans to kill, or animal life to destroy – a baby universe.
Space - B: Buddy is able to access and use his Animal Powers, particularly those of the Sun-Eater to access a fragment of Space/Time called Space B. In Space B, space and time mean nothing, and instantaneous travel is possible. However, Buddy rarely uses or even visits Space B, as this is where the Aliens that gave him his powers reside, and he finds them creepy.
Upgrade: At the end of the Year Long travel through space, the Aliens who initially gave Buddy his powers gave him an Upgrade after he was killed by Lady Styx and her followers. Buddy can now tap into the Universal “Red” reaching out and grabbing the Animal life from all over the universe, not just limited to the Red of the planet he is living on
Connections: There are other people in the world with Similar powers to Buddy, Tristess, the Freedom beast, Vixen, even his own Daughter, Maxine, and being connected to the Red allows Buddy to “feel” where his fellow Animal Masters are.
Swapping : In a few cases, Buddy was able to give an animal another animal's powers, such as lending the ability to fly to live stock. This ability isn’t wildly used and was only really displayed when his powers were malfunctioning.
Mind Transferal: Buddy is able to transfer his mind, for a limited time, or a long time, into the form of an Animal. He used this ability to escape death after he was hit by his insane Uncles truck. Provided that Buddy’s mind escapes into an Animal Vessel, he can live in that Animal for as long as that Animal’s natural life stretches, and transfer his mind from that Animal to other Animals.
Animal Control: In a few cases, particularly when Buddy was entering his “God of the Red” phase, his chimeric form, and his own powers allowed him to control the movements and actions of Animals, through both force and coercion. He cannot control an Animal to do something out of it’s behavioral set, for example, he cannot control a Dog to use a computer, or drive a car, but he is able to use the Dogs instincts and abilities to track a person, or to attack a person.
Red Projection : In times of great stress or need Buddy is able to warp the stuff of the Red and produce an energy blast. Nothing particularly powerful, with a lower concussive effect, but it’s an energy blast nonetheless.
Merging: Mike Maxwell, a former Animal master known as B’Wana beast was able to use his powers to combine two different animals into a composite being for a limited amount of time, given that Buddy was able to Morph himself into a chimeric state, it is possible he would be able to develop that power to create these hybrids.
Meta-Mimic: In very rare cases Buddy has reached out an taken on the abilities of another Superhero, however most of these mimics have been from people with similar abilities, such as his mimicking of B’Wana beasts merging abilities, and his mind control ability.
Buddy has also exhibited a number of Latent or Uncontrollable powers that Buddy managed to use just the once:
As a Black Lantern, Buddy retained his normal abilities, with the only difference being that he was able to call on the powers of any Animal that was dead. Buddy was able to re-animate extinct or dead animals while he was a Black Lantern. Whilst the Black Ring did little more than Animate Buddy, it allowed him to see "emotions". Where emotions did not exist, through hibernation, or through non-natural means, Buddy would be unable to detect the entity.
Being a Black Lantern also gave him a connection to their power Battery, which held the form of the Anti-Monitor at its heart, as well as connecting him to Nekron's resurrection.
Very little is known about the White Lantern abilities currently. It seems as though White Lanterns represent life, and all that comes with it. Being a White Lantern granted Buddy the ability of flight, as well as bringing him back from the edge of death.
Justice League Unlimited and DC Nation video clips
Buddy makes frequent appearances as a member of the extended membership of the Justice League. First helping the League reign in and "tame" the Savage B'Wana Beast, when they first fight some of Gorilla Grodd's followers, and secondly during a battle with Queen Bee. Buddy has also seen to help out on larger scale missions, or been shown spending his time on shift in the Watchtower.
Buddy has appeared twice in DC Nation (voiced by "Weird" Al Yankovic), in very short 30 Second sketches. Is is a massive departure from the current Comic-Series, and deals with Animal Man as more of a comedy character rescuing animals from situations, and ignoring people. So far, two clips have been aired.
When the show starts it yells out the word Animal Man and he gets on to action to save the day.
Animal Man intervenes to stop a bank robbery. Captain Cold is holding the bank up, Animal Man bursts in seemingly to prevent the robbery. However, he came only to prevent Cold from stepping on a mouse. He takes on the abilities of a snake and winds his way out of the bank, leaving Cold to continue his robbery.
Animal Man was seen again this time he was seen underground with some groundhog and he heard a women screaming on the train tracks tied up . Animal Man ran fast of the power of a horse and pick up speed and he saved a cow off the tracks instead of the women and Animal man said I saved that cow. The women punched him in the face and he lost his teeth in the front and back.
Animal Man was seen again when Darkseid took over the World and the Justice League lost the battle. Animal Man was seen saving a baby mouse instead of using his animal powers to fight off Darkseid and save his Justice League friends. Animal man took the mouse and lead him to safety and he used his butterfly powers and flew by Darkseid and said to him. Can you believe that person did that and flew away and Darkseid look the other way and look back where he left off at.
Animal Man was also seen at the beach fight off Aquaman enemy called Black Manta at the shoreline and at the end he is seen crying because he did not save the sea monkeys sandcastle and there familys.
In 2007 and 2010 there where two Animal Man made in a set called Hero Clixs in the 2007 set called Orgins. Animal Man was seen as a hero ready to fly and do an attack. In the 2010 DC 75th set Animal Man was seen in his old 1965 costume with out the jacket. Animal Man is standing with his hands and arms in the air doing a eagle or animal power to charge in a attack. In the DC 75th set his come with a card with his powers and his comic book issue #180 Strange Adventures and a little bio about how he got his powers.
Buddy was seen, as the League joined together after the events of Rebirth, helping Aquaman deal with a group of Aquatic Neanderthals, while the remainder of the League faced their own verisons.Buddy was also present, along with representatives of the Justice League and Justice League Dark, for the suprise return of Starman (Peyton) who would go on to assist in the War with Perpetua.