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

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,984 Ratings  ·  129 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 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Jun 13, 2011 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
Feb 13, 2012 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
Jul 10, 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.
Apr 04, 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
Justyn Rampa
Sep 27, 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
Oct 18, 2010 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
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
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
Aug 27, 2015 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.
Michael Ronn
Mar 28, 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
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
Jan 02, 2010 Brad rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, vertigo-comics, dc
It's impressive how readable this early Grant Morrison superhero book is. There's one issue with fractal emotional earthquake bombs, but otherwise the whole book is sensible, easy-to-consume, and fun. Those adjectives apply to few of Morrison's more recent work.
The book also feels fairly current. There are some artifacts of the late 1980s--the art feels dated, as do the space Hawkmen with those fractal bombs--but most of the book still works well. The "Coyote Gospel" issue with an interesting Lo
Oct 22, 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
Nov 03, 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
One Flew
Jan 21, 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.
Dec 20, 2014 Phil rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mar 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
Zinz Vandermeer
Apr 26, 2014 Zinz Vandermeer rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites, comics
Volume One of the tale of Buddy Baker, stunt-man and semi-retired hero who keeps getting shafted to the B-List, even though his powers are badass. Buddy is an avid animal rights activist, who sometimes lets that get in the way of … let’s call it intelligent thought.

I love seeing Buddy’s family life. Ellen is a no-nonsense lady who just wants to keep her family together as best she can. Buddy doesn’t make it easy, but their love for each other is sweet and realistic.

Ellen copes rather well with s
Mar 30, 2016 Brandt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-books
I'll let everyone know off the bat that I am big fan of Grant Morrison's work, so that may pepper my view of Animal Man volume 1. But honestly, this is Morrison at his best. In a self-penned introduction to the volume, Morrison recalls the path to Animal Man--having seen success with Alan Moore on Watchmen and Swamp Thing and Neil Gaiman on Sandman, DC went to the UK to find other writers cast in the Moore/Gaiman mold and found Morrison, who they put on Animal Man--a minor hero at best (my intro ...more
John Kirk
Feb 03, 2014 John Kirk rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this - it's pushing the boundaries of superhero stories, with some sympathetic antagonists, but it's still got action and someone who's trying to do the right thing. I'm interested in the animal welfare issues, but I'm also glad to see that Buddy wasn't presented as an expert; he really ought to talk to his wife before unilaterally deciding that the whole family all going to turn vegetarian immediately!

I liked the Coyote story; I think it helps that most people who watched the old cart
Sam Poole
Apr 05, 2015 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 ?
Jan 04, 2016 Joshua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Superheroes, social causes, irony, and serious thought blend nicely in these comics. In and of itself this collection is a good start but not amazing. "Coyote Gospel" is a truly odd and original story. The introduction on its own is enjoyable just for its tone, which is carried out through the comics, with heavy emotional moments (namely the hunters and kittens in the first issues) and odd-ball comic moments like Martian Manhunter turning the tables on a bully, Mirror Master taking a shot to the ...more
May 21, 2014 Steve rated it it was amazing

That's all I could muster after reading this incredible story.

Grant Morrison comes up with a whole new storyline for Buddy Baker, small time superhero with animal powers.

What really kicks the writing up a notch is Jeff Lemire. His artwork elevates this to a whole new level, for something very memorable and very special.

If I had to explain the new 52 Animal Man, it would be John Carpenter's The Thing meets a superhero story.

I don't want to say more. Go read this series, its simply
Nov 01, 2015 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
Feb 16, 2012 Williwaw rated it liked it
Recommends it for: comic book crazed folks
Recommended to Williwaw by: Rachel Getts
Shelves: comics
This was definitely a wild ride. There does not seem to be a lot of continuity to the story-line from issue to issue, but maybe Grant Morrison wraps everything up later on. Or maybe this is just standard comic book technique, which makes it easier for a reader to dip into any issue without knowing how it all got started.

There's a famous "Coyote Gospel" sequence, where Morrison turns a Wiley E. Coyote-style character (drawn with much more pathos and creepiness than the Roadrunner version)into a
May 19, 2014 Fizzgig76 rated it really liked it
Reprints Animal Man (1) #1-9 (September 1988-March 1989). Buddy Baker is a superhero...but he has always been a second stringer as Animal Man...the man with animal powers!!! Animal powers haven’t ranked high among the superhuman abilities when the world is filled with people like Superman and Wonder Woman, but Buddy’s about to change that. He’s pushing his powers to their limits and discovering new abilities. When Buddy is invited to join the new expanded Justice League, things might be looking ...more
Herman Gigglethorpe
Sep 16, 2013 Herman Gigglethorpe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, dc
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
Jan 06, 2011 Madeleine rated it it was amazing
With each Grant Morrison comic series/graphic novel I read, the more I love him.
Animal Man was part of the late 80s DC "Hey, that Watchmen was popular. Let's go to Britain and hire people there to reinvent characters and make us awesome" period. Grant Morrison was one of the people given a job and his first choice for what character/series to reinvent was Animal Man - an obscure character who could temporarily absorb the abilities of animals around him.
Well, Grant Morrison took this d-list super
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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
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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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