REVIEW: Superman 2023 Annual #1

Three major developments occur that will definitely shape the direction of issues to come in the Superman 2023 Annual. We’re beginning to see the epic scope Williamson has in store for us.

The Superman 2023 Annual, “The City of Secrets” spins the focus to Lois Lane and the Daily Planet staff.  Building on the story in Joshua Williamson’s current Superman series, this issue follows up with the current status of Live Wire and Parasite as well as reveal a major plot development. A lot of times, annual issues can feel like a glorified one-shot that’s disjointed from their main title. This is absolutely not one of those times.  

There’s a lot of great covers to choose from, which has been the norm for some time, so let’s take a look at a few. The standard cover is by Mahmud Asrar and Dave McCaig and showcases quite a few key figures of the issue. One great giveaway was easily overlooked on my part until after I finished reading and now I’m surprised it’s so blatantly on display. It’s a great assemble/collage of a piece that perfectly fits the theme of what’s inside.

REVIEW: Superman 2023 Annual #1

The variant by Chris Samnee and Matheus Lopes is a sequential take on the Clark to Superman transformation. The layout could easily be mistaken for and interior page as four panels depict Superman taking to the skies at super-speed. It’s definitely a fun piece with its yellow hues and sense of motion.

REVIEW: Superman 2023 Annual #1

Although Silver Banshee isn’t featured within the pages of the book, Mikel Janín’s variant is just too good not to mention. In what could’ve easily been another variant for issue #2 at least gets to grace our eyes on the annual. The somewhat horror-esque display fits well with Williamson’s storytelling thus far and I can’t seem to help but like these two as a couple. Helping to sell the horror trope feel, Superman is still displayed but is apparently falling aimlessly into the void.

REVIEW: Superman 2023 Annual #1

The other variants are by Jock, Edwin Galmon, and Jorge Jimenez, all of which deserve keeping a look out for.

Mahmud Asar, Edwin Galmon, Caitlin Yarsky, Max Raynor and Jack Herbert take turns with the interior art. Together with colorists Dave McCaig, Alex Guimaraes, and Edwin Galmon this team delivers one spectacular looking comic. Their styles segue well with each other as each reporter’s story plays out. That’s not to say the work all looks the same, but rather the transitions don’t take you out of the story while you adjust to the new style. Even though Superman is more of a side character, there’s still plenty of action, fight sequences, and splash pages to keep you entertained throughout the extended size issue.

Once again writer Joshua Williamson, lettered by Ariana Maher, displays his historic knowledge of DC lore in the Superman 2023 Annual. While Superman is actively taking on some giant Toyman creations, The Daily Planet staff are conducting their morning pitch meeting. Seeing Cat visibly distracted, Lois instantly offers a mental health day to Cat as her son was killed by Toyman way back in Superman (Vol.2) #84. Williamson then uses that tragic event to give Cat the angle she needs to win an interview with the mysterious new Metropolis vigilante, Marilyn Moonlight. All too often, Cat is depicted as callous and somewhat shallow and it was nice to see her used in a more vulnerable state and still come out on top.  

The story itself is played out in a series of vignettes as the members of The Daily Planet staff cover various assignments. All of which hold some relevance to the current goings on in Metropolis. As mentioned before, both Live Wire and Parasite have interesting follow up segments, but more importantly three major developments occur that will definitely shape the direction of issues to come.  The last few pages were especially surprising and although the puzzle pieces haven’t all fallen into place just yet, we’re beginning to see the epic scope Williamson has in store for us.

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