With “Fear Itself” just released, Age of X halfway done, and the upcoming X-Men “Schism” event it must be easy to over look an annual. I for one always loved the annuals. To me it was an extra long story that ran outside and concurrent to the regular issues. Sure the price was higher but the cost was worth it.
I still remember picking up New Mutants Annual #2 and enjoying the vibe the story presented. Annual #3 was even better. Then the crossover events occurred through the annuals and I felt it lost some of its charm because now I had to collect other annuals to get the full story. Chances are I was already collecting the title, but occasionally I had to go outside my safety box.
It seemed for a couple years that annuals were passé; it was the limited series that would garnish steam. I was hesitant about buying the Daredevil/Deadpool annual and only did so because of my desire to have all the Daredevil issues, annuals included. It wasn’t Deadpool that interests me.
I feel in recent years that the annuals were left wanting and my fondness for the annual waned, that is until two years ago. The Uncanny X-Men had an annual that was separately inclusive, that rekindled that spark for the yearly book.
This year, the Amazing Spider-Man #38 caught my attention. With my completion of Daredevil in sight, the Amazing Spider-Man and the Uncanny X-men are the next two titles I wish to complete and I feel this will be easier if I keep up with current issues. I was hesitant to picking it up mainly because it stated it was part 1 of 3 and there are no Spectacular Spider-Man or Web of Spider-Man titles to complete it. If I want the full story I will have to pick up the Incredible Hulk and Deadpool annuals.
The story starts in full swing, and you learn about the Amazing Spider. He’s beloved where our Spider-Man is hated. Doctor Octopus would rather run in fear then try to battle him. The Rhino even gives up after being hit twice, once by Peter and the second by a safe thrown by him. The Rhino in the midst of giving up reveals how powerful the Amazing Spider is in this world.
It does feel weird that Peter Parker’s life seems to be struggle free, but I love how they finally show how smart he really is. He is employed at Horizon Labs, which happens to be working on a trans dimensional portal. This is where Deadpool enters, hired by some two bit thugs (the only disappointing hole in the story) to get inside the labs. This at least explained why the Merc with a Mouth is needed. Since he has some uncanny ability to heal, in a way Wolverine can’t, they decided to use his brain to concentrate and lock onto a world full of “valuable things” and no one to stop them.
Apparently what Wilson finds to be valuable is “New Mutants #98, C.G.C slabbed and graded 9.8?” and afterwards you find out even Bruce Banner is working there. (OK maybe that seems too coincidental.) Bruce Banner, Deadpool and Peter are transported to another world, where Peter Parker is a hero akin to the wealth of Batman and the popularity of Superman. Now on this world there are two Deadpool’s (one is Death Wish), a Bruce Banner who cannot turn into the Hulk, and The Amazing Spider is not what he seems even with Ben Parker’s tutelage.
Even though I got a full story and was sated, if I want the rest I am going to have to purchase both the annuals from The Incredible Hulk and Deadpool, something I don’t like to do, but if those books are half the fun that John Layman portrayed writing this annual then I will gladly (maybe not gladly) pay over another $3.99 for each book. Maybe when the three part story is all over I’ll send it in to CGC to get graded like my copy of New Mutants #98.
Thanks for Reading