Thursday, April 14, 2011

Annihilators #2 & Captain America: Hail Hydra #4

Two Marvel mini-series to post today, one good, and one not so good. Read on to see which is which! Man, what a cheap shill THAT was!

Captain America: Hail Hydra #4(of 5):

Summary: Woooo, it's Captain time, baby!!! The events of this comic take place during one of Steve Rogers MANY fights with the government, which led to him giving up the Captain America mantle and simply becoming The Captain. Trust me, it's awesome. Anyway, Cap tracks down a bunch of Hydra agents in Romania and saves a vampire the Hydra goons were hunting... That's not something you see every day... Cap is still trying to hunt down Dr. Geist, and was hopeful that these Hydra agents may have had insight. Unfortunately for Cap, the Hydra cannon fodder know nothing, and Cap is still at square one. Cap heads to Nick Fury and Nick hands Cap some info on the location of several Hydra bases, strictly off the record, since Cap is persona-non-grata with the Feds at this point. Meanwhile, Dr. Geist and Baron Strucker unveil their latest abomination, the Unsterblich, which apparently means “Immortal” in German(thanks German to English dictionary!). Unsterblich is a combination of the blood of Achilles, Thor, Cap and a few others, and is the most powerful creation Geist has concocted thus far. Cap begins to look into the info Fury gave him, and discovers an old ally from WWII(who had died), crudely reanimated by Geist to torment Cap. The zombiefied woman, Trude, tells Cap that Geist WANTED Cap to find him, and that Geist was planning on using his Lazarus formula(which can reanimate the dead as thinking zombies) to reanimate the honored dead at Arlington National Cemetery unless Cap provided Geist with his blood. Cap realizes the devastating affect the sight of thousands of dead soldiers would have on the American public, so he agrees to meet Geist at Arlington. Cap brings Falcon and Nick Fury with him, and Geist brings a small army of Hydra agents, as well as Unsterblich. Fury immediately calls in SHIELD, and we get ourselves a huge battle. Cap squares off with Unsterblich, which doesn't go all that well for him, and Geist uses the Lazarus formula to reanimate the dead at the cemetery. This brings out Dr. Strange and the Avengers(both the East AND West Coast branches) into the fray. Strange uses his magic to cover the cemetery in shadows, so nobody outside could see what was going on, as well as trying to put the dead soldiers back where they belonged, while the Avengers deal with Unsterblich and Hydra. During the battle, Geist manages to get a needle full of Cap's blood, but his forces, including Unsterblich, are rapidly being wiped out. Having gotten what he wanted, Geist manages to fly off, promising Cap that he hadn't seen the last of him, ending this issue.

Thoughts: Huh, I REALLY liked this issue! I mean yes, we ALL know what a Captain America fan I am, but regardless, this issue was the best in this mini-series thus far, and that's not a knock on the rest of this mini, because it's been solid throughout. For a character who has only been around for this mini(so only 4 issues so far), Geist fits PERFECTLY as the type of villain you'd expect Cap to be facing. A madman who is trying to unlock the secret of immortality and create a race of gods. The characters who appeared in this one, as well as Steve being the Captain made this comic seem like it came right out of the late 1980's/early 1990's. So kudos to Jonathan Maberry(writer) and Kyle Hotz(art) for that one. If I had one complaint, it would be the rushed way in which Geist escaped(he flies away from the Avengers in like one page?!), but other than that one little quibble, I thoroughly enjoyed this comic, and am eagerly anticipating the last issue to see how the story of Geist ends.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Sweet!

