Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Finally Reached The Thanos Imperative


You see that picture of the amazingly badass, The Right Stuff-esque lineup of cosmic Marvel heroes?

That picture, or rather, splash page; was all it took for me to tell myself:

“I don’t know what it’s about, or even if it’s gonna’ be any good, but I need to read The Thanos Imperative.”

That was roughly one year ago.

Since then, I’ve spent a great deal of time (and money) playing catch-up, reading the vast majority of the story arcs and trades that preceded The Thanos Imperative.

I started with the 2006 incarnation of Marvel’s Annihilation event, wherein the bug-minded Annihilus of the Negative Zone waged war on the cosmic Marvel universe due to his belief that the Positive Universe was encroaching on his territory.

Yeah, Gabrielle Del Otto's kind of a good artist...

Having entered into Annihilation pretty much a virgin of the cosmic sector of the Marvel Universe, I was thoroughly impressed by the accessibility and cohesiveness of the arc.

Any apprehension I may have felt in pursuing the expensive cause of catching up to The Thanos Imperative were instantly dispelled by the sheer quality and entertainment value of Annihilation.

In short, I was hooked.

That being said, just days after working my way through the massive 3 book epic of Annihilation, I started reading the equally entertaining, though not quite as self-contained follow-up series, Annihilation: Conquest.

Conquest instilled in me a great love for Star-Lord and his Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as put a smile on my face with it’s use of Ultron, one of my favorite Marvel villains, as the main antagonist.

Easily the best visualization of Ultron I've ever seen.

After reading Conquest, I don’t see myself going very long without picking up and reading the Guardians of the Galaxy trades at some point.

Oddly enough, while Conquest brought an end to the Annihilation Saga proper, it’s spiritual successor, the Inhuman and Shi’ar conflict dubbed the War of Kings; was a trade I actually read several years ago on a whim.

Despite having read it before, I decided it read through it again, as well as a few of it’s supplementary trades just to refresh my memory.

Honestly, it may have just been because of my increased familiarity with the characters and landscape, but I think War of Kings was actually better the second time around.

Pictured: The splash page that single-handedly made a Black Bolt fan out of me.

Finally, in my last step before reading The Thanos Imperative, I decided to pick up a copy of Realm of Kings, the massive bridge that wrapped up the events of War of Kings, and bridged the gap between it and The Thanos Imperative.

Truth be told, of all the various books I read this past year, Realm of Kings was the only one that I recall getting some bad press.

Reviewers accused it of being padded and extraneous, but I for one found it to be very much worthwhile.

The art was above average to great throughout, and both the Inhuman and Shi’ar story arcs concerned characters and events that I was honestly happy to learn more about.

The one ratty part of the trade, and likely the reason it reviewed poorly, was the Son of the Hulk story arc.

I don't know what his deal is, but he looks like Kratos mixed with that kid from The Last Airbender.

I consider myself extremely well-versed in the lore of the Marvel Universe, but for the life of me I had no fucking clue what was going on over the course of these 5 issues.

I’ve read Planet Hulk and World War Hulk, and I know a great deal about Hulk’s son Skaar, but I’ve never fucking heard of Hiro-Kala or the fucking Micronauts.

Despite this, I was thoroughly intrigued by the concept (and look) of the Cancerverse explored throughout Realm of Kings.

I’m giddy as a schoolgirl to see how the Cancerverse figures into The Thanos Imperative.

That's the Cancerverse rendition of the Hulk. Yeah, I'm serious.

In all, the stuff about Hiro-Kala and his bullshit was a terrible way to end an otherwise wondrous reading experience, but oh well.

That being said, as of yesterday, I now have my copy of The Thanos Imperative, and am positively shivering with excitement over cracking it open and finally reading what I worked all year to catch up to.

Here’s hoping it’s half as good as I’ve built it up to be!

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Committed To Reading The Annihilation Saga

I’m starting to realize that I am somewhat of a completist when it comes to comic books.

I routinely show up late to the party when it comes to the newest and most popular story arcs, largely because I get hung up trying to play catch up.

In most cases, it’s simply not enough for me to hit up Wikipedia to find out what I missed.

When I “get into” a character or storyline, I prefer to start from the “beginning,” which is typically represented by the work of a signature author or storyline; and work my way through the trades until I get up to date.

Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in me purchasing and reading some pretty bad books every now and again.

It’s just the nature of the superhero comics industry, with writers and illustrators jumping from project to project all the time; it’s only natural that various books have dips in quality every now and again.

Some examples of purchases I kind of regret, are Secret Invasion, and every single Punisher MAX trade following the departure of Garth Ennis.

Pictured: One of many reasons Garth Ennis owns The Punisher.

It’s funny, I actually remember saying, on this very blog; stating that I would probably never pick up a copy of Secret Invasion.

I heard it wasn’t very good, and was hoping to avoid it, but eventually I got so immersed in the Marvel Universe as a whole, (I don’t know about you, but Dark Reign really “did it” for me) that I reached a point in which most of the characters I was reading had a big fat hole in their continuity left by me not having read Secret Invasion or any of it’s copious tie-ins.

Secret Invasion was indeed kind of a crappy, (not Messiah Complex crappy, mind you) but for whatever reason, it’s comforting to me to have those plot holes filled.

The Punisher stuff kind of speaks for itself.

Garth Ennis was the best thing that ever happened to the character, so his departure from the series pretty much resulted in the bar being set far too high for anyone to possibly measure up to.

UN. TOUCHABLE.

‘Nuff said.

Anyway, as you might have guess from the title of this post, I’ve recently committed myself to reading all of the Annihilation Saga trades, up through the recent Thanos Imperative.

For your information, that’s about 5 years worth of storylines, told across 5 major arcs, as well as possibly a tie-in book or 2; most of which were written by the dynamic duo of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

That’s a lot of fuckin’ comics.

Curiously enough, my association with this sprawling story came in the form of jumping right smack in the middle of it a few years ago.

The first book in the series I read was War of Kings, which turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable read despite my general unfamiliarity with most of the characters.

Over the course of the story, I developed a newfound respect for Black Bolt, as well as an unexpected degree of interest in the cosmic Marvel Universe.

Admittedly, Black Bolt was also kind of badass in World War Hulk...

Though I went on to pick up the War of Kings: Warriors trade that collected a number of tie-in issues associated with the core story, for whatever reason I never went any further than that until just last week.

Last week I finished reading the first book of Annihilation, the initial story arc of the Annihilation saga; and boy was I impressed.

As with War of Kings, I found myself becoming attached to characters that were largely on the periphery of the core Marvel canon, but not only that, I found myself being sucked into the story itself; regardless of it’s place in Marvel lore.

In short, the first book; while little more than build up to the meat of the story, was a damn good read.

That being said, while I know I’ve got my work cut out for me, I’m actually looking forward to cutting a swathe through Annihilation and seeing how everything pans out.

Typically, when I’m faced with diving into a story this big, I tend to feel pensive about the emotional and monetary investment it represents, but in this case; I’m actually kind of jazzed.

Now, all I have to do is find a comic shop that actually carries a copy of Annihilation: Book Two, and then I can actually get started…

Do I really need a reason to post this image? Didn't think so...

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