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

4.1 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Grant Morrison has authored too many bestselling graphic novels to count. Batman: Arkham Asylum, Doom Patrol, Animal Farm, Flex Mentallo and the Invisibles are just a few of the books with which Morrison has established himself as one of the modern masters of the medium.

Brian Bolland is best known to US readers for his ground-breaking work with writer Alan Moore on the one-shot Batman: Killing Joke graphic novel. Kevin O'Neill Along with fellow 2000 AD alumni Pat Mills, O'Neill cocreated the cult hero Marshall Law and had even more success when he teamed up with Alan Moore to illustrate The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - which was adapted into a big budget Hollywood movie starring Sean Connery. Simon Bisley's highly dynamic artwork made his two major series in the Galaxy's Greatest Comic - A.B.C. Warriors: The Black Hole and Slaine: The Horned God - hugely popular, as they remain to date. He also illustrated the hugely successful first Batman/Judge Dredd crossover story, Judgement on Gotham. Steve Dillon is a fan-favourite 2000 AD writer and artist, and the creator of both Hap Hazzard and the Irish Judge Joyce. Together with 2000 AD writer Garth Ennis, Steve co-created the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Preacher for DC Comics' imprint, Vertigo.

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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Supporting character in comic books are put in harm's way for dramatic effect, that is nothing new! Ellen Baker is Animal Man's wife, she is the breadwinner, the nurturer for their son and daughter, and gently nudges her husband to be a better man at home as he occasionally saves the world during his day job. Grant Morrison puts Ellen in harm's way in Book 1 very specifically. Ellen's cat has gone missing, so she and her daughter Maxine go looking for her in the woods behind their house. They come across some weekend warriors doing illegal hunting, who throw their cat, literally, to the wolves, then are about to attack her. Ellen tells them her husband, Animal Man, in on his way, and they could care less. They knock Ellen to the ground and Maxine runs back to her next door neighbor, the grumpy Mr. Weidemeir, to get help for her mom. Things go a bit sideways, but Ellen and Maxine get safely back home without Animal Man ever learning about how close they had gotten to a tragic end. Because families don't tell everybody everything! Later on, the super villain Mirror Man invades their home and attacks Animal Man. During a break in their battle, Ellen confronts Mirror Master and tells him to stop breaking up all of her furniture. Her home is not a battleground, thank you very much: she's upset, so she kicks him in the gonads. He slaps her around, she kicks his butt down the stairs, but it ain't over! Animal Man sees all this and as he looms over Mirror Master he says, "Did you hit my wife?" Ellen is not the main story in this book, but these sequences are a huge reason why Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man is legendary: he takes a fresh look at comic book cliches and makes them completely fascinating, all over again! You will love this book: get it!
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