Annihilus continues his destructive assault on our universe. And while heroes like Richard Rider try to stall, it is the arrival of some of the Marvel Universe’s greatest villains that herald a change in the tide of war.
Collecting the second half of this epic war for Marvel’s cosmic realm, Annihilation: The Complete Collection Vol. 2 contains the Annihilation miniseries itself, along with Annihilation: Ronan, Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus, and Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files.
The way the crossover event was conceived — with several mini series leading into the main event — means that theoretically, one could jump into this collection without having picked up Vol. 1. However, this volume is at its best with the knowledge from those other series.
The collection opens up with Annihilation: Ronan by writer Simon Furman and artist Jorge Lucas. This is probably the weakest part of the collection. It’s not bad, and it brings Ronan the Accuser, Gamora, and Nebula into the fray, but it just doesn’t match the quality elsewhere in the volume. Adding to the dissonance is Jorge Lucas’ artstyle. It’s not that the style is bad — the gritty details in his lines with the hulking figures make for some exciting action and work well for the story in question — but the style just doesn’t match the look of the rest of the collection.
Things really pick up once the book moves into the Annihilation mini. With the Ronan lead in, it’s easy enough to follow the story from his perspective, but if you haven’t read the first volume of this Complete Collection pair, you’re going to have questions: why is Drax escorting a girl, Cammi, around? Why is Silver Surfer back with Galactus? Where is Quasar? Okay, no one asked that last question, but you get the idea.
Andrea Di Vito’s line art paired with the color art of Laura Villari really gives the book its epic feel. Yes, writer Keith Giffen masterfully weaves together the plot and character arcs from the other minis into a spectacular climax, but the artwork here is what makes each twist and turn an “OMG!” moment.
The final pieces of the collection are the Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus mini and the supplemental Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files. The former is a denouement for the Silver Surfer’s arc in the story, providing closure to the Tenebrous/Aegis storyline from the Annihilation: Silver Surfer mini. The Nova Corps Files is an issue’s worth of background material on the characters appearing in the event. While not really adding to the immediate story, it does help readers feel better acquainted with these characters — a nice addition, considering how underdeveloped the Marvel Cosmos had been prior to this event.
Is It Good?
With great action that lives up to the hype, Annihilation: The Complete Collection Vol. 2 is a scintillating finale to the crossover event that revitalized Marvel’s cosmic side. While it theoretically could be read on its own, this collection is at its best with its companion. For fans of characters like Drax, Gamora, Star-Lord, Thanos, Silver Surfer, Nova, etc. this is a must read, but it also is a great jump-on point for those who are new to the cosmic side of Marvel or are just coming in from the movies.
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