Monday, October 17, 2011
Fanholes Side Story #16 Super Awesome Space Friends
The Annihilators were formed in the aftermath of the Thanos Imperative. A team comprised of Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Quasar and Ronan...five of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. This isn’t the first time Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill and Quasar have been on the same team. Remember the Star Masters? Yeah, I bet you didn’t.
So, as the team assembles they are met by an intruder, Ikon, who systematically begins to take out each member. Not only showing us that she is a force to be reckoned with, she is telling us the Annihilators will fail as a team because they are too powerful. They are forced to hold back their awesome power for fear of hurting others.
Before the discussion can conclude, Cosmo detects strange energy readings near the Dark Nebula. This is of concern because the Dire Wraiths are connected and if unleashed, would devastate the galaxy. The team arrives to face Doctor Dredd, who is so powerful he can actually cut the Silver Surfer. Doctor Dredd has manipulated energy or magic or some such explanation and unleashes the Dark Sun, which gives the Dire Wraiths their strength.
Issue two opens with the Annihilators battling the Dire Wraiths. Beta Ray Bill and Quasar manage to block the Dark Star energies. Silver Surfer suspects that Doctor Dredd did not act alone and confronts the queen of Ikon’s people. Consumed with the grief of loosing her husband she has been manipulated into restoring the Dire Wraiths, hoping that such an event would bring her husband back. The Wraith Queen shows up and begins her assault against the Annihilators.
The team battles the Wraith Queen, but is taken aback when she manages to pierce the Silver Surfer and link into his mind. Through this connection the Surfer learns that the battle is not over, even when the queen is knocked out. He proposes they journey to Wraith World to stop the Black Star from merging with the Galadorian sun. Once on Wraith World the Queen tries to inspire her people to rise against the Annihilators but they stone her. They blame her for the current state they are in; a once fearsome warrior race reduced to starvation. Suddenly, Tempus and the army of Immortus appear and attacks. Meanwhile, we see Doctor Dredd, among others, are reveled to be...
It turns out that Dredd is a Skrull who was imprisoned long ago for devoting his time and research to magic instead of science. During the Annihilation War his prison planet was destroyed and he was set free. He found the Dire Wraiths, offshoots of the Skrulls and learned from them.
Quasar tries to talk Immortus into calling off his attack...which he does. He states that Quasar is important to the future and must survive. After this a large structure arises and the Skrulls begin to magically empower the Dire Wraiths and attack. While the team battles the Wraiths again the Wraith Queen attacks the Skrull Dredd and both are lost. Its not over though, as they must deal with the two suns that were fusing. Without the magic they will go supernova. Quasar, Ronan and the Surfer combine their powers and fuse the suns into one, linking the Galadorians and Wraiths forever. The crisis is over and our series ends with this...
Coming off the engaging Thanos Imperative event, I had high hopes for the Annihilators. A team made up of some of the most powerful cosmic players seemed like a safe bet. Personally, I still miss the Guardians of the Galaxy series. Sure, it didn’t have the most powerful people on its roster but it was full of adventure and was a fun and humorous book. Annihilators is good...but I think the problem is its just not as good as Guardians was. There is some humor in this mini. There are a few reoccurring jokes, like all the members being listed as Alpha Plus threats and Ronan only being Alpha. Quasar has a few quips, but that’s it.
On one hand, I think the team suffers because only Quasar and Surfer have any development. But then again, having read Marvel Comics since I was a kid I already know each of these characters extremely well. In the end I wouldn’t say Annihilators is a bad comic, just not as good as some of the cosmic stuff that came before it. Perhaps the current Annihilators: Earthfall mini series will be better.