"Hour of the Beast": In an airport in Africa, Buddy Baker and Mike Maxwell meet for coffee. They reminisce about their battle, nearly a year previous, as their alter egos Animal Man and B'wana Beast, respectively. Mike, however,
- He died. He died of a rare disease. Symbolism.
Appearing in "Hour of the Beast"
- Animal Man (Flashback and main story)
- Mr. van de Voort
- Don Friedman
- Archbishop Mogatusi
- David Quinn
- Perry White (Mentioned only)
- Yellow Aliens (Mentioned only)
- Tibet (Mentioned only)
- North America
Synopsis for "Hour of the Beast"
In an airport in Africa, Buddy Baker and Mike Maxwell meet for coffee. They reminisce about their battle, nearly a year previous, as their alter egos Animal Man and B'wana Beast, respectively. Mike, however, reveals that he is actually seeking out a replacement, because emotionally, being B'wana beast has become impossible. Buddy decides to tag along.
They head to Tanzania, where Mount Kilimanjaro and the home of the B'wana Beast are located. There, Mike performs a ritual after drinking his elixir, which helps him pinpoint his successor. Together, He and Buddy head to the new Beast's location.
Elsewhere, a young South African photographer and activist named Dominic Mndawe has taken photos showing white cruelty to blacks, but in order to get them seen in North America, he must ask a journalist to smuggle the undeveloped film back to the United States. Reluctantly, the journalist agrees. Afterwards, however, Dominic is attacked, beaten, and imprisoned.
A Mr. Van de Voort verbally and physically abuses Dominic while he is imprisoned. He prepares a noose and stool in order to make it seem as though Dominic has hung himself in his cell, all while explaining his plan to assassinate a prominent archbishop who mobilizes the black population. He compares his plan to the myth of the unicorn, where virgins would distract the beast while hunters sneak up to kill it. He also reveals that he knows of the incriminating photographs, and that the journalist will be detained at the airport.
When the time comes for Dominic to be hanged, Mike and Animal Man burst through the doors and incapacitate Mr. Van de Voort. Mike then explains that Dominic is his successor, and details the workings of B'wana Beast's powers and equipment, despite Dominic's distaste for the "B'wana" title. Mike believes that the title is beyond politics, but Dominic bitterly tells his story of how he had survived a massacre of students in South Africa, all because they had refused to speak Afrikaans—the point being that nothing in the country is beyond politics.
Later, at a growing black protest, Mr. Van de Voort enacts his plan, hoping to rile the crowd and bring the archbishop out of hiding. However, the archbishop commandeers the loudspeakers, broadcasting a message that the event is a trap. Mike Maxwell then steps out of the crowd, threatening that it will be harder to explain away the death of an American. Van de Voort shoots him anyway, just as Animal Man causes an earthquake, and dissipates the crowd. In the confusion, Van de Voort locates the archbishop and threatens him with his gun. He is surprised however, by Dominic's arrival in the garb of the B'wana Beast. He uses his fusing powers to create a zebra unicorn, which skewers Van de Voort through the chest.
With the archbishop and most of the protesters safe, Mike volunteers to stay in Africa to train Dominic, who claims that he will take the new title of "Freedom Beast." Animal Man returns home, and makes a visit to the Daily Planet, where he delivers the photos Dominic had taken. He had switched the film out for vacation photos at the airport.
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