"Misfit": Cliff Baker attempts to sketch a portrait of his sleeping girlfriend Lucy, while they spend time by the pond. His little sister Maxine, meanwhile, is playing in the water with the frogs. She splashes into the water happily, bu
- The hell with you, asshole. Your goddamn dogs chased my girl down here. Shoot me if you want-- but I'm gonna keep digging.
Synopsis for "Misfit"
Cliff Baker attempts to sketch a portrait of his sleeping girlfriend Lucy, while they spend time by the pond. His little sister Maxine, meanwhile, is playing in the water with the frogs. She splashes into the water happily, but drenches Cliff's sketchbook in the process. In an effort to get her to leave him alone, Cliff threatens to crush and throw one of the frogs. This simply aggravates Maxine, and she leaps at him, scratching his face. Cliff is mystified, but before he can demand an apology, Maxine has run home crying.
She runs to her room, and buries herself in a nest of blankets, feeling as though her parents, Buddy and Ellen will be on Cliff's side, and that they won't understand the way she treats the animals as friends. Ellen comes to her, and noting that the room smells like a zoo, she sends Maxine off to take a bath, and then make up with her brother. Instead, Maxine slams the door, and takes a bath by herself.
Finally, Buddy knocks on the door, hoping to connect with her. She immediately bursts into tears, worrying that her powers are making people hate her. Buddy admits that sometimes he feels the same way she did about the frogs, but that they both have to remember that most people don't understand animals the way they do. Still, Maxine is bothered that her own brother can't keep from killing and tormenting animals - something that causes her much pain, since she loves him. Buddy hands her a towel, and tries to be comforting, saying that they are more ignorant than they are evil. He promises that once their ark is complete, they'll find a way to teach others, and then he sends her to bed.
As she lies in bed, Maxine wonders if her father really does feel the way she does about the animals - really loving them. She wonders how he can sit by while a pig farm just near by treats the animals with cruelty. She begins to think about Buddy's ark idea, and determines to bring animals to join them there. She accesses The Red and begins calling animals according to the alphabet, as she falls asleep.
A few days later, on a nearby farm, the farmer reports to Sheriff Reinhart that his cows have been attacked by something. He reveals that after staying up one night with a flashlight and a shotgun, he managed to take down whatever it was that was killing his livestock - a lion. He notes that there are at least two more lions that escaped onto the Frazier property. The Sheriff is already suspicious of the strange goings on at the Frazier farm, and promises to look into it. The farmer warns that lately the property has had strange sounds coming from it - like the sounds of a jungle.
As it turns out, Maxine has gathered together a wide variety of animals from across the world, from zebras to giraffes, to macaws. When she realizes that some of the animals are frightened by recent newcomers, she discovers a group of lions nearby. She warns the lions that they are not to hurt any of the other animals she has called.
Meanwhile, Buddy is detained on his way onto the Frazier farm by the Sheriff. Unfortunately, he is legally and officially considered dead. He attempts to pretend that he is James Baker, non-existent brother to himself, and Ellen Baker's brother-in-law. When Buddy admits that he doesn't have his driver's license with him, the Sheriff becomes suspicious and demands that he take off his sunglasses. When Buddy finally complies, he reveals that his eyes have come to resemble those of a cat. The Sheriff pulls his gun, but turns around to discover that Maxine has come to her father's aid along with three elephants. Despite Buddy's protests, she has the elephants crush the Sheriff's car and chase him away.
Back on the farm, Buddy guesses that they'll have until dawn at the latest before the police come back for them. Ellen looks outside, and seeing her daughter playing with all of the animals she's brought there, she bursts into tears, bemoaning the loss of normalcy in their lives, once again. Her mother Mary Frazier takes control of the situation, suggesting that their guests Myra and Selene leave as soon as possible, because they are already fugitives for a capital offence. Since Buddy is supposed to be dead, she sends him away to hide as well. Additionally, Maxine is to send all of the animals into the backwoods and out of sight until things blow over. Meanwhile, she intends to lie to the police, and smooth things out about what happened to the Sheriff.
Sheriff Reinhart and Deputy Patterson are met by Ray Dillinger of the Department of Biologically Enhanced Criminality and Eco-Subversion on the outskirts of the Frazier property. Dillinger's people are armed to the teeth, because they expect to be dealing with some wild individuals. Dillinger reveals that she believes that Buddy is still alive, and has a plan to prepare for a militant subversion related to environmental politics.
Dillinger calls out to the family, demanding Buddy come out first, but everyone feigns ignorance and grief at his having died a year ago. However, their ploy is thwarted when a rhinoceros appears on the property, having arrived late. The resulting havoc sends Maxine on the run with the rhino while the rest of the family struggles with Dillinger's people to prevent them from pursuing her. At Ellen's call, Buddy - who has been flying above the scene on animal wings - swoops down and draws their gun fire away from the farm.
Maxine returns to the backwoods only to discover the carcass of a zebra. She follows her instincts to find that all of the animals have succumbed to the natural order, and predators have begun attacking and eating prey. She commands them to stop, offering that they could all eat vegetables instead of each other (the lions aren't interested in that proposition). Suddenly, she hears the police dogs in pursuit of them, and orders all of the animals to follow her away. Unfortunately, the animals are simply in chaos, and the police and Dillinger's people begin shooting all of them. In despair, Maxine simply lies down among the animal carcasses.
Buddy attempts to come to Maxine's rescue, but he gets shot in the shoulder, and the sight of his wound brings about a feeling a primal fear within Maxine, and she runs away. Suddenly, a strange anthropomorphic rabbit appears, and beckons her to join him in the briar patch. He tries to convince her to join him in a place called Free Country, so that she can save all the children, animals, and plants from dying in the outside world, and bring them to Free Country too. The rabbit's plans seem to involve killing all adults of the world, and then repopulating with the children of Free Country. Reluctantly, Maxine follows.
Buddy emerges from the foliage just in time to see his daughter rush into a rabbit warren, followed closely by all of the attack dogs. Worried that they will kill Maxine, Buddy's primal rage takes over, and he tears through them, digging into the ground for his daughter. Dillinger finds him and pulls a gun, but finally Sheriff Reinhart and Deputy Patterson rebel, and begin helping Buddy to pull Maxine out.
Back at the farm, the Baker family is handcuffed and packed into a van when Buddy returns carrying Maxine in his arms. She seems to be in a state of powerful shock. Buddy insists that she stay with them on the farm, and the Sheriff sends Dillinger away, releasing the Bakers from their captivity.
The Sheriff and Deputy apologize for bringing so much trouble to the Bakers, and then the family sets about cleaning up the mess that was their farm.
Appearing in "Misfit"
- Pownal Sherrif's department
- Sheriff Robbie Reinhart
- Deputy Dan Patterson
- Department of Biologically Enhanced Criminality and Eco-Subversion
- Ray Dillinger
- Jack Rabbit
- Lucy Cassidy
- Annie Cassidy
- Mary Frazier
- This issue is reprinted in Animal Man: Red Plague.