The sequel to the original Annihilators mini-series dives head first into an intergalactic war featuring the cosmic super team dubbed the Annihilators. Unfortunately, head first is about as deep as we get into the story in this first issue by the writing team of Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning and artist Tan Eng Huat. Picking up where the last mini-series left off, the space-faring powerhouses Beta Ray Bill, Quasar, Gladiator, Ronan, Ikon, and Cosmo are busy making the universe safe for the rest of us.
Abnett & Lanning do a decent job of spreading the focus around to each of the characters but the story feels a little thin as a result. Each character gets a moment to shine but with only 20 pages in the book, the plot doesn’t really get into motion until over halfway through the book. The cover would have you believe that there will be an epic battle between the Annihilators and the Avengers but we never get to see it. The Avengers show up on the last page and while it is an effective cliffhanger, you’re still left wishing there was more story.
Huat’s artwork works best when he’s drawing aliens or space ships as his line work tends to have lots of curves and odd shapes. He’s able to invoke a real sense of power into his characters that gives them a big presence in each panel. The one part of the book that could have used a bit more time spent on it is the final splash page when the Avengers confront the Annihilators for the first time. The Avengers seem somewhat lifeless and I think a change of angle or perspective could have benefitted the scene. Other than that, I think Huat tackles the gravitas adequately and the coloring from Wil Quintana gives Huat’s artwork the pop it needs to stand out.
Annihilators: Earthfall also features a 5 page back-up featuring Rocket Raccoon and Groot. It’s a fun little story with Timothy Green III providing very detailed artwork. The introduction of a fan favorite character at the end of the story should prove enticing for fans of old X-Men comics.
I was left feeling like there should have been more in the first issue and that the addition of the Rocket Raccoon and Groot story took pages away from the main attraction. I’ll be sticking around for issue 2 because I love the characters and Abnett & Lanning are usually able to overcome a slow start. As a first issue, it could have used more depth but the artwork makes up for any weakness in the narrative.
WRITING: 3 / ART: 4 / OVERALL: 3.5