Sunday, August 28, 2011

Marvel's "Annihilation Classic"


I need to warn you: this post is geekier than usual.
I received a birthday present from me to me.  No, the day hasn't past but I'm not going to tell you when it takes place.  It's not a celebration-worthy date in my eyes, just an excuse for me to be self-indulgent.   My choice this year?  One of them was Marvel's trade paperback, Annihilation Classic.

Annihilation was a crossover event for Marvel Comics in the last decade.  It centered around space-oriented characters that were relatively under-used.  I never read the saga but when I saw a "Classic" collection featuring many of these characters in stories from those halcyon days of the 1970s and 80s, I couldn't resist.  Plus, the appearance of Adam Warlock on the cover pretty much sold it for me.

The collection features a 1997 comic book for Bug.  Yes, that green guy from The Micronauts in his own book.  In fact, those said same unsung heroes of the 1970s make a guest appearance in the issue.  Not only that but hilarity ensues as Bug fights Annihilus and unwittingly causes every major event in the Marvel Universe (and one in DC) to occur.  
The original Tales to Astonish #13 is reprinted, the issue that features the arrival of that alien monster Groot from Planet X.  He's made out of wood but that won't stop him from trying to conquer Earth.  In the end he's stopped by a guy named Leslie, homologating geeks everywhere.
One of the first battles between Thanos and Drax the Destroyer is featured, showing us just how deep the roots of that hatred go.  I'll never forget that issue of Silver Surfer from 1990, "Where is Thanos?!!"  Even more surprising to me was the fact the story was really a back-up in an issue of Marvel's Logan's Run comic.  Wonder if they still have the rights to those film characters?
As I mentioned, we get to see the first appearance of Warlock, one of my favorites, even though at that time he was merely known as the artificial man, Him.  No matter.  I've seen the original issue and it was priced far beyond what I was willing to pay, so this suits me just fine.
Along those lines, the first issue of Nova is also included.  Not a big deal to me as I already own Essential Nova but it's nice to see it in color.  Another disappointment is the pages taken up by reprinting the entire Rocket Raccoon miniseries.  Sorry, just was never a fan.  Oh yeah, Quasar and Star-Lord show up, too.

Being that Sunday is Rest and Comic Books Day (along with beer and baseball/football, whichever's in season) at my house, I read through this trade today as well as a few other old issues I picked up.  One of those issues was Avengers #244.  In it, The Vision says that The Avengers had cooperated with authorities to keep the existence of alien life a secret.  That struck me as very difficult to do given the goings-on of much of the Marvel Universe up to that point.  In fact, I'd have to say that the alien cat is pretty much out of the cover-up bag by now in Marvel.  Seems to me that a story focusing on "regular people" adjusting to the reality of aliens would make for a interesting comic book miniseries.  And I...ahem...might know someone interested in writing it.  So...comic book powers that be, just shoot me an email.


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