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Comicbook: Annihilation
Counter-clockwise starting from the top: Galactus, Drax the Destroyer, the Silver Surfer, Ronan the Accuser, Annihilus, Nova, and Moondragon.

"Verbal log. Nova Corps Operative: 11249-44396 / Richard Rider... I...I was there...the last day of Nova Corps... I was there... I'm still here... God help me, I'm still here."
Richard Rider, Annihilation Day Plus 7

In 2006, Marvel Comics had their big Crisis Crossover Civil War. But this conflict was confined only to Earth and the Marvel Universe contained many, many characters that were space-based. So they had a simultaneous Crisis Crossover just for them: Annihilation. Being a Space Opera it received less attention than the politically relevant Civil War but benefited from having a more consistent narrative.

At the maximum security prison the Kyln, in the area of space known as "the Crunch," a massive armada called the Annihilation Wave destroys nearly everything. Nothing can stand in the Annihilation Wave's path, especially as it destroys one of the first obstacles: the Nova Corps, where Richard Rider, Earth's Nova, is the only survivor. Elsewhere, the Silver Surfer senses an infestation; Kl'rt the Super-Skrull hears rumors of a strange superweapon; Ronan the Accuser becomes the accused; and Thanos has a conversation with Death, who tells him "something wonderful" is going to happen. And as the Annihilation Wave bears down on the universe, at its head is Annihilus who shouts "Annihilus is the will and the way and he will not be denied!"

Annihilation was spread out over a number of mini-series:
  • Drax the Destroyer: Earth Fall 1-4 (actually a prelude)
  • Annihilation Prologue
  • Annihilation: Nova 1-4
  • Annihilation: Silver Surfer 1-4
  • Annihilation: Super-Skrull 1-4
  • Annihilation: Ronan 1-4
  • Annihilation 1-6

In addition, there was an Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus spin-off (tying up some loose ends) and a sequel: Annihilation: Conquest. The fallout of these events would form part of Marvel's subsequent Space Opera crossovers, the War of Kings in 2009, and The Thanos Imperative in 2010.

Tropes used include:

