Monday, April 24, 2006

Annihilation: A Marvel Mega-Event I'm Digging On

I swear to God, I'm just as surprised as you. I thought House of M was el stinko. Civil War looks to be an overblown mess from the lead-ins I've read so far. I think the last Marvel Mega-Event that I've actually enjoyed was The Evolutionary War. And that was because I was young and dumb. It isn't, in fact, any good at all.

And yet, despite my best intentions... despite my amazingly high initial level of non-interest in every character involved in this story... I can't help thinking Annihilation is boss.

I've only read the Prologue issue and Nova #1, but I can already tell that the puppetmaster behind this particular multi-part story actually seems to have a direct, linear story that he wants to tell. Keith Giffen ,you have made me anticipate a Marvel Event, and for that I'm not quite sure whether to thank you.

I really believe that the Nova character is going to come out of this story revitalized and full of heat. I'm not sure if there's already talk of a regular series in the near future, but it certainly wouldn't come as a surprise. Yes, Nova is basically Peter Parker in the Green Lantern Corps... but damnit, that's not a bad concept to hang a character on.

I think the greatest asset this story has is that it is, as far as I know, staying the hell out of regular series and confining itself to the related miniseries (Nova, Silver Surfer, Super Skrull and Ronan). This gives the story clear structure, and makes coordination between books an infinitely simpler prospect.

Marvel has also put great writers and artists on the books. It seems simple, but a lot of times the creative teams on big event books aren't up to the task. Hot writers with hotshot attitudes maybe find it a bit difficult to work under the confines of somebody else's game plan. And the best artists for some books aren't necessarily the "Artists of the Minute". Sometimes a book requires a very specific type of art style, one that might not even be en vogue at the moment. The art on Prologue and especially Nova was close to perfect. Kev Walker has a very Giffen-esque quality to his work, which is an artstyle I've always liked.

I'm not a "cosmic" guy. I'm certainly not a Marvel guy. But this story has got my attention, and that says a lot for the strength of its execution. If the other minis' first issues can hold up to the high quality set by Annihilation: Nova #1, I'm in for the long haul. And it looks like it might be a pretty nice ride.

And hey, maybe if this little event book sells decent numbers, we can hope for Marvel to take notice, and stop cramming "concept books" that fall apart in the execution down our throats.

Marvel can be proud of Annihilation. That can't be said for a lot of the marquee books that come out of the House of Ideas. And I think Marvel should be encouraging the development of more projects like Annihilation. Not that anyone's asking me. But they should. Oh yes, they should.

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