Read Animal Man Annual #1 which states it takes place right after Animal Man #9.
This is really the last prelude issue to the Swamp Thing/Animal Man crossover.
The tale is about the last most recent time that agent of the Red and Green had to "team up" to stop the Rot from usurping more power than it's entitled.
So Buddy Baker is an agent of the Red. I've been trying to figure this out. He's not just a lone totem, he's tied up in the Parliament etc etc.
I'm still learning about AM, have prior versions had him as an "Agent of the Red" before as well.