The Re-Animator

Reanimator 01 Cover J
Real Name
Herbert West
Current Alias
The Re-Animator
Base Of Operations
formerly Arkham Asylum
Miskatonic Asylum

Miskatonic University
Place of Birth
First appearance


Herbert West was a student at Miskatonic University, working on becoming one of the next generation of medical researchers. While at Miskatonic University, West received a lecture from the school's Dean, Allan Halsey, where Halsey stated that West's dream of reanimating tissue after death was foolish, even though West himself had created a re-animation serum that brought back a frog for five minutes before the serum caused the frog to disintegrate. Angered by the Dean's comments, West sought the help of Dr. Wilbur Whateley, who was intrigued by West's formula. Dr. Whateley encouraged West to kill Dean Halsey, but West was not ready to take a human life just yet. Whateley told West that if he was unwilling to to kill in the name of science, he would be unsuitable to reign over both the living and the dead should he complete his re-animation formula. Whateley then pulled out a copy of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis and summoned the "Black Soul" of Herbert West (his Mirror Dimension counterpart) to kill Halsey. Without hesitation, West killed Halsey. Whateley told the new Herbert West that he needed to look in the Necronomicon for the answers on how to perfect his formula, and his work can begin[1].

Sometime after West became "The Re-Animator", he began working at Arkham Asylum with Dr. Whateley. Using his title as a medical doctor, West killed and experimented on the bodies of the inmates that he believed no-one would miss.

Six months following the "birth" of The Re-Animator, West was put incharge of being the personal doctor of Ash "The S-Mart Slasher" Williams following Ash's arrest outside his S-Mart store[2]. Over this time, West had been working on a way to improve his Re-Animated creations so they are not just simple-minded zombies. One day, West and Dr. Whateley unleash the Deadites using their copy of the Necronomicon, initiating the first step to bring The Dark Ones back to Earth from their Mirror Dimension prison. When he was trapped in the Mirror Dimension, Ash met the "Real" Herbert West, who was replaced by his "Black Souled" counterpart. The real Herbert West later escaped the Mirror Dimension when Ash was fighting Whateley as he tried to open a portal to bring The Dark Ones back. Shortly after Arkham Asylum was destroyed due to the portal being disrupted, it was revealed that West was the only survivor, and said that he needed to regroup and begin his research again[3].

Years later, West found himself locked up in Miskatonic Asylum with a Mayan copy of the Necronomicon, and found out from it's blood-inked pages that the Mayan Prophecy, which stated that the world was going to end in 2012, was true, and he needed to stop it. He used the book to open a portal to bring him to the team that wanted to save the world from Kulan Gath[4]. When Gath summoned his "Horsemen of the Apocalypse", West followed one of them, Chaac, to Las Vegas, Nevada. Chaac noticed West and stabbed him in the chest[5]. Ash Williams also happened to be in Vegas and killed Chaac with the Necronomicon West brought with him. Finishing the battle, Ash saw that West was dead, and found a bottle of the Re-Animation formula in Herbert's bag and injected it into him, bringing West back to life. Herbert and Ash then meet-up with the rest of the team, and eventually stop Kulan and stop the Prophecy[6][7].

It is unclear whether or not it was intentional or accidental that Herbert West ended up in the early 20th Century, but using the Necronomicon landed him there. Wanting to continue work on his Re-Animation formula, West decided to join the United States Army during The Great War (World War I) to get his hands on fresher bodies to experiment on. By 1922 he was back state-side and went back to working on his formula. On March 4th, 1922, Ash Williams was brought back in time to Herbert's location, where he became West's new assistant for a time. West took the Necronomicon Ash had brought with him and used it's power to finally perfect his formula, but Ash tells him that all West had done was turn them into Deadites. As the Deadite/Re-Animated bodies come for Ash and Herbert, West tells Ash that he knows who Ash is and being stuck in the 1900's has driven him mad. The Deadite/Re-Animated monsters break into the room Ash and West are held up in, but they only attack Herbert, who is decapitated by the creatures. Sometime before his death, West hid the Necronomicon in the Miskatonic Library, where one day his evil copy and Dr. Whateley will try to use it to summon The Dark Ones[8].

Although West was decapitated in 1922, he was resurrected somehow and returned to the present day to continue his research[9]. Here he battled a Cthulhu-worshiping cult and also found love in a woman named Susan Greene. West made her his new assistant, and later another "Re-Animator", with the two working on perfecting the formula together[10].

West's current whereabouts are unknown.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit




  • Herbert West is based on the character of the same name as created by H.P. Lovecraft.

Appearances in Other MediaEdit

West is the main character of the 1922 short-story Herbert West-Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft.
Jeffrey Combs played Herbert West in three live-action films: Re-Animator (1985), Bride of Re-Animator (1990), and Beyond Re-Animator (2003).