While Grant Morrison‘s run achieved fantastic artistic success, he had painted the series into a bit of a corner. The nice gesture of giving Animal Man his family back in Morrison’s final issue only left the question open as to how much of Morrison’s run had really happened at all: the seeds of Morrison’s ultimate deconstruction of the title and, indeed, of the entire DC Universe ran back as far as #5, even before Animal Man had joined the Justice League — and had adventures that were clearly a part of DC continuity. Writer Peter Milligan was called in to clear up these matters in what became a six-issue arc, accompanied by the regular artists left by Morrison.
Ignoring the prosaic conclusion to Morrison’s run, Milligan opted instead to have Buddy Baker awake from a coma into a world quite different from his own. He found that his wife Ellen had divorced him, that America was controlled by a corrupt, extremely right-wing government, and that he himself lacked control over his powers. Milligan’s six issues were more outright weird than Morrison’s, though Milligan’s series of bizarre misadventures were themselves forgotten as Buddy Baker returned to the DC Universe — by the method of committing suicide. It would be just the first death for Buddy Baker.