Name: Bernhard "Buddy" Baker
Group: Justice League of America,
Former member of the Animal Masters, the Forgotten Heroes and the Life Power Church
of Maxine (current status unknown).
Origin: San Diego, California
First appearance: Strange Adventures Vol. 1 #180
Ellen Frazier Baker (wife)
Maxine a.k.a. Little Wing (daughter)
Unnamed second daughter
Frank Baker Jr. and Phyllis (parents)
Frank Sr (grandfather, deceased)
Teddy (great grandfather, deceased)
Sherman (great-great grandfather, deceased)
Jack (great-great-great grandfather, deceased)
Mary Frazier (mother-in-law)
Dudley (uncle-in-law, deceased)
Annie Cassidy (mother of second daughter)
Lucy Cassidy (half-sister of second daughter).
Even though Buddy's memories are not clear because of different event in his life, it seems that he gained his powers
artificially when he was a teen. Apparently, he went hunting in the Adirondack Mountains and returned home changed. It seemed
that something had connected him to the Morphogenetic Field, a force that binds together every living animal on Earth. Thus,
in the presence of an animal, he could absorb its abilities. His best friend Roger Denning suggested that he could become
a hero and he adopted the name Animal Man. He had a minor career and finally retired to marry his high-school girlfriend.
Then, he started to work as a stuntman and had two children, Cliff and Maxine. Just when he thought he was done as a hero,
he found an ancient golden pyramid and then was contacted by Immortal Man to join the Forgotten Heroes. Immortal Man led them
to destroy the pyramids and save the world and they stayed together for a while until Immortal Man presumedly died. Buddy
decided then to operate alone and also joined several organizations to protect animal life, sabotaging some projects.
Eventually, he learnt from a scientist named James Highwater that his powers were greater than he believed. He then joined
the european branch of the JLA to get a salary. However, during a sabotage against an animal experimentation lab, a fireman
was killed and Buddy felt guilty. As a consequence, he left again his career. Unfortunately, he had to return from time to
time to protect his family and the world. Some time later, he went into a coma and woke up with amnesia. Besides, he woke
up in an alternate world where Ellen had divorced him, America was controlled by a right-extremist corrupt government, and
Buddy had no control over his powers. After some adventures, he managed to return to his world.
Buddy continued for a while as a part-time hero, but his powers did not work right and the animals he absorbed started
to die. He moved with his family to Pownal, Vermont. There he found out that his powers malfunctioning were due to the Shining
Man, a sort of antagon for him. He also met a shaman named "Stone That Cracked Open the Earth Like an Egg", who told him that
he was one of a group of chosen called the Animal Masters, meant to be the guardians of nature. The Animal Masters were him,
Vixen, Tristess and B'wana Beast, who had been corrupted and killed by the Shining Man. Together, they defeated him and Buddy
learnt that his daughter Maxine was an Animal Master as well, with powers similar to his own.
Buddy was murdered by Ellen's mad uncle Dudley while trying to rescue his child. Nevertheless, his life-force survived
in the bodies of various animals until he was reborn as a hybrid animal and saved Cliff. He also recreated his original body,
but decided to stay legally dead. He had decided that nature would eventually get rid of humans and created a sort od ark
at his farm. There, other people could refugee and so did another person in contact with nature: Annie Cassidy. Losing control
of himself because of his increasing connection to nature, Buddy made love to Annie and they shared their respective connections
to nature. As a result, Buddy became an hybrid again and went to Washington D.C., plaguing the city with animals until they
chabged their ways. He was captured by the law, but soon released because the public sympathy was with him. Then, Annie decided
that they should start a cult, with Buddy as a prophet and Maxine as the saviour. Though unaproved for the authoritites, the
church became popular among young people. Learning of Buddy and Annie's affair, Ellen broke up with him and Buddy, Maxine,
Cliff, Annie, Lucy, and their followers traveled across the state, picking up new followers in their way and rebelling animals.
Finally, they settled down as a church in Montana. Buddy died and was reborn again with a white-and-black-striped hair. He
also became less aggressive, making an odyssey through various realms in search for universal truth, that he finally discovered
inside him. Then, Annie gave birth to his second daughter, supposedly a human incarnation of the World Soul. After teaming
up with Aquaman to defeat the Gamesman, he returned to his super-hero life. Since then, he has helped the JLA on several occasions.