Friday, November 20, 2009

Annihilation: Book One by Keith Giffen and Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning

After a huge investment into Marvel Comics’ “cosmic universe,” picking up copies of Annihilation Classic, Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War, Infinity Crusade, Volume 1, and Infinity Crusade, Volume 2, I was finally up to date and ready to dive into the three volume Annihilation series. Yet it was a far longer space of time before I finally, now, return as promised. Annihilation: Book One contains three stories:

Drax the Destroyer: Earth Fall by Keith Giffen: Working as a prologue to the Annihilation series as a whole, this story follows a downed space craft prisoner transport that had been in the process of taking a number of convicts to an interstellar jail set up for those never to be released. However, after the ship malfunctions, the craft crashes on Earth, near a small town in Alaska. On board are a number of notable characters, including Paibok (Power Skrull), the Blood Brothers, Lunatik, and Drax the Destroyer. Paibok leads a takeover of the nearby town of Coot’s Bluff, while Drax seems to begin to recover some of his lacking intelligence. Yet, as he returns to the town, he is murdered by Paibok. From there, it is a fight to see who can save Coot’s Bluff. I very well done and entertaining story.

“Annihilation Prologue” by Keith Giffen: While Drax the Destroyer: Earth Fall sets up the Annihilation event, it is “Annihilation Prologue” that jumps things from Earth into space, and brings a large number of cosmic characters together to face the epic threat of the Annihilation Wave, an alien force so strong that it is destroying everything in its path, and the Xandarian Nova Crops is next in its path. A solid set-up to the story that will now branch out into four separate tales before pulling together again for the main body of the story.

Annihilation: Nova by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning: The first tale to spin out of “Annihilation Prologue,” Annihilation: Nova follows Richard Rider, known as Nova, as he begins a quest in the aftermath of the Annihilation Wave hitting the Nova Corps. After meeting up with some characters that appeared in both of the previous two stories, he sets out across the universe, meeting up with Quasar and helping millions of refugees get out of the path of onslaught coming their way. Another solid story, with a conclusion that both wraps up the immediate story, but shows that there is still much to come.

In totality, Annihilation: Book One is an exciting beginning to the major cosmic event. You don’t get a larger portion of the meat of the story, as a big chunk of prefatory material, but it all sets up what has the potential to be one of the biggest and best stories in Marvel cosmic history, one that could rival even the Infinity Trilogy of Jim Starlin.


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