Jun 10, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 836: Wonder Woman #267, May 1980

https://www.comics.org/issue/34364/

So I have a confession to make.

Much as I laud the Man of Steel, much as I find inspiration in his stories, he's not my favourite superhero.

Animal Man is.

I've written a few times about Animal Man. He's a character that is near and dear to my heart. He's the first superhero I ever read by Grant Morrison, whose work is also so dear to my heart.

(The first Morrison I ever read was The Doctor.)

Even in the strange, lost years in which I was not an obsessive comics fan, I recalled Animal Man's adventures fondly. And when I regained my senses and got into comics again, his were some of the earliest comics I started tracking down.

Today's comic is one of the few pre-Morrison Animal Man adventures that exist. Between his origin and Morrison's comic, there's probably less than 15 appearances. It's nice to see A-Man show up and hold his own against the Amazon Princess, especially given the limits of his powers at this point. Rather than his connection to a morphogenetic field in the later run, Buddy could only access the powers of animals he could see. Good thing for all those coincidentally useful creatures passing by.

There's one line in this issue that I think sums up Animal Man quite well. It's quite wise, which isn't surprising given its source. Wonder Woman, considering her new ally, thinks "A strange man. At first, he seems almost like a clown...but underneath that humorous exterior, I sense a driving purpose..." I noted in my very early entry on Animal Man #5 that the art on that run is very cartoon-y, but is meshed with a proto-Vertigo sensibility. Which is kind of what Wonder Woman says right there. Neat.

One last little bit of the Amazon tomorrow, and then I think we're going to follow Animal Man on his adventures after this little encounter.

To be continued.

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