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Animal Man: Deus Ex Machina (Animal Man #3)

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  2,017 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
This long-awaited third trade paperback completes the collection of Grant Morrison's legendary re-imagination of Animal Man. Reprinting ANIMAL MAN #18-26, DEUS EX MACHINA follows Buddy Baker through an incredible odyssey of discovery and features a new cover by renowned cover artist Brian Bolland.)
Published October 1st 2003 by Titan Books (UK)
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Jan 09, 2013 Sesana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superhumans, comics, weird
If there's one thing, one plot element, that Morrison is famous for, it's here, in the on-the-page meeting of Animal Man and Grant Morrison. Everything, it seems, was working towards that moment, when the fourth wall abruptly ceased to exist entirely. It could have been gimmicky, but Morrison managed to pair that with a storyline about characters I actually cared about and were invested in. So when Buddy looks directly off the page and into the eyes of the reader? If you're invested enough, abso ...more
Zinz Vandermeer
Apr 26, 2014 Zinz Vandermeer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Okay… So now we’ve hit the apex of weird for Morrison’s series. The man takes the concept of breaking the fourth wall and laughs at it. Writing himself right into the story and giving poor Buddy Baker some serious meta drama.

When I’m recommending Animal Man to other people, I tend to recommend the first two, and suggest they don’t pick up the third trade unless they really enjoy the first pair. It’s odd, full of surreal situations and a lot of egotistical artistic back-patting. That being said,
C. Derick
Sep 13, 2015 C. Derick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Animal Man volume three collapses the fourth wall and the panel; Morrison uses Crises on Infinite Earth as a way to reimagine the multiverse and the relationship of characters to comic creators. Furthermore, elements from issues nine forward start to make more and more sense as the story arc is wrapped up and some of the earlier rushed stories seemed to add into something. The utter destruction of the fourth wall and the extreme meta-textuality works here because the character and plot have buil ...more
Oct 15, 2016 Xisix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had read dis one previously though never clicked button. Not crazy about artwerke though ole Grant Morrison creatively subverts the genre. Deus ex Machina - God from the Machine (aka "an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel.") Spoiler : Animal Man Buddy confront the writer Grant Morrison. Although this 4th wall has a bit of hokey look at me I'm clever to it, Grant does manage to cast light on symbiotic quality o ...more
I was absolutely blown away by this last volume of Animal Man by Grant Morrison. Everything that had been written up until this point, is utilized in such a special way. It's so hard to ignore the absolute talent of Grant Morrison. When his writing makes sense, it can really be of some of the best quality writing period, let alone in graphic novels themselves. This was of graphic novel classic quality, and I see now why so many hold this high on the list of comic classics. The fourth wall isn't ...more
Adrian Astur Alvarez
This final volume of Morrison's run on the Animal Man title culminates in balls out meta-fiction, which was interesting for all its implied, abstract elements of contemplation but as far as the text itself it worked as a kind of short hand for theoretical work a reader could do, you know, on his own time. Lack of intellectual rigor aside, this is a comic book, meaning it has certain responsibilities to entertainment as well as enlightenment and I thought Morrison balanced both wonderfully.

I am s
I was sad when I finished the last page of this volume (the last Grant Morrison Animal Man volume). In three volumes, Grant Morrison crafted a story about an obscure DCU superhero I had never heard of and reinvented the character, giving him, the characters surrounding him, the universe he exists in such wonderful depth that once you fall in (to the deep hole....depth?), you won't be able to get out but you won't mind, who would want to leave?
I'm not a fan of Watchmen and I'm very open about it.
May 06, 2016 Phil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wonder if this is the longest anyone has ever taken to read a volume by GM, or all the volumes he wrote in the series for that matter. Although I somewhat enjoyed the existential abstraction of Animal Man's universe, it just didn't grab me. Of course I'm relatively knew to the whole graphic novel scene so I may not have the "time in" to fully appreciate the ground breaking nature of this run. Probably why I procrastinated so long in coming back to it. To be honest I think I jumped back in just ...more
Apr 11, 2011 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This is the book where the Morrison-type stuff comes together. Not only is it smart, but it's fun, too -- as much a page-turner as anything. The metafiction peaks here, but it's not as stodgy as that might sound. Reading it this far after the fact lets us see not only the obvious take on Crisis on Infinite Earths, but also some of the early ideas that would get a much bigger working in Final Crisis (and, to some extent, the sort of multi-year structuring that worked so well in, say, his run on B ...more
Eric England
Sep 10, 2015 Eric England rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Animal Man Volume 3: Deus Ex Machina by Grant Morrison and various artists is a sublime work that masterfully conveys a wide array of tones and big ideas. The story centers on Buddy Baker, the superhero known as Animal Man, as he loses his family to violence and learns about the true nature of his existence. Morrison uses this basic framework to explore various issues and topics that are close to his creative heart. He movingly and realistically portrays the psychological impacts of grief and de ...more
Mar 30, 2014 M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grant Morrison concludes his run on Animal Man with this final volume. A love letter of sorts to comics, characters, and their fans, Morrison pens a tale that causes one to rethink the world of comic books. Needing to understand his origin and powers, Buddy Baker enters into a vision quest which starts to unravel his perceptions of his universe. After a head trip that sets him face to face with his "original continuity" self, Buddy arrives home full of hope - only to be confronted with the bodie ...more
John Kirk
Feb 04, 2014 John Kirk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are two main aspects to this story: the action/revenge, and the metafiction. They're both handled well, and it picks up on hints that were dropped in earlier issues, showing that Morrison had been planning this for a while.

(view spoiler)
Jan 02, 2008 Chadwick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys comics
Shelves: comics
Ah, the days when metafiction and comics were just going on their first dates. I'm so glad this is finally collected in trade paperback. Animal Man was so much fun. The art is kind of lame early 90s bad DC house style, until the end of the book. I always cry at the end.
Jan 08, 2016 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Seriously. Just seriously.
The first issues of Animal Man were weird, and this just cranks it up to 11. There's two whole issues of psychedelic vision quest and then one of the cruelest twists ever. And then it really gets going in a story that battles to be emotional and still question itself existentially. You never quite settle down even as pieces fall into place. It's like you finish asking questions you didn't quite realize you were asking. It is nice that it never takes itself too seriously
Zachary King
Oct 20, 2016 Zachary King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, one of the best superhero comics I've ever read. Animal Man sets out to find the person responsible for all his misfortune, and t he answer takes him through the world of comics narrative right to the doorstep of... Grant Morrison, the man who's been writing "Animal Man" comics this whole time. Simply amazing stuff, leading to a beautiful commentary on why fiction matters and how superhero stories fit into our sense of ourselves. It's a book that forever changed my relationship to th ...more
Wow. That was really weird.

Animal Man spends a lot of time in some strange places. He acquires a time machine to go back in time and then spends time wandering aimlessly around the past, trying to fix a horrible tragedy but it sure isn't working.

Grant Morrison steps into his comic and says goodbye (Buddy: What? I'm not real?? Of course I'm real!) There's a limbo where comic book characters go when they're no longer being written about. There's a patient at Arkham Asylum that brings back all thos
HERE we go. Grant Morrison's third and final volume of Animal Man. "Deus ex Machina". "God in the Machine".

This volume, in short, turned the whole of Grant Morrison's run on this title into absolute genius. Gone is the ineffectual Buddy Baker, stumbling through being a superhero while the world and its events go on around him. Here is the iconic, mystic, reality-questioning Morrison work all his fans have grown to love.

In this final volume (collecting issues #18-26), Morrison has given us a comm
The first two chapters/issues of this volume, describing Animal Man and Highwater's peyote trip, is probably my favourite part of this series. I got really excited the more the presence of the 4th wall was teased out. Grant Morrison is admirably but also sadly honest about the fact that it ends with an anticlimax. It definitely peters out. The jabs at his own cop-outs with dialogue are funny, but reveal what's missing. As Grant Morrison the DC character says to Animal Man toward the end of the s ...more
Daniel Slagell
Jun 13, 2013 Daniel Slagell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dc-comics
The Final Volume of Animal Man by Grant Morrison.
I have to say ties everything that has happened in the past two volumes together quite nicely, Each issue builds on what happened before and in this volume everything becomes full circle. I have to say when I first started reading Animal Man aka starting with Animal Man, Vol. 1 I have to say I didn't know what to expect but by the time I finished volume 1 and then read volume 2 Animal Man, Vol. 2: Origin of the Species and when I got to the final
Oct 13, 2011 Nnedi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt like I was going mad when I was reading the last forth of the book. I wasn't sure if I loved it or hated it. Have you seen the film Adaptation? If not, you should, it is awesomeness. The screenwriter Spike Jonze was having trouble writing the film's script and he ended up writing HIMSELF into the film. That's what the final volume of Animal Man felt like. I loved the way he broke the fourth wall. When Animal Man steps out of the panels, that was cool. And when Morrison was doing his "than ...more
Aug 30, 2011 Julian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my second review of Animal Man. My first was written in the white heat of extreme irritation caused by the rather tedious animal rights rhetoric of Animal Man, Book 1: Animal Man, and this blinded me to the manifold excellence of this third volume of the sage and also Animal Man, Book 2: Origin of the Species. Hence this new review: on calm consideration, my view has changed and I can now see what a remarkable story Grant Morrison has told.

So, let me start with a word of advice. Most of
Oct 20, 2010 Sophie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
What a trippy and absolutely fantastic read! I was actually glad that my train was delayed (while I was sitting in it, mind you) so I got the chance to finish this tonight.

