Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Tan Eng Huat & Timothy Green II
I'm a pretty big fan of the cosmic stuff that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have done over the past few years at Marvel, particularly with Annihilation, War of Kings and Guardians of the Galaxy. I was not a fan of The Thanos Imperative, which I dropped after giving it a few issues when it didn't click with me. It appears quite a bit of stuff went down at the end of that series, since in the new mini-series Annihilators, we see that the Guardians of the Galaxy have either been killed or scattered across the universe, and a new team of mega heroes, consisting of powerful cosmic characters, have risen from the ashes of The Thanos Imperative to form a new team of heroes to stop any new threat to the universe before it reaches such a critical level. And right from the first page of Annihilators, it's pretty clear that if you haven't kept up with the cosmic goings-on at Marvel, the story isn't going to go through any lengthy explanations, but pretty much dives into the new story, glossing over recent events, throwing out words like "Cancerverse" that you either know from The Thanos Imperative or you don't. This team of cosmic characters are some of the hardest hitters at Marvel, including The Silver Surfer, Gladiator, Ronan the Accuser, Beta Ray Bill and Quasar. A new character introduces herself to the intimidating team right away, Ikon of the Spaceknights, and identifies their weak points, serving as a nice introduction to the characters of the story, and is pretty blunt about why she thinks the team won't work. And then they're thrown in to some universe-in-the-balance situation to test that theory. There's plenty of action right from the get-go in this book, clearly depicted thanks to Tan Eng Huat, whose art overall is really nice. My only problem with Huat's art is that sometimes the faces of the characters look like they've been worked on too much, and they're dark and too shadowy, maybe overthought. Otherwise, very nice though, a good fit for what seems like it could be a cool, epic mini-series. The back-up story follows Rocket Raccoon in his new glamourless life where he's attacked out of the blue, and forced to seek help from a former colleague, that of Groot. It's a funny little story, illustrated in an appropriate cartoony style by Timothy Green II, providing a nice little extra to what is a pretty solid overall package.