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Annihilation: Book 1

Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2007
By: Michael Deeley



Reprinting: Drax the Destroyer #1-4, Annihilation: Prologue, and Annihilation: Nova #1-4.

Writers: Keith Giffen, Dan Abnett, & Andy Lanning
Artists: Mitch Breitweiser, Scott Kolins, Ariel Ollivetti, Kev Walker, and Rick Magyar
Colorists: Brian Reber and June Chung

Publisher: Marvel Comics


Drax the Destroyer is 1 of 5 prisoners who escape a spaceship that crashes in a small Alaska town. Drax undergoes a radical physical and mental transformation, making him smarter and deadlier than ever. He also picks up an annoying teen girl looking for something better than her life. The pair returns to space in time for Annihilusí Annihilation wave to invade the universe. It wipes out the Nova Corps and destroys its homeworld of Xandar. Richard Rider is the only survivor. He reluctantly becomes host of the Worldmind, Xandarís accumulated knowledge and culture, and all the power once shared by the Nova Corps. Rider now wields abilities on a cosmic level. And it terrifies him.

Excellent work throughout this volume. Drax is an alien encounter story unlike anything Iíve seen in comics before. The aliens, Drax, Paibok, Lunatik, and the Blood Brothers, are all different types of violent and only violent. Giffen successfully portrays these creatures as cold, psychotic, thuggish, calculating, and vicious, depending on their character. Their terrorizing of the townspeople bring this closer to a horror story than a sci-fi. And young Cammi enjoys every minute of it. This is exactly the kind of extraordinary event sheís been praying for; and end to her miserable life, one way or another. She indirectly helps Drax literally re-invent himself into a new, more complex character. Breitweiserís art gives this world definition, and Reberís colors give it weight. Itís rare to find all aspects of art working together so perfectly. Just looking at these pages are as fascinating as reading them.

Annihilation: Prologue sees the Wave hit. Countless numbers of insectoid soldiers swarm across the universe destroying and devouring everything in their path. You literally watch billions die on the page as a force of pure evil marches over everything. No one is left untouched. The Silver Surfer senses its infestation. Thanos and Death herself witness its arrival. The Annihilation Waveís destruction of the Kyln prison releases beings terrible power. Something big and terrible is rolling through our dimension, and every minute of it is perfectly chronicled by Giffen, Kolins, and Ollivetti.

Richard Rider, Nova of Earth, sees the worst of it. Heís witness to and last survivor of the destruction of the Nova Corps and the planet Xandar. Xandarís Worldmind gives him the power he needs to combat the Wave, but its computer consciousness conflicts with Riderís emotions. The two must learn to work together to save refugees from another attack. Abnett & Lanning live up to their reputation earned on DCís Legion books. Rider struggles with survivorís guilt, fear of his new powers, and desire for revenge all in a few days. His pain is almost palpable. He triumphs through sheer force of will. Like Drax, Rider is changed into something new and interesting. The art conveys both the epic scale of the fighting in outer space and Riderís personal intensity. The only flaw in the story is Cammi. Sheís an annoying little bitch who continually points out how stupid she thinks everyone looks. Sheís like Jar-Jar without a voice or accent, (which maker her exactly 80,000 times better than Jar-Jar).

Annihilation Book 1 is an excellent start to an epic event. The wide-scale destruction combined with the intense personal drama is entertaining on two levels. The artwork does justice to three of the finest writers working in comics today. I believe this is one of Giffenís finest works, surpassing my perennial favorite Invasion.



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