THE IMPACT COMICS ANNUALS

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THE IMPACT COMICS ANNUALS

Paul Kupperberg was the editor of two of the original Impact titles, The Fly and The Black Hood. He wrote several issues of the Crusaders and the Web. Edited portions of the Impact Annuals and was the writer of the planned Impact relaunch of Steel Sterling. He was nice enough to share his thoughts about the Impact Annuals.

Rik Offenberger: The Impact line was intended for new younger readers, all done-in-one stories. Why were the annuals interconnected?
Paul Kupperberg [PK]: By the time we got to the Impact Annuals in 1992, the line’s second year, the original concept had pretty much fallen by the wayside. The line hadn’t performed as well as hoped pretty much from the start, and it was also pretty obvious the readers who were picking up the Impact books weren’t the new, young readers the titles had ostensibly been created to attract but the same ones buying the DCU books. I suppose it made sense to chase the audience actually buying the books rather than continuing to create comics for the readers we wanted. And the audience actually buying the books were interested in DCU/MCU-style continuity and interconnectivity.

Overstreet: Why were there three different editors on the annual?
PK:
That was standard procedure: We each edited the annuals attached to the monthlies we edited. I was on The Fly and the Black Hood. Common sense and scheduling also played a part, I’m sure. There were six annuals, each with 40 pages of story, plus a cover, plus editorial pages, and they all came out within a month or six weeks of each other, so a single editor handling them all would have had to produce an additional 258 pages in a month or two.

Overstreet: It seemed like the line was on some shaky ground. Did the annuals improve sales on the line?
PK:
I don’t have numbers, but the fact that the Impact line was gone six months after the annuals were published would indicate they hadn’t.

Overstreet: Why do you think Impact failed to attract a large enough audience to continue, it had some of the most talented creators of their day?
PK: I think there were a couple of reasons, ranging from editorial neglect and marketing indifference, if not straight up hostility, to the fact that in the end, the Impact line was neither fish nor fowl. The line suffered from a lack of familiarity in the marketplace, and they weren’t quite all-age access, kid-friendly comics nor, with a couple of exceptions, were they edgy enough to interest older readers.

The Impact Annual Checklist

Cover George Pratt
Cover Date May 1992
Cover Price $2.50
View Issue

Web Annual #1

Web in “The Battle for the Grail!”
Part 1 of 6: The 1992 Impact Annuals begin their six-part “Earth Quest” crossover here as the evil Templar believes there exists a holy grail able to cure his disfiguring disease. To find it, he must trigger a series of environmental disasters that could, if he’s wrong, destroy the Earth. Continues in Legend of the Shield Annual #1

Script: Len Strazewski
Pencils: Michael Collins
Inks: Gary Kwapisz
Colors: Eric Kachelhofer
Letters: Vickie Williams
Edits: Mike Gold

Black Hood in “Mad Dogs & Frenchmen!”
A young lady of old France named Jeanne takes on the mantal of the Black Hood as she looks for her missing dog miracle and finds other miracles along the way.

Script: Tom Sickler, Heff Munson, and Mark Wheatley
Pencils: Damon Willis
Inks: Damon Willis
Colors: Rick Taylor
Letters: Steve Haynie
Edits: Paul Kupperberg

Shield in “High Stakes”
In 1953, Roger Higgins/the Shield goes after “Lucky” Jackson, who has captured Dusty. Lucky’s son Matthew was kidnapped and found by The Shield and Dusty. This sets in motion Matthew Jackson’s story throughout the annuals.

Script: Mark Waid
Pencils: M.C. Turner Allen
Inks: John Lowe
Colors: Linda Kachelhofer
Letters: John Costanza
Edits: Jim Owsley

This issue includes an exclusive bound-in Impact Comics trading card, a part of a set of 18.

Cover George Pratt
Cover Date June 1992
Cover Price $2.50
View Issue

Legend of the Shield Annual #1

Shield in “Warlocks & Warriors?”
Part 2 of the 6-part “Earth Quest,” continued from Web Annual #1. The Shield is drawn into a deadly roleplaying game when an annual contest is beset by foul play. At a resort castle built for sword and sorcery games, the Shield battles dragons and Vikings and evil wizards when something goes terribly wrong. Continues in Comet Annual #1

Script: Adam Blaustein
Pencils: J.J. Birch
Inks: John Lowe
Colors: Tom Ziuko
Letters: Clem Robins and Albert DeGuzman
Edits: Owz

Web in “Crash Course”
We learn some of the back story of Web agent The Sunshine Kid. The Gemini space capsule is about to crash to Earth and The Sunshine Kid uses the power of a nuclear reactor to save the astronauts from certain death.

Script: Rick Oliver
Pencils: Trevor Von Eeden
Inks: Steve Mitchell
Colors: Linda Kachelhofer
Letters: Vickie Williams
Edits: Mike Gold

Black Hood in “Black Hood’s Burden”
An adventure in 1859 as Harold Andrew Benson travels to India and has the mantel of the Black Hood thrust upon him.

Plot: Mark Wheatley and Heff Munson
Script: Pat McGreal
Pencils: John K. Snyder III
Inks: John K. Snyder III
Colors: Rick Taylor
Letters: Albert DeGuzman
Edits: Paul Kupperberg

This issue includes an exclusive bound-in Impact Comics trading card, a part of a set of 18

Cover George Pratt
Cover Date June 1992
Cover Price $2.50
View Issue

Comet Annual #1

Comet in “Catastrophe”
Part 3 of the 6-part “Earth Quest,” continued from Legend of the Shield Annual #1. In order to uncover the alien Grail that can cure his malady, Templar is triggering environmental disasters…forcing the Comet to battle an erupting volcano, a fight that is way out of his league. Continues in Fly Annual #1.

