By: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Tan Eng Huat (pencils), Victor Olazaba (inks), June Chung (colors), Joe Caramagna (letters), John Denning (assistant editor) & Bill Rosemann (editor)
Rocket-Raccoon story by: Abnett & Lanning (writers), Timothy Green, II (art), Nathan Fairbairn (colors), Clayton Cowles (letters) & Denning & Rosemann (editors)
The Story: We finally see the Dire Wraiths again as the Annihilators journey into Limbo itself. Meanwhile, Rocket Raccoon is dealing with an odd conspiracy having to do with other intelligent animals and killer clowns.
What’s Good: The art is fairly good throughout. The star is Green’s art in the Rocket Raccoon story which is very cartoony and where he is drawing all kinds of crazy stuff like killer clowns, a space walrus, a cyborg rabbit, a weasel who is Rocket’s old flame and even a raccoon skeleton (when Rocket goes through an X-Ray). Green’s layouts are bold and imaginative and the coloring by Nathan Fairbairn pops off the page. Definitely keep an eye out for Green in the future.
In the “main” Annihilators story, the art team of Tan Eng Huat and Victor Olazaba does a pretty nice job too. It is a fairly hectic issue with the Annihilators battling the Wraith Queen before journeying into Limbo itself and they manage to keep the story very coherent. This would have been a pretty easy issue for the artists to lose their handle on the story, but that never happened.
What’s Not So Good: I love me some 70′s and 80′s comics, so I don’t mind exposition, but this issue is very exposition heavy and it doesn’t help that it is double sized (20 pages for Annihilators & 22 pages for Rocket Raccoon). Some people like to talk about how you “got your money’s worth” for the $4.99 price tag, but I’ve never considered the time required to read a comic to equal “value”; I’m more interested in whether I enjoyed the story and found it memorable. Probably either one of these stories could have been exposition heavy, and it would have worked IF the other story was quick and jaunty. But, with both are really drawn out and ponderous, it gets to be a little painful to read. I tend to blame editorial for this, as I’m fairly sure the original plan was for these to both be separate miniseries before Marvel bolted them together into a single $4.99 miniseries. It probably would have helped story pacing to lengthen/shorten one of these stories in previous issues such that ALL the exposition wasn’t in issue #3.
As for the stories themselves, there is an interesting twist at the end of the Annihilators story that suggests the return of another space-faring, shape-shifting race of aliens, but that isn’t what I wanted from this series. I wanted Dire Wraiths, and while we get them [SPOILER] we learn that the Dire Wraiths trapped in Limbo aren’t foaming at the mouth to kill everything or scheming to control the galaxy, they’ve been reduced to sniveling creatures who ask the Annihilators to put them out of their misery. I know that Marvel can take these stories any direction they choose, but this old time ROM Spaceknight fan was very disappointed. I want badass Dire Wraiths!
In the Rocket Raccoon story, there was honestly so much exposition that I kept falling asleep while reading [Note: I successfully read several comics just fine after finishing Annihilators]. The basic upshot is that there is a conspiracy to make me sleepy and that Rocket Raccoon may be an escaped mental patient. At least that’s what I think it said.
Conclusion: Good art can’t save a really talky issue where the story varies from disappointing to boring.
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Filed under: Marvel Comics Tagged: | Andy Lanning, Annihilators, Annihilators #3, Annihilators #3 review, Bill Rosemann, Clayton Cowles, Dan Abnett, Dean Stell, Joe Caramagna, John Denning, June Chung, Marvel, Nathan Fairbairn, review, Tan Eng Huat, Timothy Green II, Victor Olazaba