Action Comics Annual #12 – What An Annual Should Be!

Action Comics Annual #12 ( DCRucka / Perez / Mazi )

Discover the origin of Nightwing and Flamebird! The new dynamic duo is busy rooting out General Zod’s sleeper agents in the present, but how did they find out about the sleepers in the first place? What exactly is their history with Zod? How did they meet? What is their connection to the original Nightwing and Flamebird? Find out these answers and more in this all-new annual!”

Pay attention all you other comic publishers! This is what an annual for a monthly comics should be.  There were no reprints of lame comics in the back, no stupid splash pages of costumes or lairs, just a continuous awesome story put together by Greg Rucka.  Is the annual for everyone, no. It’s meant for fans of the current arc in Action Comics, or for those just jumping on.  The results are still solid story cover to cover.

The annual gives us the back story of the current protagonists of Action Comics, Thara Ak-Var and Christopher Kent/Lor-Zod.  Each of whom came into Action Comics with very little introduction, not counting Christopher’s first story arc last year, and a whole lotta mystery.  Why had these two taken the names of Kryptonian religion icons to simply capture wayward villains? Why do Chris’s powers diverge from the typical Kryptonian? Why has Chris aged so fast?  What is Thara’s back story and why does she hate Ursa?   The are all question that are approached, not all answered, in this story.

DC did not cheap out on the writer and artist team for this annual, unlike some other major publishers, and kept the story relevant to what’s actually happening in this current arc.  Greg Rucka brings his unique voice to his already stellar run on Action Comics, and Pere Perez’s art is a joy to look at.  I also want to give special props to colorist Mazi, who did an excellent job in creating the vibrant colors of Kandor and the desolace of the Phantom Zone.

Bottom line is that annual these days are not cheap. $4.99 extra in an already big comic week and push a comic buyers budget over the edge and put him in dutch with the wife, ahem, but this was worth every penny.

Grade: A

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Updated: June 26, 2009 — 11:09 am

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