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More Trouble in Space

April 2, 2009

     After the success of Annihilation, the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe began building towards a sequel, Annihilation: Conquest.  Featuring some of the same characters, like Nova, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Phylla-Vell (now Quasar), and Star-Lord, this story revolves around the ascensionof the Phalanx, a techno-organic race, to power through the conquest of the remainder of the Kree Empire.  The Phalanx are now led by classic Avengers villain Ultron, who seeks to control all of space.  The four lead-in stories this time are a four-parter in Nova’s ongoing series, and three mini-series focusing on Star-Lord, Quasar, and a new character, the mysterious Wraith.  Then, the main story, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and drawn by Tom Raney, focuses on what happens next, specifically after the revival of Adam Warlock.

     This story, even more so than the previous one, digs into the rich history of Marvel space.  It brings back such diverse characters as Mantis, Groot, Captain Universe, the High Evolutionary, and Warlock of the Technarchy.  Of course, the greatest of those is Rocket Raccoon, who steals almost every scene that he’s in.  The story is slightly worse than that of Annihilation, but only slightly.  It still draws excellently on this new web of characterization and interaction that was created for Annihilation while telling another story.  Tom Raney’s art is good, but not as good as Andrea DiVito’s.  In particular, he struggles with drawing Raccoon.  As a result of Annihilation: Conquest, we got the new, ongoing Guardians of the Galaxy series and eventually the current War of Kings.  The cosmic side of Marvel hasn’t flourished this much in years, and it’s all thanks to quality storytelling that’s just oh so fun to read.

Plot: 9.2    Art: 9.0     Dialogue: 9.4     Overall: 9.3

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