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The Encounter graphic novel, published in October 2022, was adapted by Chris Grine and based on The Encounter.

Synopsis[]

When Tobias and his friends were given the power to morph, they were also given an important warning: Never stay in a morph for more than two hours. But Tobias broke the time limit, and now he's trapped in the body of a hawk -- forever.

When he discovers an important Yeerk secret, Tobias knows he has to do everything in his power to destroy it. But to do so, he'll have to contend with a part of himself that's wrestling for dominion. A part that isn't human.

For Tobias, the fight against the Yeerks is more pressing than ever -- not just for humankind, but for his own humanity.

Plot[]

Rachel crushes convertibles

Rachel crushes cars

On a Saturday afternoon, Tobias flies above Dealin' Dan Hawk's Used Vehicles and watches as an employee inputs a combination to the cage of Price-Cut Polly, a female red-tailed hawk that Dealin' Dan Hawk is illegally keeping captive to use as a mascot for his business. A news station is doing an interview with Dealin' Dan at the dealership as a commercial is being broadcast live, with a reporter asking Dealin' Dan about him illegally keeping a hawk captive, although Dealin' Dan brushes the allegation off by offering a ten percent discount. Tobias then lands on the cave and begins to input the code in order to free Price-Cut Polly. Dealin' Dan orders his employees to deal with Tobias, who asks Rachel to help him. Rachel, who is in African elephant morph, apologizes for being late before she begins to stomp on the cars. Tobias then frees Price-Cut Polly, and as she takes flight, Tobias' hawk mind urges him to be with her, but he brushes it off, denying that he is a real hawk and calling himself human. They then head for the trees behind the dealership so that Rachel can demorph. Rachel then reminds him that they're to meet with the other Animorphs at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic at 7:00 pm.

GN3

Tobias' hawk mind speaks to him

With Rachel taking the bus, Tobias decides to head deeper into the city to fly among the skyscrapers. He sees a shimmering in the air, which perplexes him. When he sees a clock reminding him he is late for the meeting he loses sight of the shimmer, but decides to check it out some other time before heading to the meeting. At the clinic, Jake, Cassie and Marco are helping out around the place when they see a news report on the television about an elephant and a hawk attacking a car dealership to free a captive hawk. The other three berate Rachel and Tobias for a while before they make up and go back home. As Tobias flies out into the evening, the hawk mind tells him that the others feel sorry for him as he has no home or parents.

The next day at the same time, Tobias investigates the place he saw the shimmer, and his hawk mind again resurfaces, encouraging him to eat mice, which he refuses to do. He notices a flock of geese seemingly run into an invisible wall in the air, revealing a ship that is invisibile. Tobias suspects that it is a Yeerk ship and tells the others about it. Tobias tells them the ship is coming to and from the mountains, and Rachel and Jake consider investigating to find out what the Yeerks are doing. Marco expresses uncertainty, saying there are too many places in the mountains it could be, while Cassie points out how many times they have only barely gotten out alive, although she still wants to help. Tobias says he will investigate regardless of the others. They all agree to help him, but Marco points out tomorrow is a school day, and they cannot all skip on the day that there is trouble with the Yeerks, as Chapman will get suspicious. Jake declares they will investigate the next day after school.

Truck Ship GN3

The transport supply ship uncloaks

On Monday, after school, the group morphs into wolves they acquired from the clinic and run through the woods. Tobias spots Park Service vehicles emerge, with helicopters containing Hork-Bajir-Controllers and Park Ranger human-Controllers with automatic rifles. Tobias decides to inform the others of the Yeerks' presence and encounters a wolf pack whom he believes are the other Animorphs, although he realizes they are a wild wolf pack right before they can successfully attack him. Flying around for another ten more minutes, he finds the Animorphs and informs them about the Hork-Bajir and Park Ranger Controllers by the lake. The Animorphs then decide to go check out the lake, where the disturbance Tobias saw uncloaks itself to reveal a massive manta-ray shaped ship. The Animorphs witness tubes extend from the bottom to drain the water from the lake, which they believe will be transported to the Yeerks' mother ship in orbit, and Cassie declares the ship to be a transport ship.

