Writer: Keith Giffen
Art: Andrea Divito, Laura Villari, Gabriele Dell’Otto, Bryan Hitch
Release Date: September 13th, 2006
As the last issue ended, readers saw Annihilus team up with Thanos and ultimately bring down one of the strongest entities in the universe, Galactus, as well as the Silver Surfer. How will Nova, Ronan, Quill, and the entire Kree military forces halt the Annihilation Wave from stretching across the universe… especially if it’s capable of apprehending the Devourer of Worlds? Let’s jump into this week’s ANNIHILATION #2 by Keith Giffen and detect if our warriors have any hope of survival.
Keith Giffen resumes his military feel behind this series and intensifies it tenfold. If readers thought Nova and his battalions had no hope for survival after issue one, fans will leave this issue feeling as though the war is over before the series really began. Additionally, Giffen unbuttons the issue providing some background information on characters through a scene that rivaled any aged war movie readers have ever watched on television. Giffen establishes a dark atmosphere, a late-night fireside meal, and the calm before the storm that’s confounded with any war. This critic could simply sense something brewing throughout the first half of the issue due to the quiet nature of the opening side story as the issue unwrapped.
One of the highlights of the comic to this reviewer was the time taken at the beginning of the issue to iron out the connection and relationship with some of the characters. As a comic reader who isn’t overly familiar with the intergalactic landscape of the Marvel Universe, it was refreshing to find out more information on Drax, Phyla, Captain Mar-Vell, Moondragon, and Thanos. This critic could see how readers entrenched with the knowledge of these characters may find the dialogue meaningless and silly. However, without the slow-moving conversations incorporating a straightforward explanation, this reviewer would have been lost and viewed the opening pages as pointless and confusing. So, thank you for that Mr. Giffen!
Next, Giffen flushed out some character details that this critic thought were a bit humorous after issue one. Ronan the Destroyer seemed submissively subordinate last issue. For a character who’s almost always steered on the side of evil, this reviewer was curious as to why he sided with Nova and the Kree after being a wanted criminal. Furthermore, this fan wondered why he didn’t just rise up and take control over the entirety of their military forces usurping Nova and Quill. Well, Giffen shows Ronan’s true colors much more effectively throughout this issue and expands not only Ronan’s character further, but smooths out Thanos’ relationship with Annihilus a bit more. Readers will see it’s only a matter of time before Thanos finds a way to topple Annihilus and take control of his forces.
Moreover, while Giffen’s story was spent leveling out more of the backstory between pivotal characters, Andrea Divito and Laura Villari elevate their artistic game throughout the narrative. The opportunity for this art team to portray their talents rose to the surface and they took full advantage of it. The splash pages when new characters were introduced were flawlessly timed and wonderfully placed. Divito’s knack for detail with each character was truly stunning while each fight scene was portrayed with such elaborate features that this reviewer had to read over many of the art teams splash pages three or four times to catch all the little nuances within each fight. Villari’s colors were bright, vivid, and helped make the issue extremely clear while the line and ink work was dark, thick, and heavy, which helped delineate characters more within the intense battle sequence throughout the issue. This critic had such a great time with this issue and the art team was a tremendous reason for that entertainment.
Overall, this issue was less wordy than the opening narrative and felt more action-packed as well as dynamic than the inaugural tale. Giffen explored and developed more key players and dangled a view more plot threads and twists that will definitely come home to roost as the series continues to unfold. This reviewer’s only quibble about this entire issue is actually how much our heroes appear to be backed up against a wall. How the heck is Nova and his galactic army going to win this war? How are they going to overcome the end of THIS issue? Honestly, it already feels like they lost unless some huge mega-powered being arrives on the scene at the beginning of the next issue to bail them out. Moreover, this critic hates fluffy, quick, and magical ways for heroes escaping their demise at the last second. This fan wants comics that naturally make sense. So, this fan will be disgusted if issue three has our heroes miraculously escape the jaws of defeat with a plot thread that never existed before. But, we shall have to wait and see.
If you’re looking for a well explained, fast-paced, action-packed event with fantastic art, you’ve come to the right place. This beautifully illustrated issue will leap off the shelf and capture your attention immediately while Giffen’s storytelling will submerge readers deeper into this universal war story leaving them excited and eager for the next installment. So far, readers will find themselves attracted to a high-quality comic event that feels important to the Marvel landscape. What more could comic readers ask for? Pick this issue up at your LCS or buy the trade if you’re reading this review after the fact. Either way, don’t miss out on this stunningly amazing event!