"War of the Gods, Chapter Seventeen: Bear Claw Soup": Buddy Baker makes a cross-country trip, hoping to meet his family in Vermont. On his way, he stops for gas in the town of Rosewood. At the gas station, he is met by the [[Phantom Stranger (New Earth)|Phantom
- No one understands my life... You people with your nice little powers... How can you know what it's like... to open yourself to the energies that move creation itself?
- -- Buddy Baker
Appearing in "War of the Gods, Chapter Seventeen: Bear Claw Soup"
- The Bear-King
- Rosewood, Illinois
Synopsis for "War of the Gods, Chapter Seventeen: Bear Claw Soup"
Buddy Baker makes a cross-country trip, hoping to meet his family in Vermont. On his way, he stops for gas in the town of Rosewood. At the gas station, he is met by the Phantom Stranger and Doctor Fate, who urge hum to join them in fighting an unholy war against Circe and the Ancient Gods. They warn that it is already having an effect on him. Phantom Stranger tells Buddy that he should listen to the person who is trying to help him, but Buddy is indignant, and gets into his car and drives off without paying. The Phantom Stranger picks up his bill.
Buddy stops in the town of Rosewood, Illinois. The town is supported by a bear farm, where animals are killed for sport. From his hotel room, Buddy calls his wife Ellen. She wonders where their son Cliff is, knowing that he ran away from home to be with her days earlier. Buddy unconvincingly suggests that he will be there soon. When Buddy goes to sleep, he has a vision of Stone, the Native American Man who calls Animal Man his son. Stone warns that there is an enemy that he needs help conquering, and promises to show Buddy what they really are.
The next morning, Buddy visits the site of the drowned city of Old Rosewood, where he soon finds himself attacked by two heavies who work for the Bear King, proprietor of the bear-farm. Buddy's powers won't work, and as a mere man, he is forced to comply. Buddy is disgusted with the bear farm's operations, but must follow around the Bear King because of his lack of powers. The Bear King drags him onto a bear-hunt, and Buddy watches in horror as the Bear King poaches bears from a national park, and carries them back to Rosewood in a helicopter.
Soon, Buddy senses that some evil force has overcome the people of Rosewood, and they set him loose and hunt him down. Hiding within the recently drained town of Old Rosewood, he meets with a large bear, who calls him brother. The bear shows Buddy an aspect of his power that he had never experienced. Buddy's powers cause a pack of bears to attack the poachers. When the poachers beg for mercy, Buddy states that it is only fitting that the earth they have betrayed vent its rage and anger on them. The bears kill them all.
- This issue is an homage to issues 38 and 39 of Saga of the Swamp Thing, and bears a dedication to Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben at the end.
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War of the Gods Crossover