As the Animorphs make their retreat, Tobias sees Price-Cut Polly and has an urge to be with her. When he tries to fly to her, his hawk mind encourages him, telling him she wants him too. He again fights back, claiming he is human, but the hawk identity rebels, telling him he is just the hawk and that Tobias the human is dead. He flies away to locate the others and finds them facing off with the other wolf pack over a rabbit; the other Animorphs are unable to just run away as it would display weakness and cause the rival pack to attack them. In order to save them, Tobias grabs the rabbit and tries to fly away while the others run to safely. Dragging the rabbit away for a while before dropping it, he sees a Controller's watch revealing their time is up, and goes back to yell at them to demorph, which Cassie manages to do without much difficulty, though the others have some trouble. After they are demorphed, they comment on how good it is to be human, which causes Tobias' hawk identity to taunt him, telling him he will never be human again. Tobias then flies away as Jake and Rachel call out to him.

Later that night, Tobias flies to Jake's house, where has been living in the attic. Ignoring the food Jake left him, Tobias flies to Rachel's house. Entering her room, he tells her that he's starting to forget himself, even what he looked like as a human; she responds that a person is what they are on the inside and not the outside and shows him a picture she has of him, and promises that the Andalites will help him when they finally arrive.

Mental Fracture

Tobias' hawk mind overpowers him in order to kill and eat live prey

The next day, after struggling with his hawk mind again, Tobias meets up with the other Animorphs in Jake's room, where they make plans to infiltrate the transport ship and uncloak it over the city so that the public can see it, thereby revealing the Yeerk invasion to humanity. Marco wonders if the Yeerks will simply engage in open war if they are uncovered, but Jake and Tobias believe if they had the power to do that, they already would have. Jake declares a plan to morph into fish and enter the lake so they can be sucked up by the ship, and needing a weekday to do so, decides to have the mission on the upcoming Saturday. As Rachel heads out to the mall to get ready for her gymnastics exhibition, Jake asks Tobias to scope out the mountain area in preparation for the mission. Tobias then sets off and is feeling a little hungry when he spots some prey animals below; his hawk mind then overpowers him and causes him to kill and eat a rodent. As Tobias screams "no", his hawk mind rejoices "yes" upon finally consume live prey.

Mall Interior GN3

Tobias flies through the mall as Rachel is performing her gymnastics routine

Tobias, horrified by this experience, decides to fly to the mall to see Rachel as she sees the human in him, although the hawk identity tells him that she lied to him to preserve his feelings. Now flying above the mall, Tobias decides to slam himself into the glass doors of the mall's west entrance. When he is accidentally let into the mall when the doors are opened, he flies around in a panicked state. Tobias tells Rachel that he is lost and that he has killed, and Rachel tells him that he isn't lost as long as he has the Animorphs. Tobias then flies up above and tries to smash into the glass skylight, although Marco, who had been at the mall to watch Rachel perform, shatters the skylight with a slingshot. Tobias then exits the mall safely and surrenders control of the body to the hawk mind.

Tobias lives as a wild red-tailed hawk for several days, living in the woods and establishing his own territory as well as hunting prey for food. When he flies to the mountains to see Price-Cut Polly, he sees a man running from a Hork-Bajir-Controller, and his human side reasserts control of his body. Wanting to help the man, Tobias gouges out the Hork-Bajir's eyes and uses his thought-speak to help the man escape. He then flies to Rachel's room, where the pair discuss his absence and the incident with the Hork-Bajir and the man. Tobias concludes that he needs to keep fighting the Yeerks as he knows what it's like to be trapped in a body, a sentiment that the host bodies feel. However, unlike him, their situations can be changed.

On Saturday, Tobias leads the Animorphs to an abandoned bear cave near the lake to wait for the Yeerks to arrive. Using a stick with a fishing line and hook attached to it, Cassie spends a few hours fishing, much to the frustration of the others. As a result, Tobias suggests postponing the mission, as even if they caught a fish right now, the Yeerks would be arriving in an hour and thus the Animorphs would not have ample time to test out the morph. Jake states that they need to do it today as the Yeerks might move to another lake soon. Cassie then pulls in a trout, and the four morph-capable Animorphs begin to acquire the trout, Tobias scouts up above. He once again sees Price-Cut Polly, whom his hawk mind urges him to join, before spotting the Park Ranger Controllers arrive in their trucks and helicopter. Tobias yells at his friends to hide in the cave, and in order to stop a nearby helicopter from spotting them, Tobias flies straight towards it and redirects the attention of the Controllers inside on him, and plays a game of a chicken, with both Tobias and the helicopter turning on opposite sides at the very end. As he regains composure, Tobias notices the Blade ship arrive, from which Visser Three emerges alongside a bunch of Taxxons and Hork-Bajir-Controllers.