  • Alliterative Name: Richard Rider.
  • Amazon Brigade: Gamora and the Graces.
  • Anti-Villain: Super-Skrull, who maims, tortures, and kills in his way to stop the Harvester of Sorrow.
  • And This Is for...: "THIS IS FOR NOVA CORPS!"
  • Anyone Can Die: Quasar, though in a different series, he got better. Same goes for the Super-Skrull. And Thanos. The only ones who have stayed dead so far are the heralds of Galactus.
  • Badass: Drax. The. Destroyer.
    • Ronan
  • Badass Normal: Peter Quill, the former Star-Lord, is probably the only normal human fighter in resistance. He doesn't like to talk about what happened to his powers.
  • Bad Boss: Annihilus blows up a small chunk of his fleet just for not taking a planet quickly enough. Thanos of all people calls him on it.
  • BFG: Rocket Racoon loves his guns. During preparation for their suicide mission, he takes a shine to a minigun. Peter Quill is incredulous.
    Peter Quill: How's he going to carry it around? On a little cart?
  • Big Bad: Annihilus.
    • Ultron for the sequel, Annihilation:Conquest
  • Big Damn Heroes: In Conquest, Nova and his allies, especially Warlock of the Technarchy. Dramatic punches from offscreen stop Ultron from laying a beatdown on one of our heroes twice in three pages.
    Warlock: Ultron-Phalanx! You face the wrath of your parent race! And we are not pleased!
    • Another one comes earlier, when Peter Quill is saved from death by Rocket Racoon in his usual style.
    Rocket Racoon: (After having killed every Phalanx in the room) "And that is how we do things in the Racooniverse!"
  • Bittersweet Ending: They saved the universe, but billions are dead, the Nova Corps is destroyed, the Skrulls are on the verge of extinction...and after Annihilus's death, they still have to cede territories to Ravenous and the leftover Annihilation Wave just so the fighting will stop, and Surfer has been largely stripped of his morals by Galactus. Oh and Annihilus isn't quite dead. And let's not get started when The Phalanx decided to take advantage of this.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Super-Skrull's miniseries, given that he's a jerkass who isn't above using violence and torture to get what he wants, against the Annihilation Wave.
  • Blatant Lies: On several occasions after introducing himself, Drax is met with some variation of "You mean, the Destroyer?" & his response is simple "No."
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Technically the victims of the Phalanx during the Conquest arc. Some of the characters being Richard Rider, Gamora and Drax.
    • Curiously, some of them know they're brainwashed, and are angry about it, yet still praise being Phalanx.
  • Bug War
  • Call Back: When the Worldmind tries to talk Richard Rider into taking the entire Nova Force, Richard angrily brings up the case of Garthan Saal, who did just that and quickly went insane, back in Nova's old series.
  • Captain's Log: Richard Rider keeps a Nova Corps log.
  • Catch Phrase: The Worldmind has "It is critical you pay attention at this time."
  • Civvie Spandex: By the last mini-series, Richard Rider has gone from a normal costume to wearing a jacket over it.
  • C-List Fodder: The Nova Corps are wiped out in the first week of the war.
  • Continuity Lockout: Somewhat averted, since pretty much everything is explained in the series, but still, some things people won't understand until they've read back issues from the '70s, like who the heck Gamora is or what the history is between Thanos and Drax. (Which lead to Marvel releasing a trade called Annihilation: Classic).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Nova tries to take on Annihilus single-handed. He gets his ass handed to him.
    • Ronan versus Ravenous, who only a few months before (in-universe) survived fights with the Silver Surfer. Ronan takes a good chunk of Ravenous's face off.
  • Dating Catwoman: Nova and Gamora.
  • Doomsday Device: Annihilus wants to turn Galactus into a universe-destroying bomb.
  • Drop the Hammer: Ronan's hammer, which can also restructure molecules. He usually just uses it to hit people really, really hard.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Averted. The Annihilation Wave doesn't touch Earth, which is probably a good thing, since its heroes were pretty busy fighting Civil War.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Terrax does this in Heralds when the inhabitants annoy him by asking for help.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Tenebous of the Darkness Between and Aegis, Lady of All Sorrows.
  • Elite Mooks: The Centurions.
  • Enemy Mine: Blastaar, usually an antagonist to the Nova Corps and the Fantastic Four, supplies Nova, Peter Quill and Phyla-Vell with teleportation tubes that will allow them to get them close to Annihilus.
    • Also, Ronan and Super-Skrull are usually villains but help Nova and the others defeat the Annihilation Wave. In fact, Ronan and Super-Skrull being on the same side counts as well; Kree and Skrulls hate each other.
  • The End Of The Universe As We Know It
