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Animal Man

“Time In A Bottle”

Volume 1, Issue 22, April 1990
Released February 27, 1990

Cover Price: $1.50
Guide Price: $3.00 (as of 2003) Rating
  • Currently 3.0/5 Stars.

Animal Man, Vol. 1, #22. Image © DC Comics



Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Paris Cullins
Inker: Steve Montano
Colorist: Tatjana Wood
Letterer: John Costanza
Assistant Editor: Art Young
Editor: Karen Berger

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Cover Description: A ghostly apparition of Animal Man appears before his young daughter Maxine. (No Booster Gold.)

Brief Synopsis: Animal Man attempts to travel back in time to prevent the death of his family.

Issue Summary: Reveal Potential Spoilers

Booster Gold's role in this story:
Supporting (Booster Gold plays a lesser role)

Costume Worn: MARK I power-suit

Issue Notes: Booster Gold's appearance in this book retells the events of his appearance in Time Masters #4, though from a slightly different perspective.

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Page 4, panel 2
As shown in Time Masters #4, Booster Gold and Animal Man are negotiating with Rip Hunter for the use of a time travel device while Bonnie Baxter and Jeff Smith watch. However the dialogue in this issue, while still telling the same story - Animal Man's search for and acquisition of Rip Hunter's time backpack - is significantly different. Even the panel depictions are skewed towards Animal Man's point of view. (It's always enlightening to see different artists interpretations of the same scene.) Noticeably different in this particular panel is the presence of a nearly completed Time Sphere, Rip Hunters signature time travel machine, which was not shown in Time Masters #4.

Page 4, panel 3
Booster excuses himself from the conversation between Animal Man and Rip Hunter. This panel explains Booster's comment at the conclusion of these events as shown in Time Masters #4.

Page 5, panel 5
The conversation in this panel between Rip Hunter and Animal Man is an allusion to the two heroes pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths time spent as teammates on the short-lived team Forgotten Heroes. A major theme of writer Grant Morrison during his time writing Animal Man was the transient and subjective nature of fictional comic book continuity.

Image Copyright DC Comics

Page 5, panel 7
As Booster and Animal Man leave, Animal Man tells Booster that he lied to Rip Hunter to gain possession of the backpack. In response to this revelation, Booster ironically asks, "what kind of superhero are you?" At least Animal Man doesn't steal from museums, Booster.

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Boosterrific Review: Writer Grant Morrison is really at his metafictional best at the helm of Animal Man. Morrison manages to put the titular hero through an emotional wringer (one that is all too easy to associate with) while still toying with the very conventions that define the super-hero storytelling genre. Unfortunately, this style of story is an acquired taste, the issue is but an episode in an extended melodrama, and the art is uneven at best, but that doesn't make it any less clever or intriguing.

Boosterrific Rating:

  • Currently 3.0/5 Stars.
Gold Standard.

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SPOILER WARNING: The content at may contain story spoilers for DC Comics publications.