Mild Spoilers Ahead
A new force has invaded the Negative Zone, and it’s killing Blastaar’s people. Blastaar doesn’t take this sitting down, but this new threat converts Blastaar’s fallen to its cause. Blastaar goes to Annihilus for aid, but the insect king doesn’t trust that this isn’t a ruse on the part of Blastaar. Eventually, Annihilus is forced to ally himself with Blastaar, and the two rally their forces against this Scourge. Even together, Blastaar and Annihilus are beaten back. Their only hope is to seek help from the Positive Zone; Annihilus makes the trip to the Positive Zone while Blastaar stays behind to hold back the leader of the Scourge.
Annihilation: Scourge Alpha #1 kicks off the winter’s cosmic crisis which brings together Nova, Beta Ray Bill, Silver Surfer, and the Fantastic Four to fight a threat so great that even Annihilus and Blastaar fear it.
This issue focuses on Annihilus and Blastaar and their struggles against “the Scourge.” Unlike previous stories with these characters, Annihilus and Blastaar stand as part of separate forces instead of a united coalition under Annihilus. It’s believable, as both Blastaar and Annihilus are violent megalomaniacs, and Annihilus seems far less powerful than he was once.
It’s an enjoyable and action-packed read. The Scourge constantly scores victories off of Annihilus and Blastaar, and the two Negative Zone rulers try to come up with new strategies.
We also get a brief segment focusing upon Nova, aka Richard Rider. He and Cosmo wait on a space station while Rich gets lost in a cask of alien alcohol. Richard Rider has dealt with a lot since returning from the dead, so this tracks too.
Juanan Ramirez and Cian Tormey’s artwork looks great. The side profiles of Annihilus and Blastaar look especially good.. The action sequences are visually strong, and the final reveal of the Scourge’s ruler is aptly dramatic. Federico Blee’s color art is as vibrant and deep as ever, and it adds a lot to the visuals of Scourge.
Annihilation: Scourge Alpha #1 is a strong start to this cosmic odyssey. While it remains to be seen if this tale can live up to its namesake, there’s plenty of potential in this opening installment. It earns a recommendation for sure. Feel free to give it a read.
Annihilation: Scourge Alpha #1 comes to us from writer Matthew Rosenberg, artists Juanan Ramirez and Cian Tormey, color artist Federico Blee, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Josemaria Casanovas, and variant cover artists Ariel Olivetti; Alex Garner; and Ron Lim with Israel Silva.
Final Score: 8.5/10