  • Eviler than Thou: According to the Dark Reign handbook, the Phalanx are this to the Annihilation Wave. Crosses into Informed Attribute, though, since the Phalanx want to take over the universe, not blow it all up.
  • Evil Is Petty: What's Ultron's ultimate goal? Return to Earth and rub how powerful he is in his father's face.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Kree don't like humans, because they think we're "monkeys". Apparently Peter Quill hit on his aide repeatedly while drunk, only for her to turn him down because of this.
    • As Rocket Racoon later points out, the Kree look down on everyone.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Why is Bug in prison? He got a Kree woman pregnant. The Kree take things like 'genetic purity' seriously.
    • Rocket Racoon was imprisoned for parking tickets. He claims the Kree didn't say he couldn't park there until they arrested him.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: None of Peter Quill's team get on at first, with one of them trying to kill another. By the time they finish their Suicide Mission, this has changed, and the survivors go on to help found the Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Five Second Foreshadowing: Mantis mentions that they've lost three team members, confusing Star-Lord, who points out they've only lost two so far, so why's she saying three?
    Mantis: "Because this is the part where Ultron teleports in and kills me."
    (Cue Ultron teleporting in and hitting her)
  • Flanderization: Groot's habit of saying "I am Groot" starts in Annihilation: Conquest. He is capable of saying other things, but come Guardians of the Galaxy, this falls by the wayside.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Nobody on Quill's team seems very upset when Deathcry bites it.
  • Freudian Slip: During a particularly heated argument, Nova calls the Worldmind "Dad".
  • From Bad to Worse: From day one. First the Nova Corps is wiped out. Then Quasar gets killed, allowing Annihilus to take his quantum bands, becoming even more powerful. Then the Wave ploughs through the Skrull Empire. The United Front manages to hold them off for a while, and then the Wave manages to capture Galactus, and turn him into a weapon. After that, the United Front just gives up, forcing Nova, Phyla-Vell and Quill to try and take on Annihilus alone.
    • And just when the heroes finally "killed" Annihilus and started bringing stability to the universe, Ultron and the Phalanx come a-knockin'.
  • The Gadfly: The Super-Skrull loves making pithy comments at Ronan's expense every few seconds.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In an attempt to break through the Phalanx's barrier, the Badoon use something called a Continuum Ram. The captain of the lead ship on hearing this remarks that he doesn't know which is worse; that the Badoon have such a weapon, that they don't care whether everyone else knows it exists, or that it didn't work.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Annihilus' forces are hunting down the heralds of Galactus. They irreparably damage the Air-Walker when they learn he's just a robot.
  • Got Volunteered: Peter Quill's squad. They were all in prison before hand, most of them for minor acts. Rocket Racoon, for example, was in there for parking tickets. But since none of them are Kree, they're the perfect choice to send on a Suicide Mission.
    • Rocket claims Groot volunteered to bring down the Babel Spire by being set on fire. Apparently his exact words were: "I AM GROOT!"
  • Grand Theft Me: Adam Warlock's body is stolen by Ultron.
  • Green Lantern Ring: Kl'rt the Super-Skrull has all the powers of the Fantastic Four, although he uses them a little more...dangerously. Like stretching his arm so thin that it becomes like razor-wire and then cutting enemies in half with it.
    • Quasar's Quantum-Bands
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Gamora, the Deadliest Woman in the Universe.
    • Mantis, as well.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Groot, in Conquest, in order to bring down the Babel Spire. He gets better.
  • Hive Mind: Pretty much all of the Annihilation Wave is controlled through Annihilus and his Queens. Which is good, since killing him or the Queens will pretty much leave the wave without direction.
  • Honor Before Reason: Deathcry keeps getting offended by Captain Universe accidentally making slights on her honor. Combined with a Hair-Trigger Temper, and she eventually tries to kill him. He vaporises her without meaning to in self-defense.
  • Hulk Speak: Drax starts out speaking like this. Then he dies and comes back to life smarter.
  • Kree Resources: The Phalanx do this to fuel their Babel Spire, killing thousands of Kree a day.
  • Implacable Man: Drax, Ronan. The Annihilation Wave barely slows either of them down.
  • It's All My Fault: Peter Quill in regards to the Phalanx invasion.
  • Killed Off for Real: Gabriel the Air-Walker, Red Shift, Deathcry, Captain Universe, Korath the Pursuer.
  • Knight Templar: Ronan the Accuser. Although he generally kills bad people, he really doesn't care about the consequences or what happens afterwards.
