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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 319

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Let’s take a look at a cool moment from Grant Morrison’s run on Animal Man!

Animal Man #15, written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Chas Truog and Doug Hazlewood, features Animal Man along with old friend Dane Dorrance (of the Sea Devils) trying to stop some folks who are killing dolphins.

Morrison throws in a twist by having the dolphins who are being victimized have a voice…

Strong stuff.

32 Comments

One of my favorite series runs ever and one more reason to love dolphins.

What a great ending.

Um, I know people aren’t nice to animals sometimes, but is there some reason the crowd angrily wants to kill lots of dolphins? Seems like they’re an angry mob to me.

Of course, what’s extra cool about the last moment is that dolphins really do stuff like that. We don’t know what they’re thinking, but they still do that.

Ethan, the villagers do an annual slaughter of dolphins as a fishing tradition…the set up was inspired by a real life local custom in some countries’s fsihing villages were they slaughter dolphins/whales during a season.
Horrible stuff, and while a particular place (the Faroe Islands, i thinkl) inspired Morrison, the custom is common in some others places of the world, like Japan (see the documentary “The Cove”)
A great issue, and oddly enough, it was one of the first media references to this barabaric “tradition”

Um, I know people aren’t nice to animals sometimes, but is there some reason the crowd angrily wants to kill lots of dolphins? Seems like they’re an angry mob to me.

I know it seems ridiculous, but the Faroese still do this dolphin slaughter just as it is depicted in the comic.

This seemed more like an episode of Captain Planet.

And two decades later, South Park would do the same thing.

have to go with the whale helping omega back to shore proving that one should not judge the whole human race for the actions of some. and the whale saying some day the killing will stop. loved animal man one of the few works of grants that one did not need to wonder if grant was on something when he was writting.

Brings a tear to ones eye(s).

Another favorite moment in this series is where a character turns his head around and says “I CAN SEE YOU!!!!” — YOU meaning the reader in general. I forget the # in which this happens.

Another is the Gospel Truth in # 5.

Stuff like this is why Morrison’s Animal Man is one of the rare DC titles to make it into my collection.

Dolphins are cute and loveable. Did Animal Man ever get involved if someone shot an opossum, stepped on a cockroach, or swatted a mosquito? I think it all goes back to Dennis Leary’s observation: we only want to save the cute animals.

Have the Animal Man series been collected in TPB’s?

@ Richard J. Marcej:

Yep. 3 tpbs collecting all Morrison’s Animal Man stuff.
Go forth and buy! ;-)

The punchline is that dolphins are jerks and one the few species that will thrill kill and rape each other.

For me this is one of the weaker issues in one of the all time best runs in comics. It’s still a good story, but it didn’t stand out for me.

The Coyote Gospel on the other hand… That’s in the top five comics of all time for me.

Oh and Richard J. Marcej – go and buy. All three of them. Now!

Animal Man might be my favorite comic book run of all time, but whenever it tried to branch out into real-world issues, I found myself wishing that it hadn’t. Morrison’s social commentary in Animal Man is always one-sided and preachy – the writer admits as much in his chat with Animal Man in Issue 26. The people who differ with Buddy on the issues are always either buffoons like his friend Roger, or else total miscreants, like the capital-V villain of this moment. “Ha ha ha, I will gore these cute baby dolphins and love every second of it!” As Calleeen pointed out, the plot could’ve been repurposed from an old episode of Captain Planet.

Yeah, the funny thing is that recent research shows that dolphins behavior includes foreplay, sex for fun rather than reproduction, rape, homosexuality, cross-species sex (including humping humans), and murder.

Yes, they are cute, and yes they sometimes save people, but some of them are real assholes.

Yeah, this comic really sums up my girlfriend’s feelings about dolphins:

http://leasticoulddo.com/comic/20070130

Personally, I’m not sure why we should judge other cultures based on what they do. As long as they’re not causing real ecological or human harm, why do we gotta get in their faces and call them wrong?

Yeah I was a rabid fan of Morrison’s back in the day, but this issue really pissed me off. “Our way is different”-Bull-hockey. Lumping all dolphins together as though they are all wonderful loving creatures. And Animal Man’s “I lost my temper. I gave him to the fishes” Animal Man’s kill is just fine with Morrison because he had a reason for it, and Ongur, see, had it coming so it’s okay. Yes Ongur was an ass, and he ripped up that fish for no reason (that we agree with anyway), but you will never convince me that the life of a fish is worth that of a human, not even a complete jerk.
Morrison revealed himself here as yet another pompous self-righteous crusader for animal rights who doesn’t give a hang about human rights. Brilliant writer, usually, but he really shouldn’t bring in his political views. Face it, superheroes are inherently militaristic and, well, conservative I suppose. The whole point of superheroes is that they enforce their views with shows of force. Generally we forgive them their excesses because they are almost always proven correct. Here, not so much.

DanCJ: I just read Coyote Gospel earlier tonight (picked up the first Animal Man trade a few days ago.) What an awesome story.

