The Annual. A weird tradition of putting together a special issue once a year, usually in the summer. Marvel used to use the Annual as a vehicle for a cross title event back in the 90’s but these days the Annual is a convenient excuse to release some comics on those weird months that have five Wednesdays. This November is no exception. Marvel will be releasing a Star Wars Annual while DC will be releasing a Batman and a Superman Annual to try an sell some comics in week five.
Superman Annual #1 provides a really cool story that features Superman and Swamp Thing, avatar of The Green. The Green is an elemental power that connects all plants on Earth. And it turns out that our Pre-Flashpoint and current Rebirth Superman is slightly out of phase with the New 52 Universe. Wait, what if you don’t follow DC? What the heck is Flashpoint, Rebirth and New 52? And why is Superman out of phase? Well that could be a 32-page article all on its own. To sum it up, the John Byrne Man of Steel Superman introduced in the 80’s was transported into the current DC universe and Mother Nature is not happy about it. Bringing back Alec Holland as the Swamp Thing is always fun but usually a bit cerebral (i.e. not for kids but not due to any language or sexual content).
The comic is full of beautifully rendered full page, double page and montage spreads but without feeling overdone. Top notch colours and line work from Jimenez & Sanchez really adding to an epicness of the Tomasi & Gleason story. The comic feels like a purpose-built special and not just a fill-in with some spec work or submission stuff that was lying around the DC office. Great tale that adds to the already fantastic returning of Superman to his traditional role within the DC universe.
If you are bored and don’t have a lot of comics to pick up this week grab a copy, you won’t regret it. The Batman Annual? That’s another story ….
Issue: Superman Annual #1 | Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason | Artists: Jorge Jimenez & Alejandro Sanchez