"Dark Sun Rise"
Writers: Dan Abbnett and Andy Lanning
Penciler: Tan Eng Huat
Inker: Victor Olazaba
Colorist: June Chung
Letterer: VC's Joe Caramagna
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Annihilators #2 came out today. What I said in the first paragraph of my review of #1 still applies, but I'm going to be briefer this time than last. Unfortunately, I found much more to be annoyed by than liked. Many, many spoilers follow.
First, on the very first page, in the recap, it says the team "was alerted to unusual signals from the vicinity of the Dark Nebula, location of Ikon's birth planet Galador". If they meant Galador is in the Dark Nebula, that's just wrong! If they meant Galador is near the Dark Nebula, I guess that depends on your definition of "near" since we're dealing with a galactic scale, but I'd still say it's phrased poorly.
The art is generally good, but there are some oddities, like Doctor Dredd's head sticking out of Quasar's quantum cage. And why on Galador does the Silver Surfer have ears? Did he have ears in #1? I'll have to go back and check.
Deathwings are not physical, but rather energy beings. Here, however, they look simply like black pterodactyls. Dire Wraiths have been known to transform into something like these, which are similar to (and called) Deathwings, but they lacked the soul-numbing abilities of the real thing. I was hoping that maybe what we saw on the last page of #1 was a bunch of Wraiths transformed thus, and while that could still wind up to be the case, that doesn't seem to be where the story is going.
Also, we're told Hellhounds are attacking as well, but I don't see a single one in the art. Speaking of which, once again it appears, except for Brandy, Galador is inhabited by nothing but Spaceknights. Where are the humans? Where are the Angel Elite? Couldn't they have sent some references to Huat???
Another question arises not from Huat's art, but Chung's colors. Why has Brandy Clark's hair changed to black? It should be brown. If they want, they can change the color once she breaks the Wraiths' hold on her and blame it on that. (Told you there'd be spoilers.)
And now her title is Matriarch? What happened to "Lady Prime"?
Fetch Brandy the Starshine armor? First of all, if we're still talking about the original armor, that's not something one can put on and take off. Typical Spaceknights of that generation were cybernetically grafted into it during what appeared to be a long and complicated process. Brandy, however, was mystically bound to it by Wraith magic. I doubt that's something the Galadorians would try to recreate. Second, there was a new Starshine. What happened to her? For that matter, what's happened to Brandy's sons? Were they indeed killed during Annihilation? They don't even rate a mention?
Beta Ray Bill explicitly mentions fighting in the last Wraithwar! Yes, continuity! Now if we can just get Gladiator to mention that he met Rom as well and it's all good.
I really didn't like where they were going with Brandy giving Doctor Dredd information, but I'll accept it as Dire Wraith manipulation. However, where the heck did Volx ("the Wraith Queen") come from? She just appeared out of nowhere! I thought maybe they meant she'd taken on the identity of one of Brandy's advisors, but there was no one there at all the page before!
Also, the same question applies to her as to Doctor Dredd: how is she back from the dead? She wasn't merely banished, Night Thrasher killed her! I'm really hoping we readers get a better explanation than Dredd's bizarre little rant in #1 by the time this series is through.
Finally, I'm simply finding no redeeming qualities to Ikon. Yes, she's a badass, but she lacks pretty much all the qualities that made Rom a great character. She has none of his nobility. I'm hoping, maybe, we'll see some character growth from her by the end of the series, but given that's it's already half over, I'm not hopeful.
Okay, so this was less of a review and more of a kvetching session. I apologize. I think it's great that they're trying to do something with the Wraiths and Spaceknights, but for all it's faults, I'm finding the Spaceknights approach far better than what's being done here so far.