Annihilation: Scourge Alpha Review

by Nick Devonald on November 20, 2019

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artists: Juanan Ramirez with Cian Tormey
Colors: Federico Blee
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

First off what is Annihilation Scourge: Alpha? It’s the start of a series of one shots, continued in Annihilation Scourge: Nova, Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, Fantastic Four, and concluding with Omega. With the exception of the Fantastic Four all the characters have featured quite prominently over the past few years written by Donny Cates and promise to make quite an interesting team up.

Ok, so we’ve got a mini cosmic event. What is an Annihilation event?

Marvels Annihilation events are amongst my favourite of Marvels big events, they really helped shape Marvels Cosmic side, formed the most well-known line up of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and made Richard Rider, Nova, my absolute favourite Marvel character of all time. That’s a hard legacy to be following.

So is it worthy of calling itself Annihilation?

First off all the ingredients are present. We have Annihilus and King Blastaar, two of the main villains from the original Annihilation with a presence lasting all the way through Dan Abnetts run on Marvels Cosmic. The Scourge is a big enough threat to be worthy of the Annihilation subtitle. It’s also a throwback to The Thanos Imperative which wrapped up Dan Abnett’s run on Marvel Cosmic. We also have Nova, Cosmo and Silver Surfer, all big players from Annihilation.

So is it any good?

Mostly. I have high hopes for this series, not least because the Cosmic side of Marvel is one of my favourite comics series. I have a few reservations though. I wasn’t blown away by Matthew Rosenbergs take on Richard Rider. Richard Rider is a character who has really suffered over the years, and he wears his scars rather than shrugging them off like most of Marvels heroes. He’s suffered PTSD. He’s great when he’s at his lowest, but this isn’t who we’re seeing here. He just seemed a bit pathetic. Drinking too much, feeling sorry for himself, not the hero I’m used to. But when he’s called into action by the end he’s back to the hero I know.

The scourge represent a threat worthy of calling itself an Annihilation event. They’re a return to a threat which has only been faced a few times, without giving too much away there is so much potential for them as a villain.

There is some great potential here as well. A few team ups which should make for interesting reading. Looking forward to the rest of the series Beta Ray Bill and Lockjaw are a great team and their presence here promises to be good fun. This will be Silver Surfers first appearance following the events of Silver Surfer: Black which promises to be interesting, and even better is written by Dan Abnett, which makes me incredibly excited. Then we’ve got Fantastic Four and their history with Annihilus promises to make this interesting.

While this is a continuation of Marvels main Cosmic events from the past 15 years, so far intimate knowledge of all the preceding events isn’t necessary. If you’ve been keeping up with Donny Cates’ work over the past few years you should have all the knowledge necessary to read this. Of course if you’ve read everything from Annihilation till know you’ll get a lot more out of this title. And I highly recommend you do, with Marvel rereleasing the original Annihilation in omnibus format next month this is a fantastic time to get into it.

A good set-up promising a series worthy of the Annihilation name, a great threat and excellent line up of heroes promise to make this an event that fans of Marvels Cosmic side won’t want to miss.

Our Score:


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