Script: Kelley Puckett
Pencils: Trevor Von Eeden
Inks: Steve Mitchell
Colors: Tom Ziuko
Letters: Tim Harkins
Edits: Owz

Web in “Power Switch!”
It’s Spring 1963, and Web Deputy Director William Grady is a young Web agent who takes on the Klan.

Script: Rick Oliver
Pencils: Trevor Von Eeden
Inks: Steve Mitchell
Colors: Linda Kachelhofer
Letters: Vickie Williams
Edits: Mike Gold

Shield in “Rebellion”
In 1958, young Matthew Jackson is in Cuba as Castro takes control of the government. The Original Shield, Roger Higgins just happens to be in Cuba at the same time and rescues Matthew against his will.

Script: Mark Waid
Pencils: Turner Allen
Inks: John Lowe
Colors: Linda Kachelhofer
Letters: John Workman
Edits: Jim Owsley

This issue includes an exclusive bound-in Impact Comics trading card, a part of a set of 18.

Cover George Pratt
Cover Date June 1992
Cover Price $2.50
View Issue

Fly Annual #1

Fly “The Dark Towers”
Part 4 of the 6-part “Earth Quest,” continued from Comet Annual #1. The Fly takes on Templar’s knights. In the course of the battle, Jason loses his amulet and is trapped in the adult body of the Fly. Continues in Jaguar Annual #1

Script: Len Stahelski
Pencils: Mike Purbeck
Inks: Romeo Tanghal
Colors: Rick Taylor
Letters: Bob Penha and Pat Brosseau

Black Hood in “Up the Amazon without a Poodle”
Virgil Smeed went looking for adventure and his place in the world. He stumbles upon the Black Hood and takes it to the Amazon.

Script: Dave Rawson
Pencils: Steve Leialoha
Inks: Steve Leialoha
Colors: Rick Taylor
Letters: Bob Pinaha

Web in “Power Failure”
It’s 1973, and Len Rothco, also known as Web agent “Big Daddy” finds himself up against a biker gang with no support for the Agency.

Script: Rick Oliver
Pencils: Trevor Von Eeden
Inks: Steve Mitchell
Colors: Linda Kachelhofer
Letters: Vickie Williams
Edits: Mike Gold

This issue includes an exclusive bound-in Impact Comics trading card, a part of a set of 18.

Cover George Pratt
Cover Date June 1992
Cover Price $2.50
View Issue

Jaguar Annual #1

Jaguar in “Silent, Winged Death”
Part 5 of the 6-part “Earth Quest,” continued from Fly Annual #1. A pet shop owner is found dead in Elm Harbor. When Maria investigates, she’s led into a web of intrigue and a deadly plot to poison the world’s bird population. Concludes in Black Hood Annual #1.

Script: William Messner-Loebs
Pencils: Scott Kollins
Inks: Andrew Pepoy
Colors: Tom Ziuko
Letters: Tim Harkins
Edits: Owz

The Jaguar stops the Moonlighter’s scheme

Shield in “Trick or Treat”
Matthew Jackson became the Shield to save his son Tony from a life of crime. However, Mathew was killed in the process.

Script: Adam Blaustein
Pencils: Turner Allen
Inks: Bruce Solotoff
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Albert DeGuzman
Edits: Owz

When Tony gets himself involved in a mob hit, the Shield is there to save him.

Black Hood “Your Mine and Ours”
The legend of the Black Hood begins when John White Fox dons the hood to save his friend Noah from evil men who plan to take his land.

Script: Rick Burchett
Pencils: Don Secrease
Inks: Rick Burchett
Colors: Tom Ziuko
Letters: Albert DeGuzman
Edits: Paul Kupperberg

This issue includes an exclusive bound-in Impact Comics trading card, a part of a set of 18.

Cover George Pratt
Cover Date June 1992
Cover Price $2.50
View Issue

Black Hood Annual #1

Black Hood in “Ashes of an Oak”
Part 6 of the 6-part “Earth Quest,” continued from Jaguar Annual #1. Templar’s quest for the Grail has been crushed…but the sacred item itself is missing. The answer is found at the funeral of Wayne Sidmonson, the first Black Hood, and in the jungles of South America, where the original Jaguar appears.

Plot: Mark Wheatley and Jeff Munson
Script: Dave Rawson and Pat McGreal
Pencils: Leopoldo Durañona
Inks: Mark Wheatley
Colors: Linda Kachelhofer
Letters: Steve Haynie
Edits: Paul Kupperberg

The Web in “To Serve and Protect”
In 1968, Web agent Jesus Kennedy gets involved in student protests as he looks for missing agent T.B. Martin.

Script: Rick Oliver
Pencils: Trevor Von Eeden
Inks: Steve Mitchell
Colors: Linda Kachelhofer
Letters: Vickie Williams
Edits: Mike Gold

Shield in “Legend of the Shield”
Matthew Jackson died to keep his son, Anthony, from a life of crime. Instead, at age 17 Tony became a force for justice as the Shield Kid, keeping the streets of Soundview safe.

Unlike other Shield characters, Tony carries a gun and rides a motorcycle. This would be the one and only adventure of Shield Kid, as he is killed in the line of duty.

Script: Adam Blaustein
Pencils: Turner Allen
Inks: Bruce Solotoff
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Albert DeGuzman
Edits: Owz

This issue includes an exclusive bound-in Impact Comics trading card, a part of a set of 18.