Redartz: It's the height of summertime, and for any true Bronze ager, that means Annuals! Or, if you prefer, King-Size Specials, or Summer Specials. Featuring...
Extra length Stories!
The summer just wasn't complete without a goodly array of giant size comics for whiling away those hazy afternoons. And while Marvel had the monopoly on the Annuals during our Bronze age, DC did put some out on the spinners (and actually had some all-reprint annuals in the Silver Age). And perennial teen Archie sported an Annual edition each year, albeit one that changed format to a digest after 1975.
Anyway, they always were lots of fun, with generally special stories and often extra features. Guest stars were frequent. Different artists were used at times, as were unusual writers (Steve Gerber on the Iron Man Annual below was one of my favorite examples of this). Obviously the Summer Specials had a lot of appeal. Hence their longevity (some still have appeared in recent years; with varying degrees of success, imho).
No doubt you all have your personal faves, and I'm sure you'll share them with us shortly. A couple that top my list:
Spider-Man Annual 15 (fooled you, bet you thought I was going to name ASM Annual 1). A truly great story by Denny O'Neal , Frank Miller and Klaus Janson; with the Punisher and my number one Spidey villain: Doc Ock. And the book rounds out with some of those special features as mentioned above; a fine Summer package.
X-Men Annual 7- Another great issue, with an incredibly fun tale starring the Impossible Man. Terrific art by Michael Golden, some amusing guest appearances, and one of the greatest appearances of 'Galactus' ever.
So as not to hog the conversation, I'll leave further Annual assessments up to you. But to stoke the memory, here's an appropriately King-Size assemblage of Annual covers. Enjoy!