I wouldn't be surprised to find out that I'm the only one who's been reading X-men since Brian Wood's run ended, but I have, and the last four issues got me thinking.
Issues 38 and 39 seemed a bit like random filler, not bad, not great, fun, but not essential; just a neat little one off random story. Issues 40 and 41 could easily be described the same way, and it made me think that both stories (38/39 and 40/41) would have held up better if they'd been printed as single, self-contained, double-sized issues, like annuals used to be. Or like X-men Unlimited originally was. That made me realize:
I can't remember the last time I saw an annual for X-men or Uncanny X-men, (so) do they still do that?
I'm pretty sure Astonishing had one in the last year, but I really don't remember seeing any other X-title have one. I realize that at least three of the X-men books have been bimonthly for months at a time in the past year or so, which would arguably negate the demand for one more random issue per series, but I kind of liked how annuals, and the original X-men Unlimited quarterly, held these random, generally self-contained stories. They weren't usually necessary to the main title, but generally added another dimension to what the regular creative team was doing. Often, they were just a breath of fresh air for being self contained.
Is it just me, or would anyone else be interested in seeing either
A) the return of annuals and a 13 issue year, or
B) a home book for all of these random, one off stories they keep printing to keep a series on (or over) schedule?
Also, I'd be super interested to hear any of your favourite examples of annuals you've read, since I'm always on the look out for those..