Comics
Published October 24, 2019

Return to War: Revisiting 'Annihilation'

Prepare for November's 'Annihilation - Scourge Alpha' #1 with a look back at the original event series!

Ever since Stan, Jack, Steve, and the gang began laying the groundwork for the Marvel Universe, they looked to the stars for inspiration. 

The classic sci-fi and anthology comics that pre-dated our beloved Super Heroes all featured different alien races and their attempts to cause trouble for humanity. And those traditions carried right on through to hero comics when Lee and Kirby introduced the Skrulls in the second issue of FANTASTIC FOUR (1961)!

From there, more aliens, planets, and cosmic objects came to the forefront and became incredibly popular. Jim Starlin, George Perez, and Rob Lim brought together an army of those characters when they threatened all of existence in 1991 with INFINITY GAUNTLET. That spawned a number of spinoffs and brand new books that continued exploring the outposts of the cosmic House of Ideas.

And though the cosmos faded into the background for a time in the Marvel Universe, it surged back into focus in the mid-2000s with an event called ANNIHILATION. And with the brand-new ANNIHILATION - SCOURGE ALPHA #1 hitting local comic shops on November 20...

Annihilation - Scourge Alpha (2019) #1

...We thought it was the right time to return to the original.

The frontrunners for the event actually found their roots in the Starlin-launched, Keith Giffen-finished 12-issue THANOS (2003) series that gave the Mad Titan a bit of a different outlook on life...and Death. The other was a four-issue limited series launched in 2005 by Giffen and Mitch Breitweiser: DRAX THE DESTROYER.

In that series, the bulky (and not particularly bright) emerald alien dedicated himself to killing Thanos, but he went through a drastic change that turned him shrewd and much leaner. All of this happened on Earth when a space prison transport ship crashed there; with some help from a teenager named Cammi, he defended a small Alaskan town before getting back out to the spaceways with her in tow.

In 2006, the same year the final issue of DRAX hit, Giffen wrote an issue that would nearly crack space in half with ANNIHILATION PROLOGUE. Drawn by Scott Kolins and Ariel Olivetti, this story featured a mysterious force powerful enough to draw Thanos' attention, tear through the Kyln space prison, and destroy nearly every living thing on Xandar—including most of the Nova Corps. This one-shot led directly into a quartet of limited series' leading up to the big show: ANNIHILATION: NOVA, ANNIHILATION: SILVER SURFER, ANNIHILATION: SUPER-SKRULL, and ANNIHILATION: RONAN.

Annihilation: Prologue (2006)

Annihilation: Prologue (2006)

    • publishedMar 15, 2006
    • added to marvel unlimitedNov 13, 2007
    • ratingT
    • penciller (cover)
What is Marvel Unlimited?

From there, things got worse. In NOVA—by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, and Kev Walker—Richard Rider survived the attack and even took on the responsibility of preserving the WorldMind, an advanced artificial intelligence that housed all of the Corps' knowledge. Thanks to a power upgrade from the 'Mind, Richard became one of the main forces of opposition to the threat, which turned out to be Annihilus of the Negative Zone.

While trying to save as many refuges as possible, Nova Rider teamed up with Drax, Cammi, and even Wendell Vaughn, AKA Quasar! They helped save lives and even went up against Annihilus himself in a fight that left one of them dead and one of them scarred.

In Keith Giffen and Renato Arlem's SILVER SURFER, the Sentinel of the Spaceways encountered many of his fellow former Heralds of Galactus while Thanos made a deal with Annihilus. The Surfer even made a deal with his old boss to help stop a pair of unimaginably power beings, Tenebrous and Aegis, in exchange for a power boost!

Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Gregory Titus chronicled the adventures of Kl'rt in SUPER-SKRULL. When his commanding officer refused to send a force against the Annihilation Wave, he rebelled and took the matter into his own hands. After getting some assistance from Reed Richards, he joined forces with a small crew of aliens to protect the Skrull homeworld from destruction.

Meanwhile, the Accuser—then a disgraced Kree—searched remote worlds for Tana Nile, the being he thought responsible for his fall from grace in RONAN by Simon Furman and Jorge Lucas. That journey brought him into contact with Korath, Nebula, and Gamora as they faced the might and fury of Negative Zone forces.

All of that led to the big show: ANNIHILATION. The six-issue series by Keith Giffen and Andrea DiVito brought all of the players from the lead-ins together to take on Annihilus and his forces directly. 

Annihilation (2006) #1

Annihilation (2006) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

In the wake of ANNIHILATION, a variety of characters found themselves in the spotlight once again. There was a two-issue series called ANNIHILATION: THE HERALDS OF GALACTUS as well as a brand new NOVA ongoing series penned by Abnett and Lanning. Not long after the first series came to a close, another—ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST—sprung up around a more metallic intergalactic threat. That crossover notably dusted off a character known as Peter Quill, who soon began leading an all new Guardians of the Galaxy as Star-Lord.

Now, with a new Annihilation in the offing once more, kicking off with ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE ALPHA #1 by Matthew Rosenberg and Juanan Ramirez, expect plenty of trouble in the spaceways as the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, and Nova band together to stop the latest threat from the Negative Zone!

Pre-order ANNIHILATION: SCOURGE ALPHA #1 at your local comic shop today, then pick it up on November 20!

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