The Deus Ex Machina wiki last edited by pikahyper on 03/20/14 03:51AM View full history

Buddy Baker meets his maker--Grant Morrison! In Morrison's last issue of ANIMAL MAN, he says goodbye to the character.

The issue opens with some establishing shots of Morrison's home. Everything, not just the home, but the whole world seems dull and gray. Morrison again invites Animal Man inside. When Buddy asks him who he is, Morrison tells him that he is the evil master mind, the puppet master;he is Buddy's writer. Buddy asks him if he created the yellow aliens. Morrison responds that he didn't; he just rescued them from limbo. He also didn't create Animal Man or his family. He shows Buddy his computer screen and boasts that he can make Buddy do anything he wants, even forget that he was ever married. He begins to tell Buddy about an imaginary friend that he had when he was younger named Foxy, but Animal Man angrily interrupts him. Buddy rages at Morrison and calls him a murderer. He grabs the writer and throws him through the glass window; killing him.

Buddy is shocked at what he's just done, but Morrison appears behind him and informs the hero that he just made him do that. He tells Buddy that he thought they needed some action at the beginning of the issue to keep people interested. He goes on to inform Buddy that he is currently in a comic book approximation of the real world. He then pulls out some Animal Man comics and shows them to him. Buddy finds the issue with his family's death and asks Morrison why he did it. The writer cavalierly tells him that the story needed drama and it's easy to go get a cheap thrill by killing characters. When Buddy points out that isn't fair, Morrison tels him about his pet cat that had to be put to sleep recently. That wasn't fair either, but he has no one to complain to. He tells Animal Man that the comic world is much simpler because there's no problem that can't be solved by an idiot in tights. Buddy notices some Doom Patrol comics and asks Morrison if he writes everything. He replies that if he did; he would never get any sleep. He then points out to Buddy that someone else writes him when he's with the Justice League. He and Buddy go for a walk.

They go walking by a river, which is where Morrison explains that he goes when he has writer's block. They've come here because he's having trouble thinking of things to say. When Buddy questions him about this. Morrison replies that he's had this story planned out for a couple of years, but now that it's happened, he's realized that enough space. Buddy then wants to know whether or not he's a real person. The writer assures the character that he is more real than he is. After all, Buddy will still be young when Morrison is old and dead.

As they stand by the river, Buddy notices how drab the world is and tells Morrison that his world must be terrible without superheroes. Morrison responds that he can do superheroes, and a brightly colored superteam comes bursting out of the water, only to explode in red fireworks. Morrison tells him that he only added the characters to make the story more interesting to draw. Animal Man wonders if that isn't a terribly haphazard way to write a story, and tells Morrison that he doesn't think he's a very good writer. Morrison tells him that maybe his next writer will do a better job. He then explains that this is his last issue; causing Buddy to wonder what's going to happen himself. The writer answers that he doesn't know... perhaps they'll turn Animal Man into a meat eater. Buddy starts to freak out that he's a vegetarian, but Morrison tells him that he's only a vegetarian because Morrison himself is. They discuss animal rights for a while, until Animal Man throws his hands up at the insanity of his situation. He asks Morrison to bring his family back; to make it all a dream or something. Morrison scoffs and decides that they've had too much talking and it's time for a fight scene. He then creates a couple of villains for Buddy to battle.

While Buddy has his hands full, Morrison addresses the reader directly. He thanks Karen Berger and his co-creators and apologizes for not responding their messages. He then thanks some of the regular writers to the letters column and encourages the reader to join PETA. He looks back and notices that Buddy has collapsed in a pool of blood. Morrison callously orders Animal Man to get up; there's nothing wrong with him because it's only a comic. Buddy stands up in a fury and screams that it's not a comic; it's HIS LIFE. He then sits back down and rests his hands on his knees. Morrison begins talking about his cat again, and how even though it was an anguishing experience, he realized that he could use it in Animal Man. He then wonders aloud how all the pain and sorrow in the comic world is entertainment the real world. Morrison suggests that maybe they could try to be kind. He then says that he's out of time and he never actually said anything important. Morrison looks over at the huddled Buddy, and tells him to go home and forget that they met.

Suddenly, Buddy is sitting on his couch. The doorbell is ringing and he answers it. At the door are his wife and kids; Ellen tells him that she forgot her keys. He tells her that he's had the most horrible dream. Ellen asks if anything is wrong. With tears in his eyes, Buddy tells that nothing is wrong at all...

Morrison sits staring at his computer screen; wondering if that's really the best he can do. He grabs a flashlight and goes walking by the river, again. Morrison's narrative captions inform us that he when he was younger he used to have an imaginary friend named Foxy. Foxy ruled over a utopia of gentle foxes, and the young Morrison used to signal to him with a "torch" or flashlight, and Foxy always signaled back. Morrison stops and flashes his light at the surrounding hills. There is no response. With a final good-bye Morrison shuffles home. After he leaves, we see a solitary light flashing from the hills.

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