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Animal Man, Book 1 - Animal Man Paperback – May 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Grant Morrison is one of comics' most innovative writers. His long list of credits include JLA, Doom Patrol and Judge Dredd, prior to his largest masterpiece, The Invisibles. Author of the award-winning Batman: Arkham Asylum, Morrison is currently writing the US' bestselling comic, Marvel Comics' New X-Men. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; 1st edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563890054
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563890055
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.6 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Babytoxie on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This review is actually for all 3 trade paperback volumes of Grant Morrison's ANIMAL MAN, back for all to conveniently enjoy. After 10 years of having only Volume 1 in print, DC FINALLY printed the rest of Morrison's run in a Volume 2 and 3, giving us the complete story, a defining work for a great comic writer.
To try to explain the entire storyline in just a few paragraphs would be woefully inadequate, but I will say that, while ANIMAL MAN could be defined as Grant Morrison voicing his opinions on animal rights, it is so much more than that:
First, it's a study of how the world of comics interacts with (our) reality - almost mind-bendingly so. Morrison drops hints from the beginning of his run that our perceptions of "reality" in the DC Universe will be challenged with these stories. It takes over 20 issues to make his final point, but brother is it worth it. From the Looney-Tunes-ish antics of "The Coyote Gospel" to the revelations of the villain Psycho-Pirate (the only character who remembers the DCU before the Crisis), this is some very creative work.
Second, these stories are a tribute to the pre-Crisis DC Universe. It's putting it mildly that Grant Morrison misses the timelines and characters eliminated by the Crisis, and in ANIMAL MAN, he does what he can to make sure that we don't forget the richness and fun of the Golden and Silver Ages. His final 3 or so issues made me feel even MORE ashamed that the Crisis ever happened. I will say this, however: if the Crisis created the fertile ground for stories like this, then I'll accept it. It's a case of being thankful for the good and the bad.
Brian Bolland provides excellent covers for the series. I always felt it was a shame that he couldn't do the interiors as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. Durham HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the early titles that helped Grant Morrison make a name for himself in mainstream comics, Animal Man ended up being a hybrid of Morrison's love for classic comic storytelling, his views on animal rights, and above all, a shockingly brilliant series that broke the boundaries for what could be done in mainstream comic books. Without giving too much away of what else occurs in the later volumes, the first volume of Animal Man finds low level Justice League member Buddy Baker taking a new stance on animal rights as he makes some shocking discoveries at STAR Labs, as well as meets some very interesting characters along the way, including a run in with some of Hawkman's war-like people. There's also some very strange Looney Tunes-style antics going in the middle of the story that may seem not only out of place, but just plain mind boggling. However, once the realization dawns on you just what it all means, it's just another example of the brilliance on display from Morrison. Surprisingly violent (the collected graphic novels are now under DC's Vertigo title) and poignant to boot, what Buddy and his family go through are only hints and cues at things to come. The current Mirror Master is introduced here as well, and he will go on to play a pivotal role as things develop further, as will the mysterious, ghostly man that pops up now and then. If there's any negatives about the book, it's that the artwork doesn't always stand up as well as one would like, but that's only a minor complaint. All in all, Animal Man represents the fact that anything can be done in the comics medium, and if you've never given the series a look, you owe it to yourself to see just what helped make Grant Morrison the Alan Moore of his era.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard De Angelis on February 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
In 1988, Scottish writer Grant Morrison revived a forgotten Sixties superhero for DC Comics with the help of artists Chas Truog and Doug Hazlewood. After a bizarre encounter in the woods (while hunting, ironically), former movie stunt man Buddy Baker found himself able to duplicate the abilities of any animal species through a psychic link with the "morphogenetic field" that serves as a template for all life on Earth. Working under the absurd sounding professional name, Animal Man, as his comeback series opened, the intimate rapport he shared with other creatures lead him to make a radical departure from accepted codes of superheroic conduct: he became an outspoken animal rights activist. In addition to going vegetarian, when not clashing with the occasional supervillain, Animal Man also took direct-and illegal-action to defend his fellow beings from human greed and cruelty.

While it deals with all sorts of unpleasant issues, what kept this series grounded was Morrison's characterization of Buddy Baker. He was always portrayed as a human being first and a superhero second. Animal Man's constant struggle to find a balance between his convictions and his responsibilities to the world as a "metahuman" provided the sense of emotional involvement that compelled readers to follow his every adventure.

Swooping out of the sky like an eagle, he snatched a cornered fox from a pack of trained hounds, spoiling the bloodsport of a band of British hunters. Swimming like a fish, he saved dolphins from being hacked to death by local villagers on the shores of the Faroe Islands (in reality, the victims of this annual slaughter are hundreds of pilot whales).
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