  • Last of Her Kind: Stardust, when the Annihilation Wave destroys her race. And then again when she hands the survivors over to Galactus.
  • Les Collaborateurs: House Fiyero. Ronan deals with them.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Cammi.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Okay, let's see: we have the main characters, Nova, Drax, Kl'rt, Silver Surfer, Ronan, and then we have side characters like Firelord (and the rest of the Heralds), Paibok the Power Skrull, Gamora, Moondragon, Thanos, Phyla-Vell, Quasar, Star-Lord, and many, many others. Suffice to say, if they're a space hero, they were probably seen, even if only in a cameo.
  • Mercy Kill: Ronan does this to the Supreme Intelligence, once he finds what House Fiyero have done to it.
  • The Mole: R'kin, who turns on Kl'rt just as he was about to destroy the Harvester of Sorrow.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: A boatload. There's Drax the Destroyer, Annihilus, Ravenous, Thanos, and, of course, the Harvester of Sorrow.
    • Not to mention: Galactus
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Drax suddenly develops the ability to home in on Thanos and then 1-shots the Nigh Invulnerable villain, to whom he was previously just an annoyance.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Drax finally manages to accomplish his goal in life, and kills Thanos... just as he was about to free Galactus.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: Wraith.
  • Not So Different: Ravenous claims he and the Silver Surfer are this, being servants to a higher power, when really Ravenous is just a murderous thug working for an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • Oh Crap: Everyone's reaction when they learn Annihilus has captured Galactus.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Annihilus, who wants to destroy both the regular universe and the Negative Zone just so he can be the last living thing standing. Even Thanos tries to stop him after that.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted in Annihilation: Conquest, where there's Adam Warlock, and Warlock of the New Mutants.
  • One-Winged Angel: Ultron tries this at the end of Conquest to stave off defeat by forming all of Ronan's Kree Sentries into a giant version of himself.
  • Planet Eater: Besides Galactus, there's the Harvester of Sorrow. After Super-Skrull blows that up, Annihilus and Thanos capture Galactus and make him into one (well... More of one).
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: A lot of the final battles in Annihilation end with one large battle cry. Special mentions go to Ronan's "GUILTY!", Galactus "HERALD MY RAGE!" and Nova's defiant "THIS IS FOR THE NOVA CORPS!" as he finally kills Annihilus, ending the war.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Super-Skrull, although he later gets better.
  • The Alliance: the United Front.
  • Sanity Slippage: Richard Rider is unwilling to take the entire Nova Force because this happened to the last person who did it. Ultimately, there isn't much choice. He does have a momentary burst of rage, but beyond that, nothing.
    • The fact that he's got the Worldmind and Drax nearby helps.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In the beginning of the universe, Galactus imprisoned Tenebrous of the Darkness Between and Aegis Lady of All Sorrows in the Kyln. The Annihilation Wave set them free.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Richard Richard was the last survivor of the Nova Corps. He spent some time not moving, until the Worldmind summoned him.
  • Shout-Out: Annihilus's throne-room looks familiar...
  • Someone Else's Problem: Oh, Annihilus is about to blow up the entire universe? Drax doesn't care.
  • Space Cold War: This is the status quo post-Annihilation.
  • Space Police: The Nova Corps. They don't last long.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Richard Rider takes several, going from perennial C-lister to one of the most powerful superheroes Marvel has.
  • Villain Override: Ultron manages to take over Praxgora, and makes her self-destruct in the process. Then he takes over several hundred Kree Sentries.
  • Villainous Rescue: Galactus plays a vital role in bringing down the Annihilation Wave.
  • War Arc: Self explanatory.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Praxgora is actually in love with Kl'rt the Super-Skrull, who is a colossal jerk to her.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What Happened To The Graces?
  • Would Hurt a Child: Kl'rt definitely did, but then, this kid kinda had it coming.
    • The Phalanx have no problem liquefying children for fuel.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: With no House Fiyero and no Supreme Intelligence, Ronan ends up in charge of the Kree Empire.
  • You Will Be Assimilated: The Phalanx do this to a number of characters during the Conquest story. Some of its victims include Richard Rider, Gamora and Drax.

The PulseMarvel Comics SeriesThe Avengers
Pride of BaghdadTurnOfTheMillennium/Comic BooksThe Boys

alternative title(s): Annihilation
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