If you go back and check out Wonder Woman issues circa 1980, you’ll notice that there are a ton of captivating covers. This one really got my attention, and I plucked in off the newsstand wondering ‘Who is that guy in the orange outfit?’ This was my first exposure to Animal Man, as I most admit to really liking his style right off the bat. DC’s triumvirate was a pretty serious lot back then (still are, I guess. Animal Man appeared to have fun with crime fighting without seeming too clownish (I’m talking to you, Dibney!) – he seemed to be the perfect Yin to Wonder Woman’s Yang.
The story intimated that Animal Man he had a history in the DCU (although no issues were noted) so I set out to find back issues features this rather unique character. It wasn’t long before I tracked down copies of Strange Adventure #195 and #201. If I recall correctly, they would have set me back 30 or 40 cents back then. I was pretty excited, half expecting him to become a major player in the DCU and so I waited. I waited, waited and waited. Where did he go? Aside from appearing in the next Wonder Woman issue, the DCU remained Animal Man-free for the next few years. I guess I was wrong about the A-Man renaissance; that would have to wait. Oh well, it’s still fun to go back and read this one as Gerry Conway must have had a soft spot in his heart for Buddy Baker.