By Ben Morse
In March 2011, the brightest stars of the Marvel cosmos shine together as writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning bring artist Tan Eng Huat into their interstellar orbit for the out-of-this-world four issue limited series ANNIHILATORS.
Following the harrowing events of The Thanos Imperative, the Silver Surfer, Beta-Ray Bill, Quasar, Gladiator and Ronan the Accuser band together to fill the void left by the loss of Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy. For the duo collectively called DnA, this project represents a chance to check yet another box in building their impressive legacy as pioneers of Marvel’s final frontier.
“It’s another long term cosmic dream that we’ve tried to develop and move towards, and it’s finally happening,” says an excited Abnett of ANNIHILATORS. “It’s a new cosmic team and it’s all heavy hitters. It’s the ‘Cosmic Avengers’—as the fans called them—seen in Thanos Imperative. They’re probably the single most powerful Marvel team ever.”
“We picked the top flight, first class heroes,” adds Lanning. “The wish list; the A-grade, to contrast with the mavericks and misfits of [GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY]. This is the anti-Guardians, though their primary role is the same, and they’re essentially the Guardians’ legacy.”
However, that’s not all when it comes to ANNIHILATORS, as each issue will also contain a second story, also written by DnA, with art by Timothy Green III and starring the offbeat ex-Guardians pairing of Rocket Raccoon and Groot.
“It’s a double header—another Marvel first,” exclaims Lanning. “A full-length Annihilators story and a full-length Rocket and Groot story in big double-sized issues! From the biggest scale cosmic to the wackiest, and the Rocket and Groot stuff is really funny. Tim’s artwork has us rolling on the floor every time it comes in.”
“Considering himself a failures after what happened to the Guardians, Rocket is aimlessly kicking around and gets drawn into a madcap and very swashbuckling adventure that ties into his past and Groot’s too,” elaborates Abnett. “Revelations! Surprises! Woodpeckers! It’s all here!”
Back to the Annihilators, such an awe-inspiring assemblage demands equally ominous threats, and this new team will face just that off the bat with the terrifying return of the Dire Wraiths.
“Awesome bad guys,” promises Abnett. “We are slightly redefining them, in as much as we have to in order to bring them back. Their new definition is all part of their new MO. They are not playing.”
If you’re a fan of, say Silver Surfer who hasn’t checked in on the Marvel cosmic scene over the last several years, have no fear about ANNIHILATORS being impenetrable without a star chart, as it—along with THE THANOS IMPERATIVE: DEVASTATION #1, due out January 26—will serve as an ideal jumping on point for new readers.
“All you need to know is that after all the cosmic events and wars and so on these past few years, the biggest cosmic heroes of all realize it’s time they got together and stood ready to be the front line responders in the event of a Thanos Imperative ever happening again,” says Lanning. “We’re humble and very lucky that the fans made this series happen. Thank you!”