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Animal Man, Vol. 1 (Animal Man #1)

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4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  4,409 Ratings  ·  147 Reviews
This edition collects the bizarre adventures of Animal Man, a second-rate super hero struggling with real-life issues and moral dilemmas. Buddy Baker is a caring husband, devoted father, animal activist and super-powered being. But as he attempts to live up to all of his roles, he soon finds that there are no black and white situations in life. With a strong focus on story ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Vertigo (first published March 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sam Quixote
Apr 18, 2017 Sam Quixote rated it it was ok
Grant Morrison is one of my favourite comics creators - I definitely think he’s the best comics writer there’s ever been - but I don’t love everything he’s written. Case in point: his late ‘80s Animal Man series which was also his first major US title. Me no likee!

Buddy Baker is Animal Man, a dude who can temporarily adopt the powers of any animals in his vicinity. In this book, we see him get no respect as a superhero from both his family and the general public. Haw, haw…

Most of this volume i
...more
David Schaafsma
Mar 23, 2017 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
Vegetarians assemble!

DC: That Alan Moore guy is doing something improbable, but successfully. He is resuscitating older comics readers by reviving early little known comics superheroes and making them cool, interesting, commentaries on contemporary society at the same time harking back to that old love of comics thing. And with retro fifties art! Look at Watchmen and Swamp Thing! Neil Gaiman’s Sandman? Comics about society, comics about comics? Are there any other crazy Brit comics intellectual
...more
Sud666
Mar 07, 2017 Sud666 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Animal Man is a character that has been around for a long time. Initially called the "Man with Animal Powers", Animal Man was reborn under the artful hand of Grant Morrison. Animal Man is unlike anything I've read. Animal Man is a super-hero that just doesn't seem very super. He's not a millionaire playboy, not super powered like some of the other DC heavyweights, in fact he's a very ordinary guy.
Animal Man works due to the dichotomy in being someone who is eligible to join the Justice League bu
...more
Dan Schwent
Jun 01, 2009 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Buddy Baker, aka Animal, is a semi-retired super hero and movie stuntman. One day, he decides to return to super hero-ing full time. How will his wife and kids deal with that?

Animal Man isn't one of Grant Morrison's weirder or well-known runs on a title but it's probably the most enjoyable to read. It's a fun book. Buddy struggles with people mistaking him for other super heroes and laments the quality of the super villains he fights. His son thinks his powers are lame. While Buddy is a super he
...more
Sesana
Dec 29, 2011 Sesana rated it really liked it
The first time I remember ever seeing Animal Man was in the pages of 52. I liked him right away, and I was pleased to see that the parts that I liked best about his character were here during Morrison's run on the title. I like Buddy because he's a family man, a "normal" guy even with the superpowers, and I like him because he has a clear driving motive. Yes, Morrison was pretty much using Buddy as a mouthpiece for his own animal rights agenda, but it suits his character, and his powers, for Bud ...more
Stephen
Jul 08, 2010 Stephen rated it did not like it
1.5 stars. I remember liking this when it first came out in 1988-1989, but it did not hold up well when I just re-read it. There were a couple of very good parts in the first story arc but for the most part I found it poorly written and pretty boring. Very disappointing.
Artemy Nizovtsev
Aug 06, 2015 Artemy Nizovtsev rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, 5stars, vertigo
I'm not the biggest fan of Grant Morrison, but his Animal Man is actually great. It is fun, funny, scary at times and thought-provoking. All without being too wordy, or narco-trippy, or just plain incomprehensible, as a lot of his other work may often be. Animal Man is just pure enjoyment, devoid of any frustration.
And I have to mention the artwork. It is gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful.
So, if you are like me and don't always like Grant Morrison' stuff, and you are not sure whether you should rea
...more
Zedsdead
Oct 14, 2012 Zedsdead rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Man, I thought this was supposed to be some kind of astute subversion of 80s superhero comics, but it felt pretty much like every other insipidly-dialogued mainstream superhero story, with a bunch of cheesy cameos shoehorned in to sell issues. I could almost hear the live studio audience squealing with glee whenever Hawkman or Martian Manhunter made a fawning full-frame appearance. Disappointing.
Sara
Apr 01, 2015 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Animal Man is the story of a superhero from a long time ago that Grant Morrison was compelled to bring out of retirement and make him relevant again. Animal Man actually looks himself up in the library superhero encyclopedia and sees the sentence "Presumed retired".

And this means two things - 1. These comics were published before Google (the late 80's) and 2. Grant Morrison's great sense of tongue-in-cheek humor.

