Buddy Baker, Animal Man, is often referred to as DC’s “everyman.” In Jeff Lemire, Travel Foreman, Steve Pugh, Rafael Abluquerque and John Paul Leon’s 30 plus issue Animal Man run under New 52’s first wave, Baker was given his most recognizable roles as a faulted (but familiar) father, a friend, an activist, and even as a struggling actor. Lacking both the power set and emotional capacity to emulate Clark Kent, Buddy Baker is no Superman. No, Buddy Baker is a man, and a man is little different than an animal.
But Buddy is also the inauspicious figurehead for something much larger than himself. He’s the eyes and ears of the animal world, beautifully sharing and communing with it — the Red — in a way few can, as a citizen and a family member. He’s also their avatar, their immune system, and their mantle for responsibility, a superhero. More often a victim than not, his life with all of its individualized traumas expresses the global trauma and rot begetting the New 52 world. [Read more…] about The Old 52: Animal Man’s Autopsy