After three volumes of Panini compilations of various miniseries, comes the main action of the Annihilation event (Annhilitation). The central numbers of this cosmic event that surprised many fans are compiled in the volume “Annihilation Saga 4 Annihilation” from Panini Comics. Recall that before this one, three other volumes had been released, with the volumes dedicated to the prologue, to Nova, Silver Surfer, Superskrull and Ronan. Volumes that compiled the numbers starring those characters with the stories that related them directly to this event.
This volume of Panini compiles the six main arc numbers, and surprising as it may seem, they are numbers that they rely very little on those other miniseries. So much so that even the action is several months later. In addition, he makes his own summaries to put us in situation. This takes away some added value to those previous volumes, which although interesting to read, are not purely essential for reading. If we embark directly on this volume, we can feel somewhat lost with what ideas and character, but nothing extraordinary. In any case, and due to their importance in the plot, we could highlight from the previous comics the stories dedicated to Nova and Thanos (The latter more distributed among the different numbers, but above all, collected in the Silver Surfer miniseries).
This comic book arc is Marvel Comics’ greatest cosmic saga. His scale is immense, encompassing a multitude of locations and characters. Of course, we completely forget about Earth (currently immersed in its Civil War). The heroes of the Earth are not in charge of managing this crisis, but the problem falls into the hands of Peter Quill (Star-Lord) and, above all, of Richard Rider (Nova). Along the way, we will find other important pieces, such as Drax the Destroyer, Gamora or the Heralds of Galactus.
This story allows us to see the characters as we have never seen them before. We are facing a critical situation. A horde of strange creatures are moving through the galaxy, destroying everything in their path. There is no effective weapon against them, and any attempt to stop them is unsuccessful. We are facing an epic battle against Annihilus that marks a before and after in the galactic world. In the same way, the characters will not be the same again after this story, as there are deaths and character evolutions.
A story with large cosmic components which is perhaps the greatest barrier that adventure can have. Since it is a Marvel story, it is not the usual story. His narrative, changing a lot of settings, playing with the timing of events, the resources he uses … everything is related to the magnitude that the cosmos implies. Consequently, if we are not great lovers of everything related to the universe, this may not be our event in the comics. This does not detract from the merit or quality of the event.
The work you do Keith giffen in these pages it is masterful. It is a perfectly constructed story. In addition, these six numbers are more important, and consequently, the action is frantic. Within this, it is tried balance the weight between the different main characters in a successful way. In spite of everything, there are certain criticisms, since the resolution of according to what events, and especially the end, is too easy for me. Everything unstoppable and unattainable that Annihilus previously seemed, falls apart at its end, thus allowing the heroes to resolve the situation.
However, that has not bothered me so much – especially because you always have to place certain weaknesses or weaknesses in order to defeat the villain on duty – as the fact of the narrative arc of Annihilus. Despite being the great villain, his development is empty. In itself, the reasons that move it to be invasion could not be more basic and essential. We could justify this, but it pains me even more that he is a villain that does not shine. We don’t see him rise to the top of the Marvel villains. We do not see him as a great thinking mind, or manipulative, or Machiavellian … and if you hurry me, we only fear him for the immensity of his army, which seems to have no limits. So much so, that I think Thanos stands out a lot in this whole event. Perhaps not particularly in these numbers, but in the entire arc, including the previous numbers. Thanos’ cunning flourishes again, overshadowing an Annihilus who is driven by the most basic of stimuli.
Going now to the artistic section we have Andrea Di Vito in the drawings, with color by Laura Villari. A spectacular art that is at the height of a cosmic adventure like this. The drawings are full of life and emotion. Very detailed, and even more important, very sharp, to help not get lost in a story with so many elements like this (it would not be the first time that bad art has loaded the narrative of a good event). Perhaps I would criticize him for not having resorted to more large vignettes. There is a lot of action in these numbers, and there are times that somewhat small bullets are used for what you want to tell. However, nothing special serious.
I personally don’t rank it as my favorite Marvel event, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed it. In fact, it is an event to read several times to get to understand everything that is raised here, and to see that more than we grasp in a first reading. Without a doubt, it can be a way to enter the cosmic world of Marvel for those who have not yet done so.