Tag Archives: annuals

Batgirl Annual 3

I spent some time over the weekend tearing through my back list of unread comics and finally got to reading Batgirl Annual 3.  I was actually pretty surprised when this came into my stack a couple of weeks ago.  DC has been sportatic with these annuals and there doesn’t seem to be a pattern of when these come out (even stranger this Annual came out the same date as Batgirl issue 42).

Annuals come in a lot of different forms but usually one of three ways.  Either an over sized self contained story, an over sized issue to end a big story arc, or an anthology issue (a single issue made up of several short stories).  This issue is the first time that Batgirl has done an anthology issue which is one of my favorite types of comics.

Each part of this anthology has Batgirl teaming up with a different member of the Bat family in order to solve the case of the Negahedron.  Batgirl works with Huntress/Grayson, Spoiler, Batwoman, and Maps/Olive of Gotham Academy.  Whats cool is that this issue changes the art depending on who Batgirl is working with in the story.

The first part Batgirl is on a mission with Huntress (and Dick Grayson although she doesn’t know it) to take down the Negahedron.  It features art by Bengal in the style of the Grayson ongoing series which is drawn by Mikel Janin.  Here is a sample what it looks like.

Batgirl Annual 3 - In the Style of Grayson
The second part continues the Negahedron story with Batgirl working together with Spoiler (aka Stephanie Brown, aka Batgirl number 3).  At first I thought the art (drawn by David LaFuente) was in the style of the Catwoman ongoing series drawn by David Messina, since they reference Catwoman 42 in the story.  However, looking at the art I think they style they are actually going for is a style based on the art of the current Batgirl series drawn by Babs Tarr.  It has a similar stylized and animated look, which you can see in a sample below.

Batgirl Annual 3 - In the Style of Batgirl (Babs Tarr)
The next part continues the Negahedron story with Batgirl working with Batwoman and is drawn by Ming Doyle.  It is drawn in the style of the recently canceled Batwoman ongoing series which was originally drawn by J.H. Williams III.  You can see a sample of the art looks like below.

Batgirl Annual 3 - In the Style of Batwoman
The last part takes place in Gotham Academy and concludes the Negahedron story with Batgirl teaming up with Maps and Olive of Gotham Academy.  This part is drawn by Ivan Plascencia in the style of Karl Kerschl.  Even though this is the last part of the story this is actually when I noticed the art was not just changing each part, but changing to match the comic of the person Batgirl is teaming up with.  The art style of Gotham Academy has a distinct anime / Japanese art style that it is unmistakable (check out the sample below).

Batgirl Annual 3 - In the Style of Gotham Academy
For a Annual that I didn’t even know what coming out I was pleasantly surprised by this one.  Rather than just a story about Batgirl you basically get a Batgirl comic along with sampler of 3 other comics.  I like this issue a lot and hope some other comics use annuals as a way to try out cool new ideas.

DC Comics 1994 Elseworlds Annuals

Elseworld's Finest Vol 1 2

Since I put this site together my first instinct was to review/talk about the new comics I get each week.  However, these posts take me a while to put together and really the quickest I could get something out would be 2-3 days after the comic was released, which is approximately 7 years in internet terms.  So by the time I got my review out there would already be hundreds of professional and amateur sites that do just that. Frankly I don’t know if my opinion on new comics is that unique that I need to throw in my two cents.

That being said this is my website so I will write about whatever I want to, which may include reviews of new comics from time to time (YOU’RE NOT MY SUPERVISOR!).  But for the most part I focus my reviews on older more obscure stuff I like from the 90’s.

I’m a child of the 90’s and while I didn’t really read comic books much back then, the big boom comics of the early 90’s were the color pallet of my childhood.  Things like Batman the Animated Series, the X-Men cartoon, pogs, and Crystal Pepsi were my jam.  This actually works out great for me at this age in life because the comics I am most interested in collecting (stuff from the early 90’s) is literally some of the least valuable comics available and super easy to find.

So one of the things I love in Comic Books (besides early 90’s X-Men) is Elseworlds stories (What if… stories if you’re nasty).  I really enjoy getting new takes on well known characters that put them in situations I would have never dreamed of (Superman Red Son is easily one of my favorite series of all time).

What makes Elseworld stories so great you ask?  Well a couple of things.  First, Elseworlds stories are self-contained and a lot of times appear only as one issue comics.  You get a short, but complete story, which is given to you in a self-contained universe.  Second, because these are non-canon stories anything can happen.  Major villains and heroes can die so the stakes are a lot higher.

This is the list of 1994 Annuals that I was able to buy

  • The Adventures of Superman 6 “The Super Seven Part I: The Longest Night”
  • Batman 18 “Black Masterpiece”
  • Batman: Shadow of the Bat 2 “The Tyrant”
  • Catwoman 1 “The Last Man”
  • Detective Comics 7 “Leatherwing”
  • Green Lantern 3 “Ring of Evil”
  • Justice League International 5 “No Rules to Follow”
  • Justice League of America 8 “The Once and Future League”
  • Legends of the Dark Knight 4 “Citizen Wayne”
  • Lobo 2 “Western”
  • Robin 3 “The Narrow Path”
  • Steel 1 “Crucible of Freedom”
  • Superboy 1 “The Super Seven Part II: The Men of Steel”
  • Superman 6 “The Feral Man of Steel”
  • Team Titans 2 “Into the Light”

I only have 15 of the 23 so I am missing 8 but honestly the rest of the list is pretty obscure (L.E.G.I.O.N., Legionnaires, Legion of Super-heroes etc.) so even with my OCD completionist mindset I’m fine not having all of them (though if I see it I’ll pick up Action Comics Annual 6).  I’m still a little amazed I was able to find the 15 that I did find at once.  I was able to get all of these at Houston Comic-Con (Comicpalooza) over Memorial Day weekend.  At first I had only found three (Batman, Detective Comics, and Superman) and was checking out when the stall owner said he had a bundled a few together which contained 12 more.

So my plan is to treat this like I do my Mystery Comics and periodically review these from time to time as I read them.  So be on the look out! This is just the start of more to come!

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