David, you’re missing the point when you assert, “Animal Man’s kill is just fine with Morrison because he had a reason for it, and Ongur, see, had it coming so it’s okay.” The power of the story comes from the fact that Buddy/Animal Man, the protagonist and our titular hero, decides to kill the fisherman/butcher for mere revenge, but the dolphin that lost his/her family (the being that would have the truest motivation for revenge) instead practices forgiveness and saves his life. So I don’t think Buddy’s actions are OK with Morrison — in fact, Morrison makes a point to paint Buddy with the same savage brush.

Gawd I hate it when people say “You’re missing the point”, as though dissgreeing with them automatically equaled lack of insight.
The “power” of the story depends on whether you AGREE with Morrison’s idiotic blanket statements about Dolphins, or that the dolphin had some higher moral right to kill Ongur but chose not to out of some peace loving inner blah bah blah. I do not agree, therefore the story not only lacks power but is actually offensive. Buddy could not kill him for revenge, nothing had been done to Buddy. Painting, to borrow your vernacular, all dolphins with a humanistic brush is presumptuous and well, kind of stupid. Granting them human-like insight may be entirely wrong. Even if you allow for the possibility that the Dolphin in question had some actual reason for pushing the bastard back to shore, as opposed to simply acting on instinct, how would we know the reason wasn’t fear of human retribution if he had not helped Ongur?

Wow, that’s hilarious. We know, David, because it’s a STORY and the storytellers tell us why the dolphin does what s/he does. The dolphin’s internal monologue makes it very clear. You’re arguing about the abilities of dolphins in a comic book where amazing things happen all the time. Things like Buddy flying. You’re just pissed off and criticizing everything because you’re offended by (your perception of) Morrison’s politics.

Oh please don’t try that one.
I am criticizing what I did not like about the story, period. I can assail Morrison’s political views because he wrote them into the story. He himself admitted as much in his last issue of Animal Man. The only thing I am “pissed off’ at is you for writing something as amazingly off-center as “David, you’re missing the point” And now you’re trying to bait me with “Wow, that’s hilarious”. It’s childish and pointless.
Acting as a critic, I can address any element of the story that the author saw fit to include. Morrison included his political views. You bet, I disagree with them. Therefore I find the story weak and underwritten. I can judge the result by it’s political views because that is how the author presented it. Do you get the point now?

No idea why that says “anonymous” above.

Yeah, he’s right, you’re missing the point in a way. You’re right in saying the power of the story is whether or not you agree with him, but the dolphin’s reason is right there on the page and you seem to be adding your own view to it’s motivation. Naturally art is subjective to interpretation and Morrison’s work can definitely be deconstructed different ways but right here his message is straight forward. I’m not saying I really agree with it either since like others already stated above, you have assholes in the animal kingdom too. So it doesn’t really work for me completely but he still did some great writing on it and it’s a great sentiment by the dolphin of a world without senseless pain . Also, when people kill animals out of anger or enjoyment and not for survival in some way, they are usually seen as somebody who will not hold human life in high regard either so I can’t say I’d shed a tear for people who do things like this. Meanness like this is really just meanness. Also, people who are usually thought of as liberal can be just as militaristic or extreme as those on the conservative side, which is illustrated above too with Buddy.

P. Boz:
“Personally, I’m not sure why we should judge other cultures based on what they do. As long as they’re not causing real ecological or human harm, why do we gotta get in their faces and call them wrong?”

So if you encountered a culture where people kick dogs to death for fun, you’d think that was all fine and dandy?
And why draw the line at human harm? The Athenians had sex with young boys, and older cultures practiced human sacrifice. Heck, even today, many cultures oppress women and severely constrict human rights. Why do we gotta get in their faces and call them wrong? Because they are.
Drawing a line at your own species for when suffering starts to matter is as arbitrary as drawing it at your own race or sex. Suffering is suffering, and many sentient beings are as capable of experiencing suffering as humans are.
I do believe that a human life is (in almost all cases) more valuable than an animal life, for reasons such as a greater awareness of life (and death) and greater potential. However, there are few dilemmas where one has to choose between an animal and a human life.
Causing a sentient being to suffer and die for no reason other than your own enjoyment – and that includes culinary enjoyment – is wrong and immoral. Eventually, I believe (or at least hope) this will become as widely accepted as equal rights for women and the wrongness of slavery.

And for those who argue that dolphins aren’t wonderful all the time – of course they’re not. They’re animals, and don’t have morals and ethics in the sense that human’s do. But Morrison is simplifying a complex issue to make a moral point, something comics (and other fiction) have always done.

I think he does it well.

Great choice, Brian.

@Matt Ampersand. How many animals other than humans know that sex results in reproduction? Surely those that don’t (which would seem to include all those where the male doesn’t hang around afterwards, for a start) are only having sex because of an urge to do so. For fun, in other words.

Interesting that foreplay and homosexuality are in the “dolphins are arseholes” list.

They may even engage in homosexual foreplay…sinners!

Surely those that don’t (which would seem to include all those where the male doesn’t hang around afterwards, for a start) are only having sex because of an urge to do so. For fun, in other words.

I’ve no idea whether they do it for fun or not, but that’s a huge leap of logic.

Brought to you by PETA.

FuryOfFirestorm

January 1, 2010 at 9:01 pm

But..but…those dolphins deserve it! They nuked Japan! FUCK-A YOU WHALES! FUCK-A YOU DOLPHINS!

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