Tobias flies down into the cave and notifies the others about Visser Three's arrival, believing that he has come to personally supervise the Controllers after they let a witness escape the previous day. Tobias urges them to abandon the plan since they can no longer walk out of the cave and into the lake and then morph into trout. When the others do not want to, Cassie suggests each of them morphing into trout inside the cave one by one as Tobias picks them up and deposits them into the lake. Cassie morphs first, and Tobias successfully takes her to the lake as the Yeerks begin to drain the lake water. He takes Jake and Marco next, but as Rachel finishes her morph, the cave is found by a human and Hork-Bajir-Controller. Tobias picks her up and flies out of the cave; the Hork-Bajir-Controller then fires his Dracon beam at Tobias, but it ends up hitting the transport ship.

Tobias then drops Rachel into the lake, and the other Animorphs in trout morph then make their way to the ship's water intake pipes. The Hork-Bajir-Controller who fired at the transport ship is brought before Visser Three, who has a group of Taxxons eat the Hork-Bajir alive. The Park Ranger Controller who was with the Hork-Bajir tells the Visser that it was a bird that they were aiming for, and with the knowledge that it was also a bird who helped the witness escape the day before, Visser Three declares the bird to be an "Andalite in morph" and has the Bug fighters and helicopters shoot the hawk down. In order to survive, Tobias lands on top of the transport ship, knowing that the Controllers cannot hit him without also hitting the ship.

As Visser Three taunts Tobias, Rachel thought-speaks to him and informs him that they are stuck inside the water tank of the transport ship with no way out. Although their plan is to wait until the ship docks with the mother ship in orbit and then assume battle morphs and go out fighting, they do not want to risk being taken alive and thus Rachel asks Tobias if there's anything he can do to destroy the ship. Tobias tries to tell Rachel how he feels about her, and she cuts him off, telling him that she already knows before bidding him farewell as she needs to demorph.

Just then, Visser Three has a group of Taxxons armed with Dracon beams surround Tobias. Tobias lunges at the eyes of the Taxxon closest to him and then steals his Dracon beam, shooting the Taxxon in the process while flying to the front of the ship. Tobias fires the Dracon beam at the Taxxons inside as well the ship's controls, causing several explosions within the ship as it begins to fall. One of these explosions is near the water tank and thus creates a large hole; as the water rushes out of the ship, the human Animorphs come tumbling out of the waterfall, although They quickly morph into bird-of-prey morphs and fly into the trees. As the transport ship crashes onto the ground below, they see a red-tailed hawk get its wing sliced off; they initially believe it to be Tobias before it is revealed to be Price-Cut Polly.

Tobias flies GN3

Tobias accepts his current state

With the transport ship destroyed, the Animorphs go back home. The next day, Tobias visits Rachel's house where she suggests going back into the forest and finding Price-Cut Polly's body so that they can bury her, as it would be the human thing to do. While acknowledging that he is also human as he grieves for Price-Cut Polly, Tobias affirms that he is also a hawk, and that Price-Cut Polly will be fed on by another animal in her defenseless state and that it was how life was in the wild. Tobias then leaves Rachel's house and enjoys the day flying, accepting his unique status as a mixture of both hawk and human.

Appearing[]

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Organizations:

Items:

Mentioned:

Major/Highlighted Events[]

  • Tobias, who has been living in Jake's attic ever since he got trapped, succumbs to his hawk mind and eats a rodent. He then tries to harm himself but ends up deciding to live in the wild as a true red-tailed hawk.
  • The Animorphs manage to destroy a Yeerk transport supply ship.
  • Tobias and Rachel's relationship is further explored, with Tobias often flying into Rachel's room. Rachel has a picture of Tobias on her dresser and states that he looked better in reality than what the picture shows. Tobias also tries to bring up that he never told her how he felt about her, only for Rachel to interrupt and state that she already knew.

