"The Hunt, Part One: Warning from the Red": Buddy Baker pores over the recent issue of The Believer for which he gave an interview regarding his recent return to acting in an indie film. He worries aloud to his wife [[Ellen Frazier (P
Synopsis for "The Hunt, Part One: Warning from the Red"
Buddy Baker pores over the recent issue of The Believer for which he gave an interview regarding his recent return to acting in an indie film. He worries aloud to his wife Ellen that he might have come off as arrogant, but she is distracted by the need to make dinner before their children Maxine and Cliff get in. Once he gets her attention, Ellen seems a little more concerned about when and whether he'll get paid for the film appearance.
Maxine appears, hoping to get her father's attention, but he brushes her off. In response, she screams loudly for attention, and once she has it, she reveals her plan that the family needs to get a dog. Sadly, Buddy has to let her down, because owning a pet of any kind would affect his powers to the extent that he would have difficulty using any animal ability that came from a different animal than the pet. Under her breath, Ellen notes that Buddy hasn't used his powers much in a while, and that he seemed happier when he was still playing superhero.
As a disappointed Maxine returns to her room, Cliff pushes past her and tells his dad about a newscast he saw about a gunman holding an entire children's cancer ward at the local hospital hostage. Reluctantly, Buddy decides to do something about it, despite Ellen's complaints that dinner is ready. In fact, Buddy loves being Animal Man. The feeling of flying and the action is just too much fun to give up.
Buddy reunites with Detective Krenshaw, who is in charge of dealing with the situation. He fills Animal Man in on the fact that the gunman, Lyle Edwin, lost his daughter to cancer in that ward three weeks ago, and is now demanding to have his daughter back. Buddy thinks of his own children, and sympathizes. He demands to be allowed to go in alone and handle the situation.
Buddy tries talking Lyle down, but the man becomes agitated and fires his gun. Quickly, Buddy uses the thick skin of a rhinoceros to deflect the bullets, and then charges the gunman with the strength of an elephant, the reflexes of a fly, the speed of a cheetah, and the bark of a dog. After knocking Lyle Edwin down with one punch, the man regrets his actions. As Buddy leaves, he asks that Lyle be given some help for his depression. However, Detective Krenshaw is horrified by the fact that after using his powers, Buddy is now bleeding heavily from his eyes.
A doctor examines him, but finds no wounds, so Buddy returns home to his family. Ultimately, he realizes that he would do almost anything for his kids, and his wife is the one person who grounds him to who he is, even with all of the changes in his life. Ellen and the children have already gone to sleep when he gets home, so he uses his power to assume the napping capabilities of a cat and falls right to sleep.
However, he suffers a terrifying nightmare in which his son Cliff is disembowelled, claiming that Maxine did it to him. Buddy then confronts three monsters who claim to represent "The Rot in The Red" and that they - the Hunters Three - are the true fathers of his child. Buddy awakens to hear Ellen calling him from outside of the house. When he gets outside, he finds Maxine sitting surrounded by the animated corpses of several small animals. She apologizes, saying that she had only wanted a pet of her own.
Appearing in "The Hunt, Part One: Warning from the Red"
- The Hunters Three (1st appearance; dream)
- Lyle Edwin (Single appearance)
- The issue begins with an interview The Believer, in which Buddy Baker brings readers up to date and talks about his movie role.
- Pandora makes a cameo appearance to witness the events of this story, as she does all #1 issues published as part of The New 52. Her head can be seen over a Doctor's shoulder, immediately after Buddy's eyes start bleeding. This is following her first appearance at the end of Flashpoint.
- This issue is reprinted in:
- Animal Man: The Hunt
- DC Comics Presents: The Dark #1
- The New 52: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
- The film in which Buddy is set to star is analogous with Darren Aronofsky's real world film The Wrestler.
- Animal Man Recommended Reading