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Animal Man:

Tom Veitch Era (1991-1992)

Tom Veitch took over as regular writer of Animal Man with #33, accompanied most often by artist Steve Dillon — whose clearly communicative but simplistic artwork would later lead to fame on Preacher. Veitch continued the title’s weirdness, though in a lighter, more traditionally comic tone than that of Morrison or Milligan. Animal Man’s powers continued to malfunction. After they killed every animal in the San Diego Zoo, the Baker family moved to the farm of Ellen’s mother in Pownal, Vermont. Whereas Morrison had simply featured other animal-related characters, Veitch now began forming a unified theory of such characters in a move echoing Alan Moore making Swamp Thing an earth elemental during his run on that character’s title. Meeting a Native American shaman (which echoed the Native American themes of Morrison’s run), Animal Man learned that he was one of a group called the Animal Masters, who were natural guardians of nature. He also learned that the cause of his powers malfunctioning was the coming of Antigon, the natural arch-adversary of the Animal Masters. Antigon finally manifested in Veitch’s final issues, and the villain corrupted, possessed, and killed B’Wana Beast, revealed to be a fellow Animal Master. Along with Vixen and Tristess, other Animal Masters, Animal Man defeated Antigon in #50, Veitch’s final issue. Buddy Baker also learned during this time that his own daughter, Maxine, was herself an Animal Master and was developing powers similar to her father’s.

While both Peter Milligan and Tom Veitch are capable writers, their work on Animal Man suffered by being in the shadow of Grant Morrison’s. Any successor had to be as different as Morrison had been — while simultaneously keeping elements of Morrison’s run for his fans. Milligan’s run, closest to Morrison’s, nonetheless lacked the gravity granted Morrison’s weirdness. And while Veitch’s work remains laudable for its attempt to do for Animal Man what Alan Moore had done for Swamp Thing, any leniency one exercised in one’s judgments was long worn thin by the time Animal Man and the ridiculously named Animal Masters, a group of second-stringers not granted much personality, battled the generic super-foe Antigon.

Writer Jamie Delano, chosen to follow Veitch as writer, would instigate several changes on the title — including the fulfillment of Veitch’s attempt to unify the Animal Man mythos as Alan Moore had Swamp Thing’s.

Animal Man #33

“I Am the Man of Deep Ungodly Powers” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon
  • Animal Man, working as a movie stunt man, finds dead bald eagles and other birds of prey that seem to be cooked from the inside out
  • Animal Man’s powers go insane

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.50; cover-dated Mar 1991
Animal Man #34

“Requiem for a Bird of Prey” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.50; cover-dated Apr 1991
Animal Man #35

“Dead Dogs on Ice!” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.50; cover-dated May 1991
Animal Man #36

“The Call of the Wild” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.50; cover-dated June 1991
Animal Man #37

“The Zoo at World’s End” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.50; cover-dated July 1991
Animal Man: Born to be Wild

collects Animal Man Vol. 1 #27-37; cover by Brian Bolland; cover taken from Animal Man Vol. 1 #34; published by DC Comics; 288 pages; softcover; $19.99; cover-dated Apr 2013

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Animal Man #38

“You’re An Animal, Man!” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.50; cover-dated Aug 1991
Animal Man #39

“Master of Wolves” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; pencils by Tom Mandrake; inks by Dick Giordano
  • wolves attack the San Diego Comic-Con

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.50; cover-dated Sept 1991
Animal Man #40

“Bear Claw Soup” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon
  • participates in DC’s War of the Gods crossover

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.50; cover-dated Oct 1991
Animal Man #41

“The Stone that Cracked Open the Earth Like an Egg” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.75; cover-dated Nov 1991
Animal Man #42

“Men Without Eyes” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; pencils by David G. Klein; inks by Mark Badger
  • Animal Man battles faceless robots built by S.T.A.R. Labs

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.75; cover-dated Dec 1991
Animal Man #43

“Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.75; cover-dated Jan 1992
Animal Man #44

“Who is That Masked Woman?” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; pencils by Brett Ewins; inks by Jim McCarthy
  • Vixen appears

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.75; cover-dated Feb 1992
Animal Man #45

“The Beat of Darkness” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.75; cover-dated Mar 1992
Animal Man #46

“A Rage of Fathers” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Pugh
  • Buddy Baker recounts hunting with his father and gaining his powers

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.75; cover-dated Apr 1992
Animal Man #47

“The Shining Man” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.75; cover-dated May 1992
Animal Man #48

“The Meaning of Flesh” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon
  • Antagon appears, threatening the planet

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.75; cover-dated June 1992
Animal Man #49

“The Hot Heart of Abstract Reality” -- 24 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon
  • Animal Man battles Antagon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $1.75; cover-dated July 1992
Animal Man #50

“Journal of a Plague Year” -- 40 pages

  • written by Tom Veitch; art by Steve Dillon
  • Animal Man and Vixen battle Antagon

cover by Brian Bolland; published by DC Comics; $2.95; cover-dated Aug 1992

Tagged , , Tom Veitch.