Morphs[]

Morpher Morphs acquired Morphs used
Jake Wolf, Trout Wolf, Trout, Peregrine Falcon
Rachel Wolf, Trout African Elephant, Wolf, Trout, Bald Eagle
Cassie Wolf, Trout Wolf, Trout, Osprey
Marco Wolf, Trout Wolf, Trout, Osprey

Notable Differences from Original Novel[]

  • Like the first two graphic novel adaptations, lines of dialogue said by one character in the original novel are restributed among other characters.
  • In the original novel, Tobias' hawk instincts are just instincts, and his inner angsty monologue are his own thoughts. In the graphic novel, his hawk instincts and the angsty monologue are actually accredited to the hawk mind, which acts another identity living in Tobias' mind that he can have conversations with.
  • The original novel has Rachel demorphing out of her elephant form and back into a skintight leotard, complain about having no shoes since they can't morph with them, and then has her take the bus home. However, Rachel would not be taking the bus home wearing her morphing outfit and she should still have her shoes and outer clothing from when she first got to the dealership. The graphic novel fixes this by having her put on her regular clothes after demorphing and also showcasing that she had forgotten to take off her shoes when she morphed into the elephant, hence why she no longer has them.
  • In the original novel, Rachel takes the bus home right after she and Tobias attack the car dealership. By the time she gets home, Jake, Marco and Cassie are already in her room, with the explanation being that they had seen the attack on live television and then all three of three went to Rachel's house to yell at her, arriving before she did, and waited for her in her room. The graphic novel does a more cohesive version of this scene: here, the Animorphs had already planned to meet at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic at 7pm, and Tobias and Rachel attack the dealership around 6pm. Jake, Marco and Cassie are already at the barn around 7pm when they see a news broadcast and learn about the attack right as Rachel and Tobias enter.
  • In the novels, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic still looks like a traditional barn on the inside, with haystrewn floors and stalls. In the graphic novel, while it has the barn exterior, the interior is a large white room with tiled floors akin to a regular clinic.
  • In the original novel, Jake is the only one to acquire the male wolf while Marco is asked to acquire the female wolf, as Cassie states that wolf packs can only have one male, who serves as the alpha. However, the notion of the sole alpha male pack hierarchy has been proven to be scientifically unfactual, and thus this reasoning was removed in the graphic novel. Instead, the graphic novel depicts Marco acquiring the female wolf as an accident, due to him not reading the label on the cage.
  • In the original novel, the Animorphs actually end up going past the two-hour time limit by seven minutes before they demorph. In the graphic novel, Tobias merely states that their time has run out before the others start to demorph.
  • Marco shatters the mall's skylight with a slingshot, whereas in the original novel, he threw a baseball. The mall scene also has people taking photos of Tobias with the flash on, which causes Tobias to fly into some cloth and tumble down below where Rachel catches him. In the original novel, there are no shoppers trying to take photos of Tobias. He also hits a wall intentionally, which is what causes him to fall down to where Rachel catches him.
  • In the original novel, the Truck ship's water tank explodes when a Bug fighter collides into it, which creates the hole that allows for the other Animorphs to escape. In the graphic novel, Tobias destroying the transport ship creates a series of explosions within the ship, one of which destroys the water tank and creates the hole they escape from.
  • In the original novel, the death of Price-Cut Polly is shown entirely from Tobias' point of view. In the graphic novel, Price-Cut Polly's death is shown from the other Animorphs' perspective, showing their reactions to it as they believe it is Tobias before revealing that Tobias is alive.

Trivia[]

Nate and Tyler as Park Rangers

Two Park Rangers drawn as Nate and Tyler from the Animorphing Time podcast

  • One of the stores inside the mall is called "Grinetastic Puppets." This is a reference to Chris Grine, who wrote and illustrated the graphic novel adaptation and whose social media name has been "Grinetastic".
  • Two of the Park Rangers shown are modeled after Nate and Tyler, the hosts of the Animorphing Time podcast. Chris Grine is a big fan of the podcast and has appeared on the podcast before, and drew the Park Rangers to look like them as a tribute.
  • Jake refers to Cassie as "Cass" many times in this graphic novel; some may consider this an inconsistency in characterization due to the final book in the series stating that Jake had never called Cassie "Cass" before. However, the graphic novel's usage of "Cass" is not considered an inconsistency or an error since in original novel that is being adapted, Jake did refer to Cassie as "Cass", although he only said it once. That book was also the only time he ever called her that in the entire series until the final book, where he calls her "Cass" for the second and final time; this leads to Cassie (erroneously) stating that Jake had never called her Cass before.
  • The design for Dealin' Dan Hawk is specifically based off of Mad Man Mooney, the owner of a used cars dealership in the The Muppet Movie, which is one of Chris Grine's favorite movies.[1]
  • Cassie wears a NIN shirt while at the barn, a reference to the Nine Inch Nails/Nice Is Neat instance from The Reaction.[1]
  • Rachel has a poster for Sun Tzu and The Art of War in her room. This is a reference to The Message, which reveals that Rachel has a Post-it note of a Sun Tzu quote from The Art of War in her room.
  • When Jake asks about the alpha male wolf hierarchy, Cassie states that the theory had been debunked. The graphic novel is set in the 1990s,[2] an era where the theory was believed to be factual science, hence why the original novel mentioned it. However, the theory was first debunked as early as 1999; while the original novel is set in 1997, one may presume the graphic novel is set in 1999, or simply that in the graphic novel universe, the theory had been debunked earlier.
  • Jake's and Marco's morphing outfits in the second graphic novel did not include shirts. In this one, they have found shirts that are tight enough to morph with them.
  • The Truck ship is not referred to by that name in the graphic novel, with Cassie referring to the ship as a "transport" instead of a "truck" while Visser Three refers to it as a supply ship.
  • Dealin' Dan Hawk and the human-Controller who found Tobias and Rachel in the cave are the third and fourth characters in the graphic novels to have eyebrows the same color as their hair (though it varies between panels); the other two being Hedrick Chapman (who does not appear in this novel), and the gray-haired security guard on page 156 of The Invasion.

