By Ryan Penagos
Annihilus and his forces have been beaten back and the universe has been saved. But another cosmic conflict is brewing. And this time, Nova and company may be in over their heads.
The universe-shattering event kicks off in June with the Annihilation Conquest Prologue written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (NOVA) and Brian Denham (IRON MAN: HYPERVELOCITY). From there, it spins out into three four-issue mini-series and four issues of the ongoing NOVA book, then into the full-on ANNIHILATION CONQUEST six-issue mini. Event editor Bill Rosemann breaks it down.
"Basically, the original Annihilation event was met with a little surprise," says Rosemann. "People responded very strongly to it. And the approach that editor Andy Schmidt took on the sci-fi characters and what the creators did was really refreshing. Instead of really cosmic-y guys flying around in capes, it was very gritty. It was more of a war book. It happened to be in space, but when you really get down to it, it's a war book, and a story about one hero--Nova. It was responded to very well in the way they revamped a lot of the characters, Drax and Nova, it made them look really cool, really updated them in a great way. We have decided to continue that, give the readers more of what they want. They want to see more characters like Nova and his allies.
"So we are doing, I wouldn't call it a sequel, but its really a continuation of these character's stories. We're using the same format, which seemed to work very well. We're starting with a prologue called ANNIHILATION CONQUEST that hits in June. That is written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning who did the NOVA mini-series that was very well received. It's being penciled and inked by Brian Denham, who's doing IRON MAN: HYPERVELOCITY. He draws great tech, also really good humans, very realistic people. Very detailed. So we're going for this sort of gritty, realistic look at our sci-fi characters and worlds. I would feel that even though its set in space doesn't mean that it shouldn't look and feel real. It's being color by GURU effects. They're also coloring IRON MAN: HYPERVELOCITY. [They do] great effects and they work real well with Brian. The cover is by a guy named Aleksi Briclot, who is a gaming artist. He does a lot of gaming design and paintings for games like 'Splinter Cell' and 'World of Warcraft.'"
For Conquest's covers, Rosemann reached out to many artists, some of whom haven't worked in comcis before. "What I did was, I loved how in the first series, Gabrielle Del'Otto did this great look to all the covers, it was very dark and cool looking and we wanted to kind of continue that feel so I reached out to different gaming artists. Many of them I had never heard of, some of them have never done any work for Marvel. Some of them have never even done any comic book work. But when I look at video games and gaming magazines, I love the realness, the grittiness and rawness they bring to the things set in science fiction and we want to bring that to the Marvel Universe and Aleksi really brings that when you see his first piece."
For the complete list of creators involved, and a look at all the issues, check out our Annihilation: Conquest checklist
The event is still a few months away from kicking off, but Rosemann provided a few details. "I'm not going to reveal what happens, but you will see characters such as new Quasar Phyla, Moondragon, Nova, Peter Quill and very familiar alien faces [such as the] Kree. I don't want to mention more. It begins with a bang just like the first Prologue did and really sets the tone for what the story is going to be about. After it hits I can really talk in more detail about what the tone of it is what the mission of the heroes is. The book continues and does some different things than first one, we didn't want to repeat what was done in the first one. But we really want to get that flavor and really do something different."
We'll have plenty of continued Annihilation: Conquest coverage on Marvel.com in the coming months, but for now, Rosemann leaves us with one final hint. "There will be one character revealed who people who may have never read a Marvel sci-fi comic, a cosmic comic, they may want to check this out because of this character. So that may be a bridge for people who want to see these characters who are off in space."
For more on Conquest and everything else going on in the Marvel U., check out our New York Comic Con coverage