|First Published:||February 1, 2012|
|Previous Issue:||Animal Man #5|
|Next Issue:||Animal Man #7|
Chas Grant was once The Red Thunder. Now he is an alcoholic whose wife Paige and son Jamie have left him and moved in with another, richer man named Dave. Chas shows up unannounced at Dave's home, demanding to see his son. Graciously, Dave allows Chas to wait for Paige to get out of the shower.
When she appears, she comments that he has failed to pay child support for a year, and she hasn't seen or heard from him in a month and a half. As such, she is not inclined to let him take Jamie out. It doesn't help that Chas smells of booze. He tries to persuade her by informing her that he has a job interview lined up with a security company who was impressed by his days as The Red Thunder. Paige responds that he needs to let his days of super-heroism go. Sadly, he asks to at least see his son before he goes.
Chas finds Jamie playing video games and the boy asks where he's been. Chas lies that he's been busy, and Jamie picks up on the insincerity. Chas suggests that he might be able to return to action as a super-hero, and the idea seems to excite his son. Chas suddenly remembers a gift he had brought, a Red Thunder action figure; one of the last in existence. Jamie isn't all that interested, though, and he excuses himself as having to get ready for school. Sadly, Chas leaves his family alone.
At his job interview, Chas realizes that his past as a costumed vigilante does not fill the qualification for having previous experience in law enforcement that the job requires. Depressed, he goes to a bar, and has to stop drinking when he realizes that he can't afford to pay for another.
Returning home, Chas notices a photo on his fridge of Jamie dressed as The Red Thunder, and he considers what he said to his son earlier. He gets out his old costume and lays it out on the bed. After some consideration, he decides to put it on.
Somewhere in the city, some thugs begin to hassle the proprietor of a magazine stand. Suddenly, Chas appears in full costume, and commands them to back off. At first the thugs are amused, but then they are annoyed. Before he realizes it, the thugs smash a bottle over his head, sending him to his knees. They then kick and beat him into unconsciousness.
He wakes in the hospital, where the doctor comments that his costume had to be thrown out. Paige and Jamie visit, obviously concerned for him. When Chas tries to interest his son by explaining that he was trying to get back to being The Red Thunder, the boy begins crying. Jamie begs his father to give up his super-heroism, and stay alive. Sadly, Chas responds that without the costume, he's nothing.
Suddenly, the battery on Cliff Baker's phone dies out, and he is forced to stop watching Tights, the movie in which his father Buddy starred. Ellen Baker wonders what they're doing in the RV, and where they are going. She wonders why they can't simply go home and call the police. Buddy responds that the police would certainly ask questions about Detective Krenshaw, who was killed by The Hunters Three. Not to mention that The Hunters are still out there.
Socks the Cat interjects that they still need to find Alec Holland, a being of great power who also faces The Rot. With any luck, he will be able to help them protect Maxine the intended Avatar of The Red. Exasperated by the whole scenario, Ellen buries her face in her hands. Buddy responds that whatever they plan to do, they should probably do it soon.
Up ahead on the road, a dead dog's corpse is infected by The Rot.
- Animal Man (As Chas Grant and The Red Thunder)
- Ellen Baker
- Maxine Baker
- Cliff Baker
- The Parliament of Limbs
- Mary Frazier
- Alec Holland (Mentioned only)
- Paige (Fictional Character)
- Dave (Fictional Character)
- Jamie (Fictional Character)
- Gotham City (On A Television or Computer Screen)
- The first section of this issue is a representation of the film-within-the-comic called "Tights" in which Buddy Baker starred. It is being watched on Cliff Baker's smartphone.
- While the phone number in the job listing that Chas answers has too many digits, The Area Code "416" is the primary area code of Toronto, Ontario, where writer Jeff Lemire currently resides.