Secret Invasion Background Review – “Annihilation”

Here’s another event review, covering all 30 issues involved.

General Information

Title: Annihilation event

Authors: Keith Giffen, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Simon Furman, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Christos M. Gage

Pencils: Mitch Breitweiser, Ariel Olivetti, Scott Kolins, Kev Walker, Jorge Lucas, Renato Arlem, Gregory Titus, Andrea Divito, Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inks: Mitch Breitweiser, Ariel Olivetti, Scott Kolins, Rick Magyar, Jorge Lucas, Renato Arlem, Gregory Titus, Andrea Divito, Stefano Landini
Colors: Brian Reber, June Chung, Dave McCaig, Chris Sotomayor, Laura Villari
Original Publication Date: Cover dates range from November 2005 to May 2007

Collected editions:

Volume Link
Volume 1, including Drax The Destroyer, Annihilation Prologue, Annihilation: Nova and selections from Annihilation: Nova Corps Files. Hardcover or Paperback
Volume 2, including Annihilation: Silver Surfer, Annihilation: Super Skrull, Annihilation: Ronan and more selections from Annihilation: Nova Corps Files. Hardcover or Paperback
Volume 3, including the main Annihilation event, Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus and the complete Annihilation: Nova Corps Files. Hardcover or Paperback

Detailed coverage of all applicable issues of all Secret Invasion related titles can be found at this address.


Annihilus has discovered that our Universe is expanding into his. He really doesn’t like to share, and decides that invasion is an appropriate response. Virtually every cosmic character in the Marvel cosmic pantheon is involved in the defense. The Skrulls are all but annihilated, the Nova Corps is reduced to Richard Rider and the Kree lost many of their territories.

High Point

The character work with Nova, particularly in his own miniseries and the way he interacted with Drax.

Low Point

The Ronan miniseries. In fact, Ronan didn’t seem to play a significant role at all, apart from representing the Kree.

The Scores

This feels original. By moving the battlefield away from Earth, they managed to actually create a lot of tension. We know that the homeworld would be fairly sheltered, as Marvel has a lot of titles on the move. Any other planet, though, is fair game. This is war, and there are a whole lot of deaths. It actually carries the gravity the situation should carry. Add to that the actual outcomes of the battles and the final resolution, and you’ve got something much different than we usually see from Marvel. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is erratic. With a list of creators like we see above, it’s hard to stay consistent. We’ve got some great stuff from Divito and Breitweiser, decent stuff from most, and outright bad stuff from others. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story can be as uneven as the art. It’s fantastic in volume one, pretty good in volume three, and generally weak in volume 2. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is great. (In fact, I suspect Ronan was here because the writers just like him. He fights well and acts cool, but doesn’t actually accomplish much.) Nova and Drax have some excellent material, particularly when they play off of each other. Thanos is as Thanos does, and Galactus is Galactus. Even when the individual miniseries had plots that were weak, the characters shone through. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is excellent. The slow plots in the second volume are propelled by the characters, and the first and last volumes are just plain great. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow works surprisingly well, given that we have four different and parallel miniseries. Again, this is weakest in volume 2, as that’s the least linear of the bunch. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is an uneven event conveniently divided into the
good and bad pieces for you. I recommend the first and third volumes to anyone who is even slightly tempted to read them. Volume two is only recommended for those not already familiar with the characters of the Silver Surfer, Galactus, Firelord, Stardust, Thanos, Ronan, Kl’rt the Super Skrull, Praxagora and Gamora. If you know who they are, you can pretty much skip the entire volume when armed with the following spoiler: Silver Surfer becomes herald of Galactus once more, saving his remorse, so that he will have the power to help stop this threat. Any other important information from volume two is well recapped in the pages of the main event itself. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Annihilation receives 33 out of 42. It probably would have been closer to 37 or 38 had the second volume been of the same quality as the other two.

Additional Notes and Comments

As far as Secret Invasion is concerned, this establishes that the Skrull Empire has been very effectively crushed. In fact, Paibok and Kl’rt are the only confirmed survivors with names at the end of the series. (This isn’t much of a spoiler, as it happens very early on.)