The New 52 Gets Annuals

In addition to a 'second wave' of new titles coming in May, 2012 will see the New 52's first batch [...]

In addition to a "second wave" of new titles coming in May, 2012 will see the New 52's first batch of oversized annual comics hitting beginning that same month, according to a pair of posts made at DC Comics's The Source blog earlier today.

So far, only two titles have been announced, but the first of them--Teen Titans Annual #1--looks to combine story elements from Teen Titans, Superboy and Legion Lost as a means of tying into the forthcoming first issue of Scott Lobdell's The Ravagers. Written by Lobdell and Tom DeFalco (who writes Legion Lost), both the story and cover will be provided by Brett Booth, who draws the Teen Titans monthly. The cover features the Titans and Legion Lost squaring off, while most of the characters (except Red Robin and Superboy) seemingly dressed in redesigned clothes that more closely identify each group as a team (the Titans all appear to be variations on Superboy's costume, while the Legion Lost characters are all in white). Lobdell, in an interview with the blog, tells DC that the story "has it all." "We finally get to see the oft-mentioned Colony – where the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. leader named Harvest has been keeping the hundred or so teenagers (did I say hundred?!) for who-knows-how-long," the writer teases. "We get to see the Teen Titans in pitched battle against the Legion Lost (You can understand why Red Robin is skeptical about a team of teenagers claiming to come from the 30th Century, and why Tyroc is scratching his head over the existence of a team that – according to the history progs – is still some eight years away from being formed!). Then there's the introduction of half the roster of the new Ravagers series! It has been eight issues since Red Robin threw down the gauntlet to Harvest, and now we're going to see if the Teen Titans have what it takes to shut down N.O.W.H.E.R.E. once and for all!" He added that both he and DeFalco were "both honored that we're being entrusted with the first chapter of a story that is going to give birth to the new Ravagers series by Howard Mackie and Ian Churchill, and not only because it is bound to be the most talked about new series of 2012! Its also because this is the best part of the DCNu, creators and characters coming together on myriad titles to create some really awesome comic stories!" Having worked on the X-Men titles for many years, Lobdell has some experience coming together with old Marvel regulars like Mackie and Churchill to work on collaborative titles--it's little surprise that he would help facilitate their introduction into the new DC Universe. DC Comics Editor-in-Chief Bob Harrass, who worked with Lobdell, Churchill and Mackie at Marvel during his tenure there in the 1990s, is widely assumed to be responsible for bringing all of them to DC and setting them loose on the New 52. DC says that the story will continue into the May issues of all four books, so continuity-wise, Teen Titans Annual #1 sounds as though it'll be required reading for fans who are interested in any of those titles.

Similarly, the Animal Man Annual #1 announced this morning also sounds as though it will serve primarily as an entry point for new readers looking to get acclimated to the characters and concepts before its upcoming crossover with Scott Snyder's Swamp Thing. In a story that the writers have been teasing since literally before the books themselves launched, Lemire and Snyder's critically-acclaimed books will delve into the conflict between The Green (from which Swamp Thing derives his powers), The Red (ditto for Animal Man) and The Rot, which drives the monstrous villains both characters have been facing in their monthlies so far. Jeff Lemire told the DC blog, "In many ways this Annual is like a prequel to the crossover storyline that Scott Snyder and I have planned for Animal Man and Swamp Thing. But the best part is that I get to work with Timothy Green II. I've been a fan of Timothy's since I first saw his work a few years back and I was really excited when Joey told me he would be drawing the Annual. I've seen the first few pages of art and man, is it gorgeous. He draws a great Swamp Thing and an even better Maxine!" While Timothy Green II will be drawing the Annual, regular series artist Travel Foreman provides the cover for the book, as well as the just-announced Animal Man t-shirt which DC has made available through Graphitti Designs. You can see it, as well as a few pages from the upcoming Animal Man #7 which features the t-shirt in-story, at The Source.