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Annihilation: Conquest

Conquest Spotlight: Wraith

The ghostly gunslinger has a bone to pick

By Eric Drumm The cosmic war documented in the pages of ANNIHILATION left destruction cascading through the cosmos. Even with Annihilus defeated, the universe is still picking up the pieces. From the ashes rise new stories to tell, and WRAITH by Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Kyle Hotz is another tale of space adventure at its best. A Kree on a mission of vengeance, Wraith rides through the stars like a lone cowboy across the plains. Caring about nothing else but having his revenge, Wraith is as cold as the justice he delivers. A gunslinger with a mission and the tools to get the job done, Grillo-Marxuach is stoked to have added a character like this to the Marvel scope. "You know, it's a rare thing that you get to contribute a brand new character to the Marvel Universe," says Grillo-Marxuach who also works on a little television program called Lost. "Rarer still to get the opportunity to debut the character in a mini-series that he alone has to carry, so there's no pulling any punches. Everything in the book--the action, the superheroics, the drama--it's all amped and set to convince the reader that Wraith deserves to be a player in this arena and that he can hold his own against characters who have existed for decades and left their own mark. Of course I'm having a blast creating this new hero, but I am also being very careful to imbue him with the kind of depth and promise that keeps people interested, hopefully for a long time to come." Wraith may be new to the Marvel Universe, but his people have been around for quite a while. The Kree have wreaked havoc on Earth and elsewhere over the years, but were recent victims of the Annihilation war in ANNIHILATION. Scattered throughout the universe, Wraith's mission plays into their plight. As a Kree, Grillo-Marxuach says that his blue skin won't affect his mission. "Wraith may be a Kree, but he was brought up outside of the empire in circumstances which can only be described as tragic and macabre. He's not coming into the events of CONQUEST with a lot of love for queen and country," he explains. "Wraith is a man on a roarin' rampage of revenge, and he's not about to let something as trivial as a cosmic war that threatens an entire civilization get in the way of what he wants!" It would seem criminal to let a story such as this go without some breathtaking artwork, and WRAITH is in no short supply of it. Kyle Hotz draws a world of aliens, monsters, flying space motorcycles and laser guns. Put all those things together and you have a book busting at the binding with amazement. Grillo-Marxuach is just as amazed as we are going to be when WRAITH #1 hits the stands. "The word that springs to mind is 'definitive,'" Grillo-Marxuach says of Hotz's pencils. "We have taken to describe Wraith as Marvel's 'gothic gunslinger,' and Kyle has had his hands in both the horror and western genres, so he brings a tremendously sure touch to the work. What makes Kyle so perfect for this book is that our tale isn't about the sleek and shiny surfaces that most associate with cosmic books--it's dark, scary and sometimes downright gruesome. Kyle delivers all the action and all the fright inherent in this character with a clarity of vision that's going to blow people away." Bringing the Old West flavor into the cosmos will no doubt be a fresh feast for the eyes, and Hotz has the skills to make it happen. Whenever a cowboy blows into town, trouble usually follows. It seems that WRAITH will be no exception to that rule. With the ruins of ANNIHILATION behind us and the brewing epic of ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST on the horizon, Wraith is guaranteed to get into a few tiffs on the road to the biggest space event in Marvel history. Grillo-Marxuach puts it this way: "I don't have to foretell, I can tell you with complete certainty--wherever Wraith goes, there's gonna be action, there's gonna be intrigue, there's gonna be scares, and justice is definitely gonna be served." Ride along with the ghostly space cowboy in WRAITH #1 by Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Kyle Hotz on sale July 11.

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