Animal Man 3: Deus Ex Machina

9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 8/10

Really different ending to Grant Morrison's run

Not a stand alone collection

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Animal Man (Volume 1)

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer:  Grant Morrison

Artist:  Chas Truog/Paris Cullins

# of Issues:  9

Release Date:  2003


Animal Man (1) #25

Reprints Animal Man (1) #18-26 (December 1989-August 1990).  Animal Man is finding out more about himself and his origins than he ever could believe.  Contacted by James Highwater, Buddy learns that he might not truly be in control of the world he inhabits.  When tragedy strikes Buddy and his family, Animal Man finds his whole perspective on life has changed…and despite being out of his control, someone is controlling his life!

Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Chas Truog and Paris Cullins, Animal Man Volume 3:  Deus Ex Machina is the third and final part of Grant Morrison’s critically acclaimed run on the book and follows Animal Man Volume 2:  Origin of the Species.

Animal Man was a very experimental DC Comic when it was released in 1988.  DC had yet to invent Vertigo at the time and something along the lines of Animal Man was pretty rare.  Animal Man helped turn Grant Morrison into a comic god (literally) among fans and to this day is still a fun read.

The first part of the story deals heavily with Crisis on Infinite Earths which is great if you read CrisisCrisis erased tons of DC Universe history and one of the only persons who remembered it was Psycho Pirate…Morrison wraps this up in this volume and tempts people by hinting that the pre-Crisis worlds were on the verge of returning.  Within this bubble Morrison also slyly adds one of the strangest twists in comic book history.


Animal Man (1) #26

Grant Morrison’s take on Animal Man easily could have been seen as pretentious if it wasn’t done so well.  Throughout the series, there had been allusions to the famous last issue Animal Man (1) #26 (August 1990) “Deus Ex Machina” that has Grant Morrison writing himself into his own story.  Since Morrison had given the story this direction throughout his run, “Deus Ex Machina” is almost a misnomer since it was the only way it could have ended…in the technical sense of the term, but in the literal sense he is the God from the Machine (aka comic).  The only aspect that really is a deus ex machina in the technical term is that Morrison undoes all his work by restoring Buddy’s family to life at the end.

It is odd to see a comic get personal…much less a mainstream superhero comic.  Animal Man gets personal and that is why it is so memorable.  Morrison even states in the comic that Animal Man was just “A generic comic book hero with blond hair and good teeth.  One of hundreds”, but he turned that generic character into something new and different.  Morrison left after his volume and Animal Man 3:  Deus Ex Machina is followed by Animal Man 4:  Born to be Wild by Peter Milligan and Tom Veitch.

Related Links:

Animal Man 1:  Animal Man

Animal Man 2:  Origin of the Species

Animal Man 1:  The Hunt

Animal Man 2:  Animal vs. Man

Animal Man 3:  Rotworld—The Red Kingdom

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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