So for this week's podcast I wanted to discuss Marvel's Annihilation
, both the old storyline and Conquest
. Unfortunately, out of the five podcasters, only one had read it all the way through (Brooks
) and one had read parts of it (me). When I thought about this, it seemed like we mimicked the ratio the shop's customers. Few read it all, few read some of it, but most everyone lets it slide by them. The question for me is: why?
Why is a series-- one that has been going on for over a year and half and spawned accolades and hardcover collections-- getting such little acknowledgement for being cool? The Marvel Marketing Machine turned Illuminati
, one big six-issue retcon, into sellouts. Why not something that is good?
I don't think that it's simply because the story takes place in space. After all, Marvel has always tried to make space stories important in their Universe. There was the Kree-Skrull War, Operation Galactic Storm, not to mention the never-ending cosmic events involving the Infinity Gems. Hell, Secret Wars
showed the impact of cosmic beings on the Marvel U and toy sales. Heh.
I think it's a question of the type of story that is being told. You have Marvel taking a bunch of D-list heroes and making them cool again. The writers are adding powers and creating legacies while fighting cosmic level threats from bad guys. You have a series on minis leading into one huge self-contained story, which then spawns other minis and self-contained stories.
Marvel space is a dynamic place where there are beings of god-like power fighting for dominance in the great beyond. These characters have children (Drax and Moon Dragon) and familial relationships (Starfox and Thanos). There is a sense of interconnectivity and of legacy. To top it off, these characters are not prone to angst and complaining, although Adam Warlock did brood a lot.
Marvel Space, and as a result Annihilation
, is like a DC crossover event. I mean, look who created half of those characters: Mr. DC-space himself, Jim Stralin. Look who penned Annihilation
: Keith Giffen! Marvel could easily have connected Planet Hulk
into the storyline, and could have easily used the events of House of M
and Civil War
to make Earth's heroes unprepared for the Annihilation Wave. There are ways to make everything connected, and to make the series impact.
But Marvel didn't. They let it be its own self-contained space opera and thus easily ignored by readers who are only paying money for things that tie together.