Animal Man

Unearthed: Animal Man #56, Part One

This issue is double-sized for some reason, so we’ll do it in two parts.

Holy cats! What’s all this, then?

We’re getting Buddy’s thoughts from inside the egg, though he doesn’t quite realize that’s where he is.

C’mon,, Buddy! You can do it, li’l guy!

As always, Maxine’s got the right of it, with her preternatural ways. But Ellen’s religious mother sees it differently…

N’yawww! Lookit ‘im! He’s adorable!

Time has passed. Buddy’s new form frightens Ellen and her mother, so he’s moved out into the wilderness. He ruminates, giving us more lovely Delano prose.

Only Maxine visits her father, bringing him food and giving him updates on the family situation.

She accepts him for who he is, even if no one else does. She’s his Little Wing! She also tells him that Ellen has agreed to meet with him away from the farm.

Ellen is freaked out, and can you blame her?

Ellen reminds Buddy that Cliff is still missing. She’s pissed off, and rightly so. From her point of view, none of this lifeweb stuff is miraculous or even interesting. She just wants her human partner back.

In his bestial form, Buddy is closer than ever to bestial urges. He misses intimacy with his wife, but she can’t grant it in his current form.

Ellen lays it out for him. Harsh, but he needs to hear it.

Meanwhile, in the cave, Cliff has been left alone in the pit for 10 days, trying to survive. Dudley finally comes to check on him.

Dudley is insane, with a morbid love of death.

Here’s Dudley’s plan, and it’s messed up as you’d expect.

He cuts both their hands in the manner of the old ‘blood brother’ ritual.

Here, he’s giving Cliff the pouch of Buddy’s severed fingers as a grisly gift.

How a father thrills to those words!

Buddy has some time to think about what Ellen needs in a partner; he knows she’s right.

But he revels in his new form. It’s powerful and connected to every other life in the world.

This is the area where the FBI had a file on Dudley. Buddy’s found it… but is he too late to save his son?

Dudley’s helping Cliff out of the pit, when Buddy suddenly bursts into the area and gives this amazing line.

Now Dudley, convinced he’s facing Death Itself, backfills and tries to bargain.

Cliff doesn’t recognize his father, of course, so he struggles against Dudley in an attempt to escape.

Now, to be true, I think Buddy’s form was probably powerful enough to have gotten them both, but ehnh, this is fine. Dudley is swept off by the current, never to be seen again.

Well, you did, Buddy. You did.

Buddy’s rescued his son at last, but will Cliff accept him? Join us for the conclusion to Animal Man: Flesh and Blood!