Well, I can’t answer the first question but as far as the second and third questions are concerned you are absolutely right. Superman Annual #3 did come out in 1991 and was one of the better chapters of Armageddon 2001. That’s not how things were originally supposed to play out. There were plans for both Action Comics and Superman to have their own annuals in 1990 to go along with the Adventures of Superman Annual that was released that year. The Action Annual was going to feature the first DC work by Chris Claremont with art by Michael Golden. Walt Simonson was the writer and artist on the Superman Annual you see in the ad at the top of this post. The Action Annual never saw the light of day but the Superman Annual did in the form of the Superman Special, which was published right before the whole Death and Return storyline.
So why was it delayed so long? Apparently the Superman Annual too a long time to finish. That’s the most I was able to come up with on that one. The Claremont/Golden story was never finished, so that explains why it didn’t receive its own special.
I am not the biggest fan of this special but it was an entertaining read. Think of it as a Post Crisis take on the Kryptonite Nevermore storyline that ushered Superman into the Bronze Age.
So now you know…that is if you didn’t already.