DC Annuals: The Annuals Strike Back

A while back I did a post looking at the annual issues DC was releasing in May and August. The release of October’s solicitations show four more annual issues up DC’s sleeve, Action Comics, Batgirl, Justice League Dark, and Swamp Thing. Which ones are worth getting? Well, opinions are like noses. If you’re interested in my nose, click on.

Action Comics Annual #1
Written by Sholly Fisch and Max Landis
Art by Cully Hamner and Ryan Sook

First up, Superman gets featured in another annual issue. This issue breaks the trend of the main series writer also writing the annual issue as Grant Morrison seems to have no part. Instead, Sholly Fisch, writer of the back up stories in the main Action Comics book, will helm the annual with DC’s go-to artist Cully Hamner. This issue will introduce a classic Superman villain, the Kryptonite Man. As Grant isn’t writing the issue I don’t expect it to have too much bearing on the main series, but it should be a fun little side story. The issue will also feature a back up story by the writer of the movieChronicle, Max Landis, with art by Ryan Sook. If nothing else, this issue will be very nice to look at.

Interest Level: So-so

Batgirl Annual #1
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Admira Wijaya

Next up is Batgirl. The issue will also feature Catwoman and a female Talon. It’s kind of weird still seeing Talons showing up after the Court of Owls story has ended. I’m not following the main book, so I don’t know what kind of implications this might have. Likewise my interest in this issue is pretty low. I’m kind of surprised that this book got an annual issue before other, more high profile books, but I suspect it had something to do with the fact that bat-related books sell well. Check it out if you like Batgirl though!

Interest Level: Non-existent

Justice League Dark Annual #1
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Mikel Janin

This annual issue is essentially just an extra issue of the main series, as it will follow issue #13 as the end of Jeff Lemire’s first story arc on JL Dark. I don’t think this is necessarily the best use of an annual issue. I’m of the opinion that annual issue should be fairly self-contained, unless they are being used in a crossover type fashion. That said, I’m loving what Jeff Lemire is doing in JL Dark so I can’t wait to check this out, and it’s great that he’s getting some extra pages to tell his story. Basically, if you’re reading JL Dark you have to pick this up.

Interest Level: Must Have

Swamp Thing Annual #1
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Becky Cloonan and Marco Rudy

We already got an annual issue for Animal Man, and now the other shoe has dropped with an annual issue for Swamp Thing. Surprisingly, this issue will not tie in directly to the Rotworld crossover that also begins in October. Instead, this issue will delve into the long-time rivalry between Swamp Thing and Anton Arcane and how it has led up the recent events in Swamp Thing and Animal Man. I expect there to be a lot of expansion on and possibly even some ret-coning of past Swamp Thing stories, but I’ve come to expect only good thing from Scott Snyder. This issue also features art by Becky Cloonan, who Snyder collaborating with on Batman #12. This one will be worth checking out.

Interest Level: Must Have

And that’s that! I’m really enjoying this new policy at DC to release annual issues in months with five Wednesdays. If they keep up that trend, we can expect another batch of annual issues in January. Judging by the books that have received annuals so far I’m expecting the next batch to include the likes of Justice League, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman, and a few surprise books as well. Continue checking back for more comic news!

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