"When I was young... when I was young I had an imaginary friend called Foxy. He lived in a vast underground kingdom. A utopia ruled over by peaceful and intelligent foxes. I used to signal him. My parents bought me a torch so I could signal him. Not a flashlight. We call them torches over here. I used to stand at the top of Angus Oval and shine my torch out towards the hills. Foxy always signaled back. That was more than twenty years ago. I've come to send a signal out into the dark. It seemed like the only thing worth doing. Are you there? Can you see me? Foxy, I came back. I didn't forget. I came back. ... The line of the hills stays dark." Buddy Baker
— Grant Morrison
, also known as Animal Man, was one of many Super Heroes
created during the 1960s
. He first appeared in "Strange Adventures
" #180 (September, 1965). Created by writers France Herron and Dave Wood, and artist Carmine Infantino. The new character was about as fun and exciting as wet cardboard. He could take the abilities of any animal who was nearby and was granted this power by yellow aliens. He mainly used it to be a Flying Brick
Until 1988, when Grant Morrison
was given the chance to write Buddy's new series. Then, Buddy became more than just your generic superhero: he started caring about animals, fighting for animal rights. There was also the drama of his family, who fully knew he was a superhero and tried to support it. And then
things took a turn for the weird...
Morrison managed to combine family drama, animal rights activism, superheroics, and a heaping helping of Meta Fiction
to make this one of the most memorable comic books ever. It's brilliant, poignant, heartbreaking, and heartwarming at the same time.
Morrison left after issue #26, and the series continued for another sixty-odd issues, eventually coming under the Vertigo
imprint - but Morrison remains the defining run on the title. Animal Man continues to make appearances across The DC Universe
, including a starring role in 52
(co-written by Morrison).
In September of 2011, Animal Man was one of the characters receiving a series as part of the line wide New 52
relaunch. The new series, written by Jeff Lemire, deals with Buddy and his family dynamics, chiefly his daughter Maxine developing her own powers, as well as his attempts to protect "The Red"
. The series is a very dark
one, and has met with much critical acclaim, before ending after 29 issues. Buddy himself will continue to be written by Lemire though, this time under his newly-launched team book, Justice League United
In 2012, Animal Man made his animation debut in a series of shorts as part of Cartoon Network
's DC Nation
block, voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic