This is one of the few series that I bought when it first came out as individual issues. As you know I was very engrained in these characters and I really wanted to see them all in action again. I was super excited to see this title when it came out, and as usual I had no idea what I was about other than it had some of my favorite characters in it. That was enough to keep me going back to my comic shop every few weeks to pick up the new issue, which is exhausting by the way. Keeping up with a current ongoing series is a lot of hard work!
My last three or so reviews have all involved stories written by Dan Abnett. The funny thing about this is that when I first heard about him I had no idea who he was. Now that I have done a little research I think he is the comic writer that I have read the most from. Kind of ironic, I suppose.
The story picks up right after the end of The Thanos Imperative. As I mentioned in that review there are a few different endings in that book that lead right into this one. Cosmo persuades some of the most powerful warriors in the universe to join a team to fight off any threats. Sliver Surfer, Quasar, Gladiator, Ronan, and Beta Ray Bill round out the group with Cosmo as their leader. At the end of TTI a Spaceknight known as Ikon appears seemingly out of nowhere and ask for the groups help. Ikon needs their help to defend her home planet from the dreaded Dr. Dredd. The group springs into action to help save a planet in need.
I was pretty excited for this one as I have already mentioned. The cover art was pretty awesome too, which helped stoke my excitement and enthusiasm, but I will get to that in a moment. This story was ok, honestly I was a little let down after coming off such an awesome story line that needed with TTI.
I was also a little disappointed with the bad guy in this one, Dr. Dredd. I had never heard of him before and as far as I can tell he is just some barely known character from way back when. When I was reading this I was like O snap who is Dr. Dredd, he sounds like a real badass. Upon further research he is pretty much a nobody yet he was able to cause some serious damage to the Annihilators including Silver Surfer. That as you can tell did not sit well with me.
I felt that this assembly of cosmic superheroes needed an equally super bad guy, but I was sorely disappointed. I also felt that this story was just kind of thrown together with not much thought. Perhaps Abnett just wanted to try and ride the recent success of these characters to sell a few more comics. It worked on me, and I am sure countless others out there.
With that being said there is also the issue of the Dire Wraiths. So Dredd is not the only bad guy that needs to be dealt with. Still though in the end I felt there could have been a cooler plot and something bigger that the Annihilators should be called up for. It almost seemed like they called in a nuclear strike to take out the lone gunman on the grassy knoll.
Despite a lackluster story, I did find the artwork to be great. Following the path that had been laid down I the previous story arc leading up to this. It is a traditional style with all the detail that I like. There were some scenes that lacked a little background detail but nothing to complain too much about. The scene selections and page layouts are above average. There are some really cool layouts throughout the four issue story. Also I felt the colors were very well done. When you turn the page there is an overwhelming visual stimulation that is a direct result of the colors. The bright energy blasts and the fight scenes only add to the overall artwork to give it that extra boost. When you add in all the factors the artwork is very nicely done.
I also wanted to say that each issue is a little bigger than a normal comic issue, because there is a short story involving Rocket Raccoon and Groot at the end of the main story. I found these stories a little silly and I am not even sure if I read all of them. I love Rocket and he is one of my favorite characters of the GOTG, but these stories are so weird and really seem to make almost no sense whatsoever. A while back I also read the Annihilators: Classic, which included all the origin stories of all the most of the cosmic characters including Rocket. I was blown away by the story Marvel put together for this character. It is truly mind boggling and I encourage you to check it out if you can find it. I will say again that I love this character but how they went from that beginning to what they have now, just blows my mind.
All in all I am not sure I would recommend this one. All the characters involved are awesome but I felt the story was lacking especially when comparing this to the other crossover events these characters are involved in. The artwork is solid and you will not be disappointed with any aspect of that in the book. I will says that the artwork with the Rocket and Groot story is highly stylized and quite cartoony which also gives a very childish feel to it. Anyways, as always if you like these characters then by all means check it out. It is certainly not a bad read but I felt could have been better. There is also a sequel for called Annihilators: Earthfall that I will be reviewing soon.