Writer Grant Morrison was one of the" British Invasion" creators from the UK who were brought in to DC to revamp older and obscure properties after the success of Alan Moore 's Swamp Thing . Thus Morrison pitched the idea of Animal Man, originally as a four issue mini-series. Strong sales however, meant DC asked Morrison to continue his series an ongoing, which he did for 26 issues. During his run, Morison incorporated themes such as animal rights and vegetarianism as well as fourth-wall breaking story lines which ended in Morrison inserting himself into the comic and directly speaking to Animal Man and revealing his status as a fictional character. Morrison's series re-invented Buddy Baker as a suburban family man and "average Joe" character, he also introduced a new Mirror Master (McCulloch).
After Morrison's run ended, Peter Milligan took over briefly and then Tom Veitch, who focused on Baker's stuntman career. Writer Jamie Delano then came on board as writer, transforming the title into a horror book and lining Animal Man much closer to the Swamp Thing style character, by re-inventing him again as an avatar of "The red" a force of animal life similar to Moore's "The Green" in his Swamp Thing stories, something which Morrison was opposed to but became part of Baker's status quo, especially in Jeff Lemire's New 52 Animal Man series. it was during this time (issue #57) the book was placed under DC's new Vertigo imprint along side other mature readers titles at DC where it remained for the rest of its run. Between issues #66 and #67, Delano also wrote the Animal Man Annual #1, focusing on Buddy's daughter Maxine, the annual was the third part of Vertigo's crossover The Children's Crusade.
The series had never been fully collected though #1-26 (Morrison's run) have been collected in three trades so far, the first nine issues were collected soon after they had been printed back before Vertigo came around in Animal Man- through the art of reprinting the volume has been updated to Vertigo. Over a decade later, a second volume was released, Animal Man: Origin of the Species which collected the next eight issues as well as Animal Man's origin issue from the Secret Origins series. And finally, a year later the third volume was released, Animal Man: Deus Ex Machina which collected nine more issues though left the majority of the series (including all the issues that were printed after the Vertigo imprint got stamped onto the series) uncollected.
Peter Milligan's run on the book would eventually fill a fourth trade in 2013, possibly due to the revived interest in Animal Man after the New 52.
The Shifting Cast of Writers on the Title