As the Annihilators team is trapped in limbo facing off the likes of Immortus’ temporal army, and Rocket Raccoon is trapped within the most wicked case of déjà vu ever, does this issue end with a cosmic BANG, or a Galactic whimper?

Take the jump and find out.

Annihilators #4
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artists: Tan Eng Huat and Timothy Green II
Inks: Victor Olazaba
Colors: June Chung and Nathan Fairbairn
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Covers: Alex Garner and Skottie Young
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Story Pages: 42
Cover Price: $4.99 USD

Previously, in Annihilators: The Dire Wraith’s have returned, and so has their dark sun that has begun to merge with that of the Galdorian’s golden sun. The Annihilators must journey to limbo to keep the dual suns from destroying the Planet Galador, and the innocents that inhabit the planet. Meanwhile, Rocket Raccoon has discovered the source of all his misery, and it’s that of the psychotic psychic known as Star-Thief, and that Star-Thief has plans to escape and wreak havoc upon the universe.

DNA ALL THE WAY

In the Annihilators portion, the team has traveled to Limbo, where the dreaded Dire Wraiths had been banished, in the attempt to save the Galadorian sun from going super nova. As Immortus, with his temporal army wage all out war, the true threat slinks in the shadows.

In the Rocket Raccoon and Groot portion, the threat of the Star-Thief is never more prevalent, as Groot must save his little furry beady eyed friend from the clutches of Rocky’s peaceful past. In order to keep the universe free of the psychotic threat known as the Star-Thief.

This issue wraps up the four issues in a bow, how neat that bow is, well you will have to stick around to find out. The Annihilators story was one that was pretty much all fighty-fighty, all the time, something that I quiet enjoyed. Sometimes these cosmic adventures can be long and drawn out. But, while the Annihilators portion is plot driven rather than character driven, it’s still quite good.

Sometimes stories that are plot driven, or all action, have no soul, but I honestly don’t think this would be as entertaining if you didn’t have the wide variety of characters; Beta Ray Bill, Silver Surfer, Quasar, Ronan, so on and so forth. Though the sexual tension between the female Galadorian Spaceknight Ikon, and Quasar feels a bit forced, in the Seven of Nine/Harry Kim kind of way, I could gloss over that. It wasn’t really that organic. Maybe a few more issues would have allowed it to germinate as a full fledged plot point, and not a blip on the readers radar.

When it comes to the Rocket Raccoon portion of the comic, the way DNA touch upon Rocky’s past is quite enjoyable. If you know it. That being said, I do, and I did like it. But I can see in their writing that would make those interested in the character want to go out and hunt down those issues, or the collection in which they appear. I already have them, and reading this makes me want to dig them out, and give them a second go.

The supporting cast of Rocky’s tale is what makes this side of the comic much stronger than the first. All of the cast is strong, unique, but most importantly, entertaining. Uncle Wal-Rus, Black Jack O’Hare, as well as Lylla are really well rounded, for being characters that over the course of the whole story were only in half. But the dynamic between Rocket and Groot is what makes this whole comic book worth while. Their chemistry is the heart of it all, and the way DNA use Groot’s ability to splinter himself, had me in stitches.

FULL OF STARS, NOT BS

Still the artwork from Huat is still pretty killer when it comes to the Annihilators lead, but I still have grievances when it comes to his depiction of Silver Surfer, but all else really works out well. As in previous issues the power exuded by the Alpha Class galactic heroes is clearly visible on the page.

The Annihilators clearly come across as “epic”, and not in a disparaging, “hey look what they are trying to do” way. It’s honestly a strong, and very powerfully illustrated tale, that is worthy of the characters within. In some comics, when the action ramps up, the pages get muddied, and hard to comprehend what is going on. Thankfully that is not the case here. There are multiple pages(about half the Annihilators portion) devoted to the fighty-fighty, and nowhere did I find I had to scratch my head to figure out what the Sam Hill was going on.

When it comes to the Rocket Raccoon, and Groot section, this is where this comic really earns it’s cover price. The artwork here is, as always, a stunner. Delving back into Rocky’s past, particularly the first issue of this mini-series by Mantlo and Mignola, Timothy Green II shows that he can give a old issue new life.

The expressions on all the characters, never looked so good. Rarely have I found a quality of comic get better as time goes on. It usually deteriorates into a hot mess, that no one wants to touch. But due to the whimsical nature of Rocky’s reactions it’s nothing but a treat for the eyes, to see the range of emotions our furry hero is able to portray.

I didn’t notice before this issue, but Timothy is able to make Groot go from a gentle wooden giant, to a downright scary piece of fighting timber. At times depicting the living tree growing extra arms to wield more guns to blast the living daylights out of anyone, or anything that gets in his way. Those touches, as well as him depicting the many splinters of Groot(tiny versions of your large wooden protagonist), that reminded me of the Toy Johnny 5’s, from the movie “Short Circuit 2” is what really brought a smile to my face.

The colors, and the letters to this comic are as always good, and never distracting or off in the slightest, and the comics two covers are visually appealing as can be. But since my local comic book store offered a Variant cover at no extra charge featuring the anthropomorphic raccoon, and tree, I had to choose that one to get.

THE VERDICT: ALL’S WELL THE ENDS PRETTY AWESOME

With a two stories that gave me nothing but positive entertainment, and artwork that thrilled, this comic more than earned that $4.99 I spent for it. Being one of the few Marvel comics that I read, I am sad to see it go, but with a “Annihilators: Earthfall” series scheduled to appear this September, I am hopeful this is just the beginning.

For those that like the good ol’ fighty-fighty, this is for you. For those that like to see new life, respectfully, breathed into old comics, this is for you. For those who want to see what abundant emotion and life, within a comic, this is for you. In closing, Annihilators #4 receives 4 Stars, out of 5.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author

Larry King

Larry King

It is hard being a King, especially when your first name is Larry. Well, not really. In Larry’s Kingdom the re-imagining “Battlestar Galactica” is superior, “The Wire” is the greatest crime show ever, and “ROM, Spaceknight” is the hero of the realm.

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