"Flesh and Blood, Part 6: Incarnate": Buddy Baker wakes up in his new body, hatching from an egg on the table of the Frazier farm, before the eyes of his wife Baker and daughter Maxine. He's happy to see th
- Oh no, you're still the same daddy right inside. But you were cuddlier before.
- -- Maxine Baker
Appearing in "Flesh and Blood, Part 6: Incarnate"
- Dudley Frazier
Synopsis for "Flesh and Blood, Part 6: Incarnate"
Buddy Baker wakes up in his new body, hatching from an egg on the table of the Frazier farm, before the eyes of his wife Baker and daughter Maxine. He's happy to see them, but when he tries to speak, nothing intelligible comes out. His mother-in-law Mary Frazier pulls Maxine back, despite the girl's claims that he is her daddy. Mary states that this thing is obviously the devil. Buddy has emerged from the egg as a bizarre Chimera.
Buddy is forced to survive by eating the body of Winky, Maxine's pet dinosaur, and his own surrogate mother. Maxine visits him in the woods, and he asks her about Ellen. Ellen has apparently accepted that this creature is her husband, but still feels she can't cope with all of this craziness. She has received a call about their son Cliff, and has asked Buddy to meet her by the pond that night.
Buddy comes upon Ellen at the pond, hiding at first, to spare her the pain of seeing him as a monster. He is surprised to find her smoking, and she bitterly explains that she took it up when Cliff went missing, and Buddy died. She mocks his failure to retrieve Cliff after he had promised to do so. She reveals that her call was from the FBI, who found uncle Dudley's truck outside Yosemite National Park. Buddy tries to comfort her, but when he holds her in his arms, his animal instincts take over, and she is repulsed by him. She admits that while she loves Buddy, this beast he is in is not him, and she doesn't want him to spoil her memories of Buddy as a man. Sadly, Buddy disappears when her back is turned.
Cliff wakes from a nightmare to his uncle Dudley's voice. Dudley left Cliff in an abandoned mine-shaft for ten days, all by himself, hoping that he would have visions of death - an entity he worships. Dudley explains that he did it all so that they could be partners, sharing in knowledge of the purity of death. He says this as he cuts both their hands, and presses them together. He gives Cliff a totem, saying it represents the death of childhood innocence. When Cliff responds that Dudley is crazy, and that his father is going to come and kick his ass, Dudley simply laughs maniacally.
Buddy flies west on his leather wings, seeking out his son. Eventually he comes to the box canyon of Despair, where Dudley and Cliff are residing. He hunts them with the abilities of all the animals.
Dudley wonders if Cliff survived by eating the monkey hearts he left in jars nearby. Cliff responds that he thought they belonged to children. Dudley is disgusted, saying he'd never hurt a kid (though, he admits to having killed adult 'volunteers'). As he drags Cliff back to the surface, Dudley comes face to face with Buddy's monstrous form. Dudley believes Buddy is the "Grandaddy Death" that he reveres, offering Cliff as a sacrifice - which suits buddy just fine, because he wants his son back. Angrily, Cliff bites his uncle's nose, and they both splash into the water below. Buddy grabs Cliff, but lets Dudley be carried away by the currents.
Appearing in "Flesh and Blood, Part 7: Metamorphosis"
- Dudley Frazier (In dream sequence only)
- Mary Frazier
Synopsis for "Flesh and Blood, Part 7: Metamorphosis"
Since getting back to his family, Cliff Baker suffers terrible nightmares about a monster with the yellow eyes of death and his father, Buddy Baker. his nightmares upset his mother Ellen, who attempts to hide from him the fact that the monster he dreams of is his father, who recently saved him from his great uncle Dudley's insanity.
Buddy feels as though he has accepted his new body - a chimera of nearly all animals, created using the power of The Red. Ellen, however, is obviously put off by his appearance, and wants her real husband back. Buddy's acceptance of his new form simply makes her cry, feeling the chances of getting him back to humanity growing slimmer and slimmer. Their daughter Maxine overhears their discussion, and uses her own connection to The Red to seek out the little sack totem that Dudley gave Cliff. She retrieves it from the garbage, revealing that it contains the fingers from Buddy's human corpse, which were ripped off when Dudley ran him down with a van.
Unable to stay with his family, Buddy returns to a cave in the nearby wilderness, where he contemplates whether or not he really does accept his new form. When he realizes that building a fire is a human need in the first place, he understands that he would do anything to get back to his family. He decides to attempt to reconstitute his original human form, using the DNA from his dead fingers as a road map through The Red. He walls up the cave, and then eats the fingers, absorbing them into himself.
Ellen attempts to do some work for her job as a comic book penciler. She is distracted, however, by a vivid dream of Buddy's animal form being enveloped by all that is death and life in the world, and his human arm suddenly emerging from it. Without fully realizing it, she sketches a caricature of Buddy as a baby. She is interrupted by Maxine, who is upset that he brother has said something upsetting to her. Ellen finds Cliff drawing his own comic book about his character The Kannibal Kid. Cliff is disbelieving that his father is alive, and has grown annoyed with Maxine's strange references to The Red. Ellen is concerned about his dark feelings, and feels compelled to go on a hike, now that spring has arrived.
Buddy awakes in his cave, realizing that he was successful in recreating his human form. Unfortunately, he is trapped in the cave without the strength to get out again. He reaches his arm through the rubble and screams aloud. Ellen happens to hear his cry, thinking that it sounds like a baby's. She is inexplicably and instinctively drawn to it, as a mother. When she manages to find Buddy, she is so overtaken by her desire to have him back that she manages to clear away enough debris to pull his body free.
Instinctively, she cradles him in her arms and licks the blood from his skin. She holds him to her breasts and promises that she will never let him go away again.
Appearing in the 3rd Story
- The Kannibal Kid
- Dog Catcher
- The Kannibal Kid's parents (Dies)
Synopsis for the 3rd Story
The Kannibal Kid leaves his cave to see if civilization has ended, hoping so, because eating his own parents is probably illegal. He finds devastation, death, and acid rain no matter where he goes, and eats bugs to survive.
The tar on the asphalt highways is melted, and a rabbit is stuck in it. But when he kills it and attempts to eat it, he is set upon by a pack of wild dogs. He barely escapes, giving up the rabbit for his own life.
Suddenly, a huge man with a gun zaps the dogs, and saves the Kannibal Kid. The man claims that he kills and collects dog carcasses and sells them for food while evading the dog-men, who'll eat anything. The man offers him a job being bait for more dogs, and the Kannibal Kid agrees, knowing that the first chance he gets, he'll kill his new employer and eat his brains.
- This is the final issue of Animal Man to be released as part of the DC Universe before the switch to the Vertigo imprint.
- This issue features the two final parts of the "Flesh and Blood" storyline, as well as a backup story which is supposed to be written by Cliff Baker, but is actually written by Jamie Delano with art by Russell Braun.
- No trivia.
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- Cover gallery for the Animal Man series
Links and References
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