Annihilators #2(of 4):

Summary: Thanks to Dr. Dredd, the Dire Wraiths are attacking the homeworld of the Spaceknights. Dredd toys with the Annihilators, who can't touch Dredd, since he is sharp enough to cut the Silver Surfer himself. Having amused himself enough, Dredd cuts a hole in reality and walks through, leaving the Annihilators to deal with the Wraith invasion. The Annihilators quickly realize that the Wraiths were drawing their power from the black sun Dredd had placed in the sky, so Beta Ray Bill and Quasar blanket the sky with clouds, cutting off the Wraith's power supply. That act pisses Dredd off, at which point he reappears on the Spaceknight's homeworld to figure out a way to cut through the clouds. Ronan approaches Dredd, who smugly tells Ronan that he couldn't be harmed. However, Ronan uses his Universal Weapon(which is a much better name than “Cosmic Rod”) to change Dredd's genetic structure, dulling his edge so to speak, which allows Ronan the opportunity to bash Dredd over the head, ending his threat. With Dredd out of the way, the Annihilators head to the throne room of the leader of the Spaceknights, where the Surfer reveals that thanks to his Power Cosmic he had deduced that a) Dredd hadn't done this whole deal alone, b) the leader of the Spaceknights had backed Dredd since she felt her people had become lazy and complacent since the threat of the Dire Wraiths had ended, and c) that the leader of the Spaceknights had been manipulated by queen of the Dire Wraiths, who appears in the room and attacks everybody, ending this issue. There was also a back-up story dealing with Rocket Raccoon and Groot, but the less said about THAT the better...

Thoughts: What the hell?! I mean, I loved Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's Nova AND Guardians of the Galaxy runs. A LOT! So naturally, I was psyched when I heard about this mini-series. I then read the first issue and wasn't very fond of it, but figured things would pick up with issue #2... Well guess what? Things DIDN'T pick up with issue #2 at all! As a matter of fact, I liked this issue even less than the first one! Granted, I hate the Dire Wraiths and the Spaceknights, so that right there hurt my enjoyment of this one, but the story itself just isn't grabbing me. It all feels so rushed... Last issue we get Dredd as the big threat. He frees the Dire Wraiths. This issue Dredd is beaten with ease, while the Wraiths don't fare much better. Then we learn that the leader of the Spaceknights caused the return of the Wraiths, THEN it turns out she was being manipulated, AND then all of a sudden we find out the Wraith Queen was behind everything... As for the Rocket Raccoon stuff, I hate it. I get that it's supposed to be funny, but I didn't laugh at any of it. At all. And that's really not good when it comes to a comedy feature...

Score: 5 out of 10.I can see how carrying a giant hammer around could be useful...


  1. well all i can say is that i'm glad that Abnett & Laning didn't leave the Spaceknights and the Dire Wraiths in the 80s. but that's not to say i don't have some issues with Annihilators either. but i'm glad to see we're at least on the same page about rocket raccoon cause i hate that back story too. it's just plain irritating. and just think you paid $5 for all of that. that being said your gonna have a field day with Annihilators #3 :)

  2. Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I'm definitely not a fan of the Dire Wraiths... But then I wasn't really exposed to that much of the Wraiths(a few Uncanny X-Men issues, some Avengers books and some Rom comics), so I was hopeful that DnA would turn me into a fan. Unfortunately, that just didn't happen.

    And I couldn't agree more about the Rocket Raccoon story! I actually read the third issue last night and was stunned by how bad the Rocket story was! I mean it was horrible! I could stand Rocket in small doses(Guardians of the Galaxy), but MAN was that back story horrible! I'm dreading putting that review together!

  3. well the thing is if you don't know much about the Dire Wraiths before hand this mini-series is probably not gonna get you into them. but i'm a ROM fan and back in the early 80's when i was a kid seeing aliens in a Marvel comic jam their tongues in people's heads and suck their brains out was pretty cool. check out this posting since you love rocket raccoon so much (he said sarcastically). i promise you it will not fail to crack you up!

  4. That sketch art for Annihilators #4 was pretty damn sweet... As a sucker for the Kangs(Iron Lad/Rama-Tut/Kang/Immortus), his appearance in Annihilators #3 was probably the highlight for me.

    I did pick up Heroes for Hire #1, but the Puppet Master reveal at the end of that one kind of chased me away... I will be picking up the New Mutants series with issue #25, as DnA take up the writing duties AND bring X-Man back! What more could I ask for?!