created by Dave Wood
and Carmine Infantino
for DC Comics
. The character's first appearance was in
Strange Adventures #180 in September 1965.
Buddy Baker is the real name of the man who would become
known as Animal Man. A rebellious youth, Buddy went
hunting in the Adirondack Mountains one day and came
back changed. His origin is a bit hazy, the character
having been invented an reinvented numerous times over
the years. Ultimately, Buddy became linked to the
Morphogenetic field, allowing him to imitate the attributes
of any animal.
Donning a garish costume, Buddy became the hero Animal
Man and had a short-lived super-hero career. He eventually
hung up his tights and married his high school sweetheart.
Years later, he along with other minor heroes, including
Dolphin and Cave Carson, banded together with the Immortal
Man to battle Vandal Savage and the Forgotten Villains.
This return to heroing continued as Animal Man went solo
for a time, fighting different villains and learning something
of his own origins in the process.
He joined the Justice League for a time, but his tenure
with them was short-lived. He became an animal-rights
activist which brought him into conflict with a shadow
organization backed by some corporations. They threatened
to kill his family if he did not cease his activism. When
Buddy continued, his wife and children were killed.
Buddy took on the corporation and killed those responsible
for his family's death and through a number of really
strange adventures, culminating with the discovery that he
was a comic book character and a discussion with his
creator, Grant Morrison.