I had picked up one of the Animal Man comics while Morrison was writing it but I did
...more
Justyn Rampa
Sep 10, 2011 Justyn Rampa rated it liked it
This volume collects the first 9 issues of Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man which has been heralded as something truly wonderful.

I don't completely agree, but I can see where they are coming from.

Originally published in 1988 1989, these issues I think began to introduce the world to the madness of Grant Morrison as well as the animal activism of Grant Morrison.

As for the animal activism, I feel like Grant Morrison did that best with We3. As for his madness, I think Grant Morrison has aged well
...more
Sophie
Mar 26, 2009 Sophie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, favorites
Re-reading this with a lot more background knowledge about some of the other characters was great. I was impressed with this the first time around as well, because of the way the fourth wall is continually challenged (before being scattered at some point in the other volumes, I suppose) and because of, well, the animal rights issues. Besides, Buddy's family life is wonderfully normal and hilarious. It's a fun and intelligent read, and I like that sort of thing.

(And I admit, realizing I am starti
...more
Chumbert Squurls
Dec 31, 2011 Chumbert Squurls rated it it was ok
As an avid Grant Morrison fan, its important to try to read stuff from his entire body of work, not just his great stuff. This was the first thing he did after coming to America to write for Vertigo(a darker imprint of DC). Based on a forgotten sixties hero, Animal Man tells the story of a happily married middle aged guy with the power to instantly acquire the traits of the animals close by. No visionary convoluted philosophy. No memorable scenes or dialogue. The book feels as if Morrison was ne ...more
Gavin
Dec 15, 2012 Gavin rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I enjoyed reading this, and it gave me a bit of a surprise, when I opened it and looked at the first cover, it took me back to being 8yrs old at the corner store, and seeing it on the stands...I definitely remember all the animals, but I didn't buy it, I have no idea what I did buy instead. Buddy Baker is one of the more interesting stories, because he's got powers, but not sure if they're much good, and ends up overmatched every so often. This makes him more appealing to me, as well as the fact ...more
Jace
Jun 15, 2009 Jace rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Is the concept a straightforward superhero story from Grant Morrison too good to be true? Maybe in this day and age, but not back in the 80s. That's one of the things I liked most about this volume: it's a collection of 9 serialized and self-contained stories, free of the pretentious meta-textualism and the masturbatory self-reference that has plagued most of Morrison's recent work. Plus, unlike his work on Batman, you don't need to know every villain from the last 60 years of Animal Man's histo ...more
Cristian
Jun 03, 2011 Cristian rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Printable Tire
Buddy Baker seems like a nice enough guy: he's kind of a loafer and a dreamer roughly my age (WTF?), he looks sort of gay in the cutoff jeans and muscle shirt he's always wearing (hey, it's 80's L.A., I understand), and he has a pretty hot wife who looks like Bobby's mom from Bobby's World. When he decides to become Animal Man again his first case takes him into a moral quagmire concerning animal rights and other leftist causes. This storyline, spanning 4 issues and including a bestiality-loving ...more
Keith
Nov 17, 2007 Keith rated it liked it
Rereading, but i don't remember the last time I read it, or if I've ever finished the series...I know what the series is about, of course, because you can't talk about Animal Man without someone saying 'Yeah but you know what it's about right huh huh," so yes that, but also, is this a comic I even like? Is this a comic I can just like read?

It's not bad. It's not the best Morrison out there. It's sort of just a scattering of ideas, with one idea -- YOU know, THAT one, the IDEA -- just beginning t
...more
C. Derick
Sep 11, 2015 C. Derick rated it really liked it
This is good, and one can see all the promise of Grant Morrison in his "mature" take on Animal Man, but is not as good as I remembered reading it in my teens. Almost twenty-years later, some strong issues like "Coyote Gospel" particularly stand out and the inclusion of the banalities of Buddy's life are interesting (as is his less-banal but pedestrian family life), but it doesn't hit the same cord that it once did. Morrison's strengths do show here: meta-textuality, flashes of occult references, ...more
Michael Ronn
Jan 03, 2015 Michael Ronn rated it liked it
I thought this was going to be stupid, but I was wrong. This book is supposed to be a turning point in superhero narratives, and I can see it so far. Animal Man has interesting powers, but he's pretty ineffectual.

The story was familiar, and in the style of the golden age of comics, even though it was written in 1980s. The art didn't blow me away, but then again, neither did most golden age comic art.