Goofs/Inconsistencies[]

Animorphs morphing birds-of-prey (GN3)

Morphing inconsistency where Jake is morphing into a bald eagle

  • Cassie spends a lot of time using fishing line and a hook to catch a fish, despite the fact that she and Marco have osprey morphs and Rachel has a bald eagle morph, both of which are birds of prey designed to hunt fish.
  • Despite the destruction of the supply ship being observed by the Yeerks, the Controllers do not notice four humans morphing into birds.
  • When falling through the waterfall on page 191, Jake appears to be morphing a bald eagle, like Rachel, rather than his real bird of prey morph, a peregrine falcon. However, on pages 195 and 196, he is shown to have morphed a peregrine falcon rather than a bald eagle.
  • On page 5, the car dealership owner, Dealin' Dan Hawk, is drawn with thin black eyebrows. On page 6, his eyebrows have become thick and gray, the same color as his hair. On page 9, as he runs from Rachel in elephant morph, his eyebrows are thin and black again. On page 10, as he surveys the damage, his eyebrows are back to thick gray.
  • On page 167, when the human and Hork-Bajir Controllers find Tobias and Rachel (in trout morph) in the cave, the man's eyebrows are black. As the Animorphs escape and head for the lake on page 168, his eyebrows are still black. On page 169, as he reprimands the Hork-Bajir for failing to shoot Tobias, his eyebrow is gray. On page 175, as he informs Visser Three, his eyebrows are black again.

Gallery[]

Elfangor eye closeup andalite chron "Someone took a picture of me? Not cool. Do you see what I'm wearing? I'm Spandex-boy. Totally not cool."

The image gallery for The Encounter (Graphic Novel) may be viewed here

References[]

Books
Main Series #1 The Invasion | #2 The Visitor | #3 The Encounter | #4 The Message | #5 The Predator | #6 The Capture | #7 The Stranger | #8 The Alien | #9 The Secret | #10 The Android | #11 The Forgotten | #12 The Reaction | #13 The Change | #14 The Unknown | #15 The Escape | #16 The Warning | #17 The Underground | #18 The Decision | #19 The Departure | #20 The Discovery | #21 The Threat | #22 The Solution | #23 The Pretender | #24 The Suspicion | #25 The Extreme | #26 The Attack | #27 The Exposed | #28 The Experiment | #29 The Sickness | #30 The Reunion | #31 The Conspiracy | #32 The Separation | #33 The Illusion | #34 The Prophecy | #35 The Proposal | #36 The Mutation | #37 The Weakness | #38 The Arrival | #39 The Hidden | #40 The Other | #41 The Familiar | #42 The Journey | #43 The Test | #44 The Unexpected | #45 The Revelation | #46 The Deception | #47 The Resistance | #48 The Return | #49 The Diversion | #50 The Ultimate | #51 The Absolute | #52 The Sacrifice | #53 The Answer | #54 The Beginning
Megamorphs The Andalite's Gift | In the Time of Dinosaurs | Elfangor's Secret | Back to Before
Chronicles The Andalite Chronicles | The Hork-Bajir Chronicles | VISSER | The Ellimist Chronicles
Alternamorphs The First Journey | The Next Passage
TV Tie-Ins Meet the Stars of Animorphs
Graphic Novels #1 The Invasion | #2 The Visitor | #3 The Encounter | #4 The Message | #5 The Predator | #6 The Capture
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