Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Annihilation: Book Three by Keith Giffen, Christos N. Gage, and Stuart Moore

Following up the first two volumes of the Annihilation saga, we get to the explosive wrap up in Annihilation: Book Three. All of the four major story lines come crashing together, and the tale reaches an end, in the parts listed below:

Annihilation by Keith Giffen: The major event that everything was leading up to, Annihilation depicts the United Front, lead by Richard Rider (aka Nova), as they struggle against the seemingly endless onslaught of the Annihilation Wave. Gathering together a large cast of characters, including a number of the heralds of Galactus, Ronin the Accuser, Drax the Destroyer, and Peter Quill (Star-Lord), among many, many Kree and other characters, Nova’s forces are struggling to fight a losing battle. Even the surprise reappearance of a character thought dead doesn’t seem to have an effect. How can completely over-matched heroes turn the tides on an evil so powerful it could overthrow even Galactus? Everything is thrown into this story of epic space warfare, as huge armies on both sides and lots of big name characters go at it with the fate of the universe on the line. With plenty of twists, Annihilation is sure to satisfy any fan of Military Science Fiction.

Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus works as a sort of epilogue to the whole event, containing four short stories following four of Galactus’ heralds. Reviews of each story:

“Parasites” by Christos N. Gage: Terrax was under the control of Annihilus, but after the end of the war, his forced subservience is done, and he sets out, with Paibot and the Delinquent, to reclaim his honor and reputation as Terrax the Tamer. An entertaining but light tale that gives some closure to Terrax’s plot thread.

“Stardust: A Death of Hope” by Stuart Moore: Thought dead in the pages of Annihilation, Stardust turns out to be far harder to kill, and this tale gives much more detail on his origin than had been previously seen, as well as depicting Stardust’s return to his master. The weakest of the four stories, but still not bad, with a very interesting depiction of some very “alien” aliens.

“Afterburn” by Keith Giffen: The only herald whose fate was assured at the end of Annihilation, Firelord sets out to capture and execute members of the Centurions, Annihilus’ special army of super-powered beings, to serve justice against their war crimes. A well-conceived tale.

“Brother’s Keeper” by Keith Giffen: The final story is the most action-packed, with the Silver Surfer and Galactus facing Aegis and Tenebrous, wrapping up one of the last few remaining loose ends. The most exciting and fun piece of the four.

Annihilation: Nova Corps Files by Michael Hoskin, Anthony Flamini, Jeff Christiansen, Sean McQuaid, Ronald Byrd, Chris Biggs, Eric Engelhard, Chad Anderson, Stuart Vandal, Mike Raicht, and Mark O’English: A “data file” of all of the main players in Annihilation, this section gives their biographies as well as other pertinent information. By the end of the main storyline, some of the things in this section seem a little outdated (Annihilation: Nova Corps Files having been released before the conclusion of Annihilation originally before this collection), but it was still neat to get further information on where everyone came from before this story. A very in-depth and interesting source.

Annihilation: Book Three really closed things up on a huge, exciting, powerful conclusion, and built some major excitement for the continuations of the Marvel Cosmic milieu. After the conclusion of Annihilation, the ongoing series Nova begins, and leads directly into the Annihilation sequel, Annihilation: Conquest. That event in turn lead to the ongoing series Guardians of the Galaxy, and then things reach a head again in the major event War of Kings and its imminent sequel, Reign of Kings. All of these are things that Luke Reviews will definitely be checking out.


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