I did think that the villains were cheesy and over the top. The White God of Kilimanjaro? Oh co
...more
Helmut
Apr 28, 2013 Helmut rated it it was ok
Tiere sind nicht so dumm, wie manche denken
Manchmal wird ein Werk so mit Vorschusslorbeeren überschüttet, dass man es lesen muss. Oft ist man dann enttäuscht. Mir geht das bei den meisten Büchern von Grant Morrison so. "Thought-provoking and innovative"? Habe ich auf den hier abgedruckten Seiten nicht entdecken können. Standard-Superhelden-Ware, wenn man mich fragt. Aber vielleicht ist es im amerikanischen Superhelden-Comic-Mainstream schon "thought-provoking", wenn es nicht nur drum geht, wer j
...more
Sunil
Oct 24, 2016 Sunil rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2016
Animal Man was where Grant Morrison cut his teeth on being Grant Morrison, and although the metafictional bent of the series isn't in full swing in this first volume, the seeds are definitely there, most notably in "The Coyote Gospel," which will give you a whole new perspective on Looney Tunes. Buddy Baker is an instantly likable character with a wife and two kids and the silly power to temporarily absorb the abilities of nearby animals, and the opening four-issue miniseries (which was all this ...more
Phil
Dec 07, 2014 Phil rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Agus
Jan 23, 2015 Agus rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Just Brilliant. Morrison writes meta stories even before they where a thing, the humor on these stories is great, and it explores some really profound notions on a light and dark humored way. It's one of those stories that only Grant Morrison could make it work. Only he can take such a low tier hero as Animal Man and play along with that notion. Buddy knows he is a low tier hero, but because of that he can realize his real place in the story and the DC universe. I wont spoil it but it ...more
One Flew
Jan 04, 2015 One Flew rated it really liked it
I like Grant Morrison when his work isn't convuluted and incomprehensible. Animal Man is more tame than Morrison's other projects and could do with more of his usual madness, but it still works. It's good to read something other then the usual comic book fare. The couple of crossover issues are rather weak, but there is some intense stuff in the earlier issues and interesting stuff in some of the later ones. Looking forward to see where the series goes.
Sam Poole
Oct 12, 2014 Sam Poole rated it it was amazing
Wow. Utterly bizarre but the best Morrison I've read. All of these issues are coherent but strong as single arcs and have the "coyote gospel", one of the weirdest and most affecting comica I've ever read. I NEED to see where this goes. Hopefully it pushes the envelope even more. You actually care about the characters and their actions. Who could have thought ?
Zuzka Namu Jakubkova
Jan 14, 2017 Zuzka Namu Jakubkova rated it it was amazing
I loved this graphic novel. It’s a nifty meta take on superhero craze depicting adventures of a reluctant animal rights activist, Animal Man. The pacing is quick and lively and the leifmotives are quite to the point on human-to-human violence.
Jessica
Sep 26, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
My favorite take on Animal Man.
Andrew
Feb 26, 2017 Andrew rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
(2.5) Morrison's venomously bitter introduction starts this hit-and-miss collection off on a bad foot. From bitching about not having a King or Barker endorsement to playing the idea of an intro from every sarcastic angle, he really colored my reading of this, his earliest DC work. In a nutshell, it's not that great. He's definitely floundering for the right tone, and though I think he probably takes this in a good direction after issue #9, this earliest book maybe wasn't good enough for a Harla ...more
Lloyd
Mar 06, 2011 Lloyd rated it really liked it
Here I've encountered, for the first time, a Grant Morrison written title that really, in most parts, didn't really read like a Grant Morrison written title.

Buddy Baker is Animal Man. This being a superhero book (definitely the most traditional superhero book that Morrison has written that I've read), his power is that he acquires the power of any animal near to him. He doesn't get the majestic appearance of the lion, the hulking form of the gorilla, just the abilities that they would add to a h
...more
Herman Gigglethorpe
Sep 12, 2013 Herman Gigglethorpe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Sometimes B-list superheroes are more fun! :)

Buddy Baker begins the series as a disillusioned and semi-retired superhero who decides to make a comeback. Animal Man does not transform into animals like Manimal or the Animorphs, but he absorbs powers from animals near him. If he is close to a bird, he can temporarily fly. If he is near an earthworm, he gets regeneration powers.

Plenty of jokes come from the hero's obscure status. His wife Ellen says that they "don't just take anybody" for the Just
...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. 2: Origin of the Species
  • Animal Man, Vol. 3: Deus ex Machina
  • 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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