GRAPHIC NOVEL
Animal Man
Origin of the Species

Author: Grant Morrison
Artists: Chas Troug, Doug Hazlewood, Tom Grummett, Steve Montano & Mark McKenna
Titan Books
RRP 14.99
ISBN 1 84023 469 5
Available now


Buddy Baker and his family are still coming to terms with Buddy's super powers. He's been talking to the animals and he doesn't like what they have to say. But is he prepared to sacrifice his superhero career and even is humanity to fight back against those who would hurt and kill his animal companions. Can Buddy find a way to be both the Animal and the Man?...

Origin of the Species is the second collection of Animal Man stories to be published by Titan Publishing. There are a couple of stories which really date this collection - the most notable being The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in which Animal Man must save a school of dolphins from being pointlessly killed for fun - but when it gets it right this series really glows.

There are some great little touches to this collection including a nice dig at superheroes in general when Animal Man questions why, if superheroes are the next stage in human evolution, do they spend so much time beating each other up.

There is also a humorous touch added to the bizarre story The Clockwork Crimes of the Time Commander when a dinosaur in modern day France knocks over a street sign which reads Rue De Harryhausen. For those a lot younger than me Ray Harryhausen is famous for his pioneering stop frame animation techniques on many old dinosaur and horror movies.

If you ignore the rather dated preachy content then this is a fine collection of stories.

Pete Boomer

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