Since 2005, the Marvel Universe has been full of huge, epic storylines that shatter the foundations of the Marvel Universe. From Civil War to Secret Invasion to Siege and all that was in-between, the status quo was to change the status quo. Our heroes never had any solid ground to stand on… but at least they HAD solid ground. Out in the vast emptiness of Marvel’s, well, UNIVERSE, a bunch of ragtag heroes were staving off interdimensional invasion, cyber conquest and the end of the universe, on a regular basis! This is the cosmic side of Marvel, as presented from the minds of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

At around the time the much heralded Civil War was wowing people, another “event” mini-series was released simultaneously. Annihilation surrounded the story of a handful of cosmic level heroes: Nova, Quasar, Super-Skrull, Ronan, Drax and Silver Surfer. These various heroes all had one unifying enemy: the Negative Zone ruler Annihilus. The Negative Zone is like the “Anti-Universe” to the Marvel Universe. As the Marvel U expanded, the Negative Zone contracted. Annihilus took it upon himself to re-take these territories, by destroying everything within them. In a large battle that cost the lives of Quasar, the entire Nova Corps (except Richard Ryder), Thanos and Annihilus himself, the forces of the Marvel U. stood victorious.

In the subsequent years, Nova and a new ragtag group of heroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy, have faced the likes of an Ultron-led Phalanx, and found themselves caught in between a large cosmic war between the Kree (led by the Inhumans after the devastation of Ultron) and the Shi’ar (led by the third Summers brother Vulcan). They recently also had to deal with the threat of another universe, a universe where life wins. Life winning is not a good thing, as it seems that Cthulu-type Dark Gods take over and spread life like a cancer. After another epic struggle, the cosmic forces of the Marvel Universe are victorious, but at great cost to the heroes. Nova is gone, as are a majority of the Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s in the wake of this event that we now find ourselves.

In 2011, a new mini-series is set to be released, Annihilators; it’s about a new team of cosmic defenders. This team isn’t like the previous team of B-Listers and unknowns: Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Ronan, Cosmo (the best talking dog in comics) and Quasar. These guys are some of the biggest guns you could call in. They’re the  guys you want to stop an Annihilation Wave or a Cancerverse invasion. As a kid, I loved seeing how powerful certain characters were, and I also loved these characters going at it. This is the kind of series 7 year old me is jumping for joy over. If you like huge, epic space sagas, check out Abnett and Lanning’s cosmic saga: Annihilation, Annihilation: Conquest, War of Kings and Thanos Imperative, and then definitely check out March’s Annihilator’s Issue 1… it doesn’t get more cosmically awesome than this!

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