Figured we could use a thread like this again - links to blogs, articles, and videos that don’t really fit into the new release or company specific threads.
This article from 2011 goes into some detail about the Marvel Annuals from 1993 - even as a youngster at the time (in 1993, not 2011), I glommed that this (along with the DC Bloodlines annuals) was a response to Image and the post-Image wave of new characters from every other publisher.
For those of you who’d bailed on mainstream comics at the time, or hadn’t come to comics, the gist is that Marvel editorial or marketing decided they needed to introduce as many new concepts as possible into the market, and would use that years’ annuals to introduce these characters. The annuals would each be an origin and first appearance (sure to be collectors’ items!) and came in a sealed polybag with a trading card (so you’d better buy two copies). There wasn’t a unifying storyline - these were standalone stories, basically filler.
This may or may not have been prompted by DC’s similar new character onslaught that year, where their line-wide Bloodlines story saw shape-shifting aliens come to Earth and feed on humans’ spinal fluid (or something) - if they were interrupted during feeding the humans would survive and gain some kind of superpower.
Bloodlines have us Hitman and not much else, while Marvel’s annuals gave us Adam X, (the eXtreme) and Carl Denti, the X-Cutioner.