Writer: Evan Narcisse
Artist: Germán Peralta
Color Artist: Jesus Aburtov
Cover Artists: Philip Tan & Brad Anderson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The galaxy is on fire as Dormammu, inter-dimensional master of the Dark Dimension, invades the universe. Armed with the possessed body of Ego The Living Planet and unleashing countless legions of his Mindless Ones, Dormammu strikes across the galaxy targeting the worlds of spacefaring empires. The Last Annihilation: Wakanda #1 shows how the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda helps push back the wrath of Dormammu.
The Last Annihilation has been a mixed bag for me with all the untapped potential of a cosmic invasion by Dormammu, but this issue does better than other tie-ins. The plot is pretty straightforward as Black Panther deploys a small team led by the new M’Baku to help the Shi’ar defend their planet Aerie from Dormammu’s Mindless Ones. M’Baku himself is a cool character as a grizzled warrior and former rebel struggling with his legacy and trying to find his place in Wakanda and the Universe.
The biggest challenge for this comic is all the catching up readers will have to do if they’re not even aware of the existence of the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, its history, or this new heroic M’Baku. Evan Narcisse does what he can to ease the load for readers with some solid recap and introduces relevant info as needed. But there is always going to be something that readers will not be aware of in this comic. Whether it’s characters, their powers, history, etc. For example, Shuri can turn her body into stone. I didn’t know she could do that, and there are plenty of other moments like that in the comic.
Despite that, this comic does a fine job actually telling a fun, action-packed story where Black Panther works with S.W.O.R.D. to help the Shi’ar defend Aerie. The new M’Baku is well-written as he’s trying to not let the negative history of his namesake or the Empire define him and his people as he fights with the Shi’ar, who have bad history with the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda. The illustrations by Germán Peralta and the colors by Jesus Aburtov do a fantastic job creating great action and epic shots in the comic. Whether it’s seeing M’Baku and the rest of the team in action, or the Mindless Ones attacking Aerie.
The comic also explores the theme of legacy through M’Baku about the Intergalactic Empire, Wakanda, and himself, but it’s not as deep as it makes it out to be. It’s surface level at best, nothing extraordinary and lacks the full impact it would normally have. However, it fulfills its role in the event and M’Baku’s story feels resolved by the end.
I do have a couple nitpicks about this comic. First, Commander Brand calls T’Challa for help because he’s an Avenger and ruler of the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda and that there’s no one better. But that’s not true, there’s Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme who’s life’s work has been banishing Dormammu from their reality for years. No one, not even T’Challa brings this up as an option. To me, that’s a huge oversight from the writers and editors. It might partially tie into Brand’s dirty manipulations back in S.W.O.R.D. #7 when she secretly blocked any calls to the Avengers from outer space so that S.W.O.R.D. can save Emperor Hulkling. But I don’t know if that’s the case here.
The second nitpick involves the Mindless Ones. The comic introduces the idea of the Mindless Ones turning Aerie’s moon into a massive Mindless One, and how they do it looks really cool. However, the process of how they do it is never explained and the comic just has Manifold say, “They’re turning the Moon Mindless.” and leaves it at that.
I’m of two minds about this because on the one hand, it’s looks pretty cool. But on the other hand, it makes no sense in the crossover. Mind you, it doesn’t need to make logical sense, it just needs a straightforward explanation. Like the Mindless Ones are using Dormammu’s spell for creating a Mindless One on Aerie’s moon. That’s it, and they move on with the story. The end result is still cool, but it could’ve used a simple, straightforward explanation for how they do it.
The Last Annihilation: Wakanda #1 is one of the more fun tie-ins in this crossover event. However, there is a lot of catching up to do for readers who don’t even know about the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda’s existence. There’s some solid recap for readers new to it, but they’ll probably feel like they’re still missing something. Evan Narcisse delivers a solid story with the new M’Baku for the event. The art team of Germán Peralta and Jesus Aburtov also do a great job illustrating the action and characters for the comic.