When it comes to obscure comic book characters, we’ve always got you covered here at Vanguard Comics & Collectibles. From the Human Fly to Americop to Eye-Scream, we’ve taken a look at some oddballs. As ridiculous as these characters are, none of them have a name quite as strange as Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man.
A Perfect Accident
First appearing back in Doom Patrol #89, Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man became a foe of the team after a Swedish scientist named Dr. Sven Larsen “accidentally” fell into a giant vat of amino acids… These DC characters really need to learn to stay away from giant vats of chemicals… Anyways, after falling into the amino acids, Larsen received some strangely specific powers. As his name implies, he gained the ability to transform different parts of his body into the form of any animal, vegetable, or mineral that he so desires. By combining these abilities together in tandem, he became a formidable opponent to the team.
A Secret Plot for Revenge
The Doom Patrol rushed to save who they believed at the time to be an innocent man caught up in a terrible accident, but later discovered that Dr. Larsen actually transformed himself into Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man on purpose. After reading his notes, they uncovered the truth. Larsen was still enraged at his teacher, Dr. Niles Caulder, whom he believed had stolen his research. His reason for transforming into the creature was based entirely on revenge.
An Ironic End
Larsen gave the Doom Patrol a run for their money by transforming into a giant ivy plant, a dinosaur, a being of pure lead, a dandelion, and even a giant tarantula. Eventually Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man was undone by the very technology that he claimed Dr. Caulder stole from him, the anti-decay ray, which prevented any changes in living cells. Caulder waited until Larsen transformed into a tiger, and then fired the weapon on him, preventing any further transformations. Back at the university laboratory, Larsen is changed back to human form.
The Legacy of Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man
Though Dr. Larsen was seemingly cured following his defeat, life as they say found a way. He went on to terrorize the Doom Patrol many years later by teaming with General Immortus. Once again, Larsen was defeated. However, he has come back into the fold several times since then, always looking for a way to destroy Doom Patrol. Additionally, he was portrayed by Alec Mapa in the television series adaptation of Doom Patrol.