Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Greatest Adventure: Animal-Man

Another in National's line of short-lived and unusual super heroes that debuted in one of their science fiction anthology books was Animal-Man for Strange Adventures #180 in September of 1965. Created by writer Dave Wood and artist Carmine Infantino,  movie stunt man Bernard "Buddy" Baker watched in awe as an weird alien spaceship crashed to Earth close to his home. Investigating the wreckage,  our hero was bathed in a unique radiation which quickly altered his body forever. When animals escaped from a nearby zoo, Buddy Baker discovered that whenever he is close to any animal, he somehow mysteriously absorbed their special abilities. After a few unexpected adventures, Baker decided to fashion himself a costume and called himself Animal-Man or A-man for short. Now whenever in public, Baker uses his special abilities in animal-adapting  to fight crime. Being able to fly like a bird, swim like a fish, this Animal-Man can run as fast as a cheetah or have the strength of ant. Only starring in eleven short stories over the years from his original debut, Animal-Man returned with his own popular series in the eighties to a new audience of fans, and has been reborn once again in a recent DC Comics incarnation.

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