No one could have predicted how huge and important Marvel’s mid-’00s content would turn out in the long run. On Earth, Captain America and Iron Man were duking it out in Civil War. On Sakaar, Bruce Banner’s alter-ego was being reinvented and turned into a big deal once again in Planet Hulk. Everywhere else, Annihilus was causing trouble in Annihilation and a whole bunch of space heroes had to team up to stop him.
Those three stories were going on concurrently, and out of those series we got not only important ripples in Marvel’s comic universe, but Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok, and the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Needless to say, these are easily three of the most important Marvel storylines in the last fifteen years.
So it’s cool to hear that Marvel is returning to Annihilation in some way. At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, the House of Ideas released a teaser hyping up Annihilus’ bigtime return. Check out this sweet Ariel Olivetti cover.
There’s some speculation that Donny Cates is attached to whatever this is, which makes sense, as he’s been writing cosmic comics Guardians of the Galaxy and Silver Surfer: Black lately. Considering his recent work with Thanos, Cosmic Ghost Rider, and Venom (itself involving an alien god), Cates is the perfect fit for another go around. This bit is just a rumor at the moment, though.
So what is Annihilation for those who haven’t read it? In 2006, Marvel created a big space crossover featuring various creative teams. It began with a big Annihilation starter issue that established what was going on, then four miniseries running at the same time that showed different characters fighting this big war from different fronts. The first go-around was Nova, Ronan, Super-Skrull, and Silver Surfer, which in turn led to a six-issue Annihilation miniseries that funneled all of them together into a battle to save the universe from Annihilus and his seemingly-unstoppable Annihilation Wave.
Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, and Gamora were also important characters, funny enough.
The event got a sequel called Annihilation: Conquest. This time, the threat was Ultron commanding the Phalanx and assimilating the universe, planet-by-planet. The setup comics were Nova, Quasar, Wraith, and Star-Lord, the last of which introduced a certain talking raccoon and tree who became best buds, as well as a wacky green lady with antennae. Again, this culminated in an Annihilation: Conquest miniseries.
After that, Star-Lord organized a team called the Guardians of the Galaxy, who got their own comic series. Like I said, important ripples. I mean, seriously. They are building a rollercoaster in Epcot because of that comic event. They replaced Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disneyland thanks to that crossover!
We’ll see what Annihilus has planned in November.