Saturday, May 03, 2008

Annihilation: Book Three

Keith Giffen, Andrea DiVito & various
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It all comes to this. Silver Surfer. Nova. Super Skrull. Ronan. Drax the Destroyer. Each of these characters had a story to tell revolving around a wave of destruction led by Annihilus of The Negative Zone, as he thirsted for power and annihilation (Read reviews of Book One and Book Two of Annihilation for details). In a six issue mini-series, the culmination of these events leads to all-out war as these cosmic beings unite to fight back against a common enemy in any way each of them are able. This book felt very grand and was ultimately satisfying. Each of the characters had their moment to shine, while some were more vital to the thrust of the fight than others. DiVito illustrates events beautifully, executing fight sequences and emotional moments with ease.
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Gamora, the deadliest woman in space, who was featured in Annihilation: Ronan, played quite a big role in the events, as she was Nova's lover and involved in many of the fights and decisions being made, outshining Ronan himself if it weren't for an event that takes place toward the end of the series, where he proves himself and has the Kree cheering for him.
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Drax takes on a side quest of sorts, which ends up being very important for the overall series, freeing Galactus with the aide of his daughter Moondragon, allowing the world-devourer to deal a significant amount of damage to the annihilation wave. He also kills Thanos in my favorite scene in the book. As Thanos works to free Galactus (before he's interrupted by Drax ripping his heart out), he sees Death standing on the sidelines, smiling at him and he's utterly shocked. Meanwhile, Cammi, Drax's little protege of sorts, seems to have adopted Thanos' chaos creature Skreet.
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Nova plays a big role in the events, stepping into the role of leader of the rebellion forces and ultimately killing Annihilus (with the aide of Phyla-Vell and Peter Quill). He has his own ongoing series in light of the success and reception of the Annihilation series overall.
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The Super Skrull (along with companion Praxagora) aids Ronan on his quest after he is resurrected from a death-like state, while the Silver Surfer becomes Galactus' herald again, as they deal a devastating blow that cripples the annihilation wave.
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It was very neat to see all of these players come into the big overall game in the concluding mini-series, often in unexpected roles. Annihilation: Book Three also included some supplemental material, collecting Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1-2 and the throwaway Nova Corps files that gives information on characters involved in the crossover and various alien races. The Heralds of Galactus comics follows up on some of the events of Annihilation involving, well, the heralds of Galactus, tying up some dangling plot threads and showing how some cosmic beings are carrying on now that the threat is over. The first issue focuses on Stardust and Terrax, while the second shows what Firelord and Silver Surfer have been up to, the latter of whose story really wraps up some big unfinished business.
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A very fun event overall. I'm excited to eventually read the collections of the follow-up series Annihilation: Conquest, and am happy that it was such a fulfilling experience filled with good writing and top-notch art all around.

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