I'm changing my rating of the first book from 4 to 5 because you really have to see this series as a whole and I just love it when (tiny!) stuff that comes up in the first couple of issues turns out to be all part of the big picture. Add to that that this is a really engaging story with great characters plus some animal rights
Robert Jazo
Mar 22, 2009 Robert Jazo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, superheroes
I consider Grant Morrison one of the "Mad Geniuses" of comics. I think his work helps stretch the boundaries of the medium. On the other hand, occasionally he stretches the medium to its breaking point and when he does his writing can border on incoherence. Still, I am willing to grant the occasional grand failure among grand successes.
Animal Man is an example of Morrison nearing the edge, but not going over. Morrison was brought on to revitalize Animal Man, a truly minor hero in DC's pantheon.
Reprints Animal Man (1) #18-26 (December 1989-August 1990). Animal Man is finding out more about himself and his origins than he ever could believe. Contacted by James Highwater, Buddy learns that he might not truly be in control of the world he inhabits. When tragedy strikes Buddy and his family, Animal Man finds his whole perspective on life has changed…and despite being out of his control, someone is controlling his life!

Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Chas Truog and Paris Cullin
James Schneider
Sep 06, 2012 James Schneider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here it is. The Grant Morrison Prime Directive. These stories we tell are bigger than us, better than us, but of us. We have a contract. We shepherd these better beings for money and for adulation, but we trade away pieces of ourselves, and we still get the better end of the deal.

There is a common line of thought in the comics community, which in summation reads as "Alan Moore came along in the 1980s and deconstructed the super hero." I suppose this is literally true, but he didn't perform a li
Jan 02, 2010 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, vertigo-comics, dc
If you accept that all the story is there to build up to the last issue, the titular meeting with the god of Animal Man, then the messy plot is more palatable.
All the weird stuff--like the peyote fox, the critique of Crisis on Infinite Earth and breaking the fourth wall and the comic panel's four walls--is fine, though it alternates between great and incomprehensible. Buddy Baker's story arc, though, isn't enjoyable or gripping. I get that Morrison's putting him through hell because he can (and
Jun 14, 2007 Korynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphicnovels
In this volume Grant Morrison takes on terrain that Alan Moore covered so well in Supreme: the Return, the concept of a superhero. But whereas Alan Moore was dealing with the superman icon, Morrison delves into the conception of a superhero. In this case he looks at Animal Man, a character he had recreated for the modern age, and then introduces him to his counterpart the character the way it had originally been concieved in the golden age of comics. In a sense he tears the character down, liter ...more
Sam Poole
Metatextual bonkers and outstanding finish to Morrison's run on the book. So damn inventive and bizarre. Everyone must read this- there is really nothing like it. Not the flashy and exciting ending i was hoping for but still pretty out of this world.
Lee Eddy
Oct 01, 2014 Lee Eddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic comic that expresses a love for meta-fictional mind-warping plot oddities and for classic comics in general (and the convoluted pre-Crisis DC continuity in specifics) I get a little weepy when I read the final ish, to be honest.
Oct 02, 2009 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
All the seeds that Grant Morrison had begun planting in the first volume finally come to fruition in this concluding book of the trilogy. There's still the occasional narrative sidestep, with an issue devoted to smaller things not wholly necessary to the larger tale, but they don't feel as completely random as some of the similar chapters earlier on. The book does end somewhat abruptly, which is frustrating - the author essentially admits he'd just run out of ideas - but despite being one of Mor ...more
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Scottish comic book author Grant Morrison is known for culture-jamming and the constant reinvention of his work. He is known for his nonlinear narratives and countercultural leanings in his runs on titles including DC Comics' Animal Man, Batman, JLA, The Invisibles, Action Comics, All-Star Superman, and Doom Patrol, and Marvel Comics' New X-Men and Fantastic Four. Many of these are controversial, ...more
More about Grant Morrison...

Other Books in the Series

Animal Man (8 books)
  • Animal Man, Vol. 1
  • Animal Man, Vol. 2: Origin of the Species
  • Animal Man, Vol. 4: Born to Be Wild
  • Animal Man, Vol. 5: The Meaning of Flesh
  • Animal Man, Vol. 6: Flesh and Blood
  • Animal Man, Vol. 7: Red Plague
  • Animal Man, Vol. 8: An Altered State of Mind

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“It's stupid, I know, but I care. All the things that meant so much when we were young. Under the blankets late at night, listening to long-distance radio. All those things lost now or broken. Can you remember? Can you remember that feeling? Perhaps I ought to go to a doctor.” 9 likes
“Animal Man: 'Listen, just tell me one thing: am I REAL or what?'

Grant Morrison: 'Of COURSE you're real! We wouldn't be here talking if you weren't real.

'You existed long before I wrote about you and, if you're lucky, you'll still be young when I'm old or dead.

'You're more real than I am.”
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