Animal Man is a male comic superhero that features in DC Comics.
He intended to propose to his girlfriend Ellen but he was nervous and instead went for a walk. Whilst there, he was attacked by numerous wild animals that suddenly appeared such as a tiger and gorilla. It was there that he discovered that he had somehow gained the powers of these animals when in close approximation to them. He used these abilities to help a number of people that were suffering from animal attacks. Whilst investigating an area, he found the capsule of a crashed alien space ship and reasoned that its radiation was responsible for giving him his strange powers. It was then that he was confronted by an orange-skinned humanoid alien with similar abilities as himself. Buddy struggled to defeat his foe as it simply gained the powers of whatever animal was nearby. This was until he brought some frightened mice and the alien instinctually tapping into their power caused it to experience fear leading to it falling off a cliff edge to its seeming death. Buddy was then hailed a hero where he worked up the courage to speak to his girlfriend Ellen who accepted his proposal to get married. (Strange Adventures v1 #180)
Though presumed dead, Buddy alongside Starfire and Adam Strange were teleported to a paradise alien world where they attempted to find a way back to Earth. (52 v1 #5)
Vixen along with the Justice League sought out Buddy Baker who was with his family in order to find out clues to the chance in Mari's powers of her Tantu Totem. Her abilities had changed leading to her stealing the abilities of other superhumans similar to how Buddy could only adopt the powers of extraterrestrial species. Initially, he dismissed the changes as being mere coincidence but noticed that his behaviour had been affected as he had begun eating meat despite being a strict vegetarian. (Justice League of America v2 #24) Animal Man came to believe that the Yellow Aliens were responsible somehow as they had altered the space-time continuum before but he was not believed by the Justice League. Vixen was then drawn into her totem with the heroes attempting to find a way to bring her back only for Buddy to similarly drawn into the relic. Once inside, he was captured by Kwaku Anasi the West African spider god who claimed that the Yellow Aliens were a disguise of his and that he had been the source of both Animal Man and Vixen's powers. The trickster deity owned all stories and that cosmic changes to the Multiverse offered a wealth of such tales for him when various Justice League members arrived in the world inside the totem to save their friends. (Justice League of America v2 #25)
With the danger over, he joined Vixen back at the Hall of Justice's battle simulator to help her test her restored abilities which were back to normal. Buddy was offered a spot on the Justice League but he declined though stated that in times of emergency he would aid them with Mari thanking him for his aid. (Justice League of America v2 #27)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events.
In desperation, he took the form of a microscopic flatworm in his body in order to use it to communicate with the Divided. The Parliament of the Divided that represented microscopic life gathered where they intended to take no part in the war. However, Baker convinced them that they would be threatened by the other Parliaments if they united against them. Thus, the Divided decided to lend their aid where they encouraged the bacteria in human bodies to fight the Grey's attempted colonisation of them. (Justice League Dark v2 #22)
Personality and attributes
Powers and abilities
A result of this exposure was that he gained the superpower of characteristics of animals within the general vicinity. This allowed him to gain the spring-like agility of a tiger, the strength of a gorilla and the sheer physical power of an elephant in an area. He could also use these traits to operate in different environments such as learning to swim by using the natural abilities of a sea lion that was nearby. (Strange Adventures v1 #180) He was able to use his supersenses to probe a planet's morphic field network allowing him to sense animal life and possible dangers. (52 v1 #5)
As he drew on extraterrestrial species powers, he could make use of abilities such as the sensory apparatus of a alien fungus that lived in the sea form of liquid methane oceans on Europa where he could see through a form of smell. In another case, he drew on the strength of spacefaring cetartiodactyla that hunted on the edges of event horizons. (Justice League of America v2 #25)
- Animal Man was created by Dave Wood and Carmine Infantino where he made his first appearance in Strange Adventures v1 #180 (September, 1965).
In other media
- In DC Nation Shorts, Animal Man appeared in his own animated short episodes where he was voiced by actor "Weird Al" Yankovic.
- Strange Adventures v1:
- Animal Man v1:
- JLA v1:
- 52 v1:
- Justice League of America v2:
- Animal Man v2:
- Justice League United v1:
- Justice League Dark v2: