Annihilation

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Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn Familiar With Giffen’s Annihilation & DnA’s Nova

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Some Marvel Cosmic fans are saying that Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is their last best hope.

For whatever reason, Marvel Comics went with a Disney-fied version of Nova, killing off Richard Rider for Spider-Man-In-Space Sam Alexander.

Current issues of the new Nova are actually selling less than the 2007 run that sprang from the 2005/6 Marvel Cosmic event Annihilation.

Written by Keith Giffen and edited by Andy Schmidt, the pair took the “B” Marvel Comics character Richard Rider and developed him into a highly successful and experienced hero in Annihilation.

DnA (Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) penned the Annihilation: Nova mini and then the 2007 ongoing.

The Giffen and DnA take on Rider has been described as one of the best as it’s a blend of superhero and science-fiction action, something the Marvel Cosmic fans crave.

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With news of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, one fan in particular asked director James Gunn if he was familiar with Giffen’s Annihilation and DnA’s Nova.

“The Richard Rider Nova fans are really hoping you’re familiar with the wonderful work Giffen did with the character in the Annihilation mini-series,” CBN’s Timelord remarked. “And the wonderful work Abnett and Lanning did with the character in their Nova series.”

Gunn responded through his FormSpring account with a simple, “Of course I am.”

Many Marvel Cosmic fans are hoping to see Richard Rider Nova featured in the movie as it’s rumored that Glenn Close and John C. Reilly are playing members of the Nova Corps. It’s also recently been made known from a leaked Guardians of the Galaxy movie call sheet that Xandar will be featured as well.

Discuss This In The Cosmic Book News Forums

 

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Glenn Close Playing Annihilation Prologue Nova Prime Alien?

Yesterday saw the news that Glenn Close has been named to be playing a leader in the Nova Corps in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

Speculation immediately began with mention Glenn Close could be playing the voice of the World Mind or even Queen Adora.

However, the cosmic sleuths at Cosmic Book News may have come up with another possibility as Glenn Close could be playing an alien Nova Prime that was featured in the Annihilation Prologue.

Annihilation was the 2005-6 event that saw Annihilus and his army invade the Marvel Universe from the Negative Zone.

It’s a great series, from Editor Andy Schmidt, Keith Giffen, with Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning on the Annihilation: Nova mini, and basically blows any Marvel event from the past few years out of the sky.

Highly recommended.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy movie has an August 1, 2014 release directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt as Peter Quill Star-Lord and Dave Bautista as Drax The Destroyer.

For news, images and more head on over to the Cosmic Book News Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Hub.

Synopsis:

Guardians of the Galaxy, based on the Marvel comic books of the same name, features an unlikely cast of characters who must team up in order to defeat a cosmic force of epic proportions.

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Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Annihilation Event Book Premium Edition Now Available

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:6061:]]First announced back in December of 2011, the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Annihilation Event Book is now available.

Players can play as various cosmic characters including Nova, Quasar, Drax and even Beta Ray Bill.

The premium edition is a 384 page hardcover also featuring art from the series.

A digital Essentials version is available as well at a discounted price.

You can order the Annihilation Event Book from Amazon.

If anyone picks this up stop by our Forums and let us know how it is.

 

Here’s the info via Margaretweis.com:

AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE
A wave of invaders from the Negative Zone spreads from galaxy to galaxy, bringing chaos and ruin to everything in its path. Starfaring empires and intergalactic peacekeeping forces are torn asunder. When Annihilus and his conquering hordes threaten even mighty Galactus, can your cosmic heroes hope to stop the Annihilation Wave?

COSMIC-SCALED ADVENTURE
MARVEL HEROIC ROLEPLAYING Event Books capture the drama and action of pivotal Marvel Universe blockbuster events, with hero and villain datafiles, detailed sourcebook entries, and story material. Rewrite history, make your own choices, and change your hero’s fate. With MARVEL HEROIC ROLEPLAYING Event Books, the worlds of What If? are yours to explore.

This Premium Edition Event Book includes:
Operations Manual: Easy to learn game rules for playing characters from the Marvel Universe and playing out your favorite Marvel Blockbuster Events!
Annihilation: Based on the sweeping cosmic saga of the blockbuster Annihilation storyline! Cosmic-level heroes and villains rising up against the invasion. Includes rules to scale up the game to cosmic level as well as key game Milestones and interstellar locations you expect from such a star-shattering event.

Hero Datafiles:  Game play sheets for many of your favorite cosmic Marvel Super Heroes, from fan-favorites like Nova and Quasar to the awe-inspiring Heralds of Galactus!

For two to eight players, ages 13 and up. Requires game dice.

Written by Cam Banks, Joseph Blomquist, Dave Chalker, Jason Corley, John Donoghue, Rob Donoghue, Matt Forbeck, Matthew Gandy, Dean Gilbert, Will Hindmarch, Richard Hirsch, Judd Karlman, Mike Lafferty, Brad McMillan, Philippe-Antoine Menard, Jack Norris and Morgan Peer.

MWP 6201 – ISBN: 978-1-936685-22-6
Hardcover – Color – 384 Pages

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Exclusive Interview: Giffen Talks Threshold, Annihilation and “Hell No” To Green Lantern

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There is a new star in the DC Cosmic line and that is the anthology series Threshold, which is currently featuring “The Hunted,” about a washed-up Green Lantern caught in a vile solar system-wide reality show, and a backup starring everyone’s favorite (and only) Orange Lantern, “Larfleeze.”

Both are written by Keith Giffen, renowned throughout the world (or at least the CBN offices) for his knowledge and skill with handling universe-spanning cosmic storylines (Annihilation, Legion of Super-Heroes). Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer hooked Mr. Giffen in a tractor beam long enough to conduct the following exclusive interview.

Cosmic Book News: Cosmic comic fans have been excited about the coming of Threshold and “The Hunted.” Can you compare what you are doing here with what you achieved with Annihilation, which brought many fans (me included) back to comics?

Keith GiffenJust trying to light a fire under some neglected characters while having a good time. That was the driving force behind both Annihilation and Threshold.

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CBN: Will there be any use of the established Green Lantern mythos or any of those characters coming to “The Hunted” since Caul is a Lantern?

Keith Giffen: Hell no. Caul’s an ex-Green Lantern, emphasis on “ex.” You want GL mythos, go read Geoff over in Green Lantern. He’s got a lock on it. Hell, the whole ex-GL thing wasn’t even my idea. (Editor’s note: This interview was conducted before Geoff Johns’ GL departure announcement.)

CBN: You have named some DC space residents we will see and many have already appeared. Why not Adam Strange or maybe some Kirby characters?

Keith Giffen: Kirby characters are upcoming. As for Adam Strange … a bit too high profile for what I’m trying to do here. Everyone, it seems, wants a crack at Adam Strange so using him would probably wind up being more trouble than he’s worth. I’ll stick with the third stringers, thank you very much.

CBN: What does Captain K’Rot bring to “The Hunted?”

Keith Giffen: A musky odor.

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CBN: I know Caul is on the run, but will we see any sparks flying between he and any alien ladies?

Keith Giffen: If he sticks around long enough, I’d say that’s pretty much inevitable.

CBN: Will we be traveling around in space during “The Hunted” or does everything mostly take place on Tolerance?

Keith Giffen: The Tenebrian Dominion’s a pretty big place. It would be a shame not to explore it, don’t you think?

CBN: Can you give us any hints at what will be coming up in “The Hunted?”

Keith Giffen: Old friends, New Gods and small wonders. We’re actually leaving Tolerance for a bit as of issue #4. Huh … Wish I’d remembered that while answering the previous question.

CBN: What has it been like working with Tom Raney? Why is he right for “The Hunted?”

Keith Giffen: Tom’s art has given the book a more … whimsical feel than I’d first intended. That’s a good thing because I tend to skew really, really dark.

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CBN: Not to forget about Larfleeze, what does the future hold for the Orange Lantern in his backup strip?

Keith Giffen: Just wait until everyone finds out who stole all of Larfleeze’s stuff …

CBN: Will we see Larfleeze in “The Hunted,” even as a cameo?

Keith Giffen: Anything’s possible, but for the immediate future … no.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Keith Giffen for his time and we also thank Alex Segura and Alex Nagorski of DC Comics who helped make this interview possible.

Threshold #3 will hit shelves March 13th!

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» Discuss This In The Cosmic Book News Forums

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Guardians of the Galaxy Movie: Further Evidence Of A Nova Appearance?

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When the Guardians of the Galaxy movie was announced, Marvel Studios released concept art with something peculiar in the background.

Yeah, the stars in the background resemble the Nova helmet logo.

If you are a fan of the comic books, you know Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy go hand in hand as they were part of the Marvel Cosmic Annihilation era from Keith Giffen, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

Marvel also recently rebooted the two together as well.

Now some rather interesting news has surfaced in regards to Marvel Comics reprinting premiere hard covers, in that Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy are a part.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4145:]]Why is it interesting?

Because it seems as if Marvel Comics is only reprinting the characters that Marvel Studios can use in their movies. Sure, there are a few X-Men thrown in there, but everything is without a doubt Avengers-related, and then Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy are oddly thrown in.

Two books, mind you, that Marvel previously wouldn’t let near their Avengers stuff or have anything to do with the big events, albeit for a couple early tie-ins that proved highly successful sales-wise.

Here’s the list (via Bleeding Cool), though unconfirmed:

Iron Man
Thor
Captain America
Avengers
All New X-Men
Guardians of the Galaxy
Nova
Uncanny X-Men
Uncanny Avengers
Indestructible Hulk

Of course, the above are the Marvel NOW! listed books as well, so the movie thing could just be coincidence.

Still, we can hope.

The Guardians of the Galaxy movie opens August 1, 2014 directed by James Gunn.

For news, images and more head on over to the Cosmic Book News Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Hub.

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Giffen’s Doing Guardians of the Galaxy at DC With “Threshold”; New Green Lantern Book

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Keith Giffen brought a lot of fans back to Marvel (I’m one of them) back in 2005-6 with his Marvel Cosmic event Annihilation.

He basically took a bunch of characters that no one was using and created something big — and arguably better than anything Marvel has done since.

Marvel Studios took notice as well, and while the comic book side of Marvel completely dropped the cosmic ball by canceling the entire line to make way for Bendis and Loeb, Kevin Feige is going ahead with a Guardians of the Galaxy movie – and perhaps Nova – based on Keith Giffen’s Marvel Cosmic work as well as Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s, who took over following Giffen’s departure to DC Comics.

Now Giffen is bringing the “Annihilation” back this coming January, albeit at the direct competition with Threshold, a new DC cosmic ongoing spinning out of the upcoming Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1 with former Marvel Cosmic artists Tom Raney (Annihilation: Conquest) and Scott Kolins (Annihilation Prologue, Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus).

The book will feature two stories: a 10 page backup starring Larfleeze, of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern books, drawn by Kolins, and “The Hunted,” the 20 page main story drawn by Raney, featuring space characters like the Omega Men, Blue Beetle, Star Hawkins, and the book’s main character, a new Green Lantern named Jediah Caul.

The story takes place in a new part of space, known as the Tenedrian Dominion, an area ruled by Lady Styx, who will get a complete makeover, and also where the new Green Lantern to star in the book is deep under cover. Similar to The Hunger Games, which Giffen is quick to dismiss and compares it more to Battle Royale, the new Green Lantern will get dropped in the Tenedrian Dominion where he has 24hrs of freedom before all hell breaks loose and anyone can come after him for the bounty. This leads the other characters to come into play, such as the Blue Beetle, as The Reach system bumps up against Lady Styx’s.

“I’m approaching it with the same mindset that I approached Annihilation, in that I’m saying, ‘Look at the all these great characters out there, and nobody’s doing anything interesting with them,’ ” Giffen tells Newsarama. ” ‘Let’s see how much we can shake things up and have fun with this.’

“Of course, instead of doing it with Marvel’s space characters,” Giffen continues. “Now I’ve got the fantastic DC characters to work with, like the Omega Men, Star Hawkins, Blue Beetle, Space Ranger, the original Starfire and a whole lot more great characters to mess around with. And people can look for appearances by almost any DC science fiction character.”

While Threshold does contain certain elements similar to Guardians of the Galaxy and will include that Giffen-esque humor, it won’t be exactly the same.

“Yep. I’m the one who put Rocket Raccoon and that group together. The Guardians of the Galaxy movie they’re making? That’s the team I put together,” stated Giffen. “But Threshold is not Annihilation or Guardians of the Galaxy. This is a different animal.

“However, this book does have a healthy sense of humor. Much of my own sensibility is going to come through. But it’s a sense of humor that grows organically. Don’t expect, like, Ambush Bug, which is meant to be a funny book. Lobo was a funny book, because to a certain extent, it went for the gag. But Threshold is going to be based more on story. But there will be plenty of funny stories and odd things happening. So yes, humor will be part of “The Hunted” as well. Plus we’ve got Tom Raney on the art for “The Hunted.” So it’ll look great too,” he said.

Threshold will also feature old characters getting re-tooled, with a planned surprise in store for issue #2 in that a brand new character will be featured with a familiar name.

Read more via the link above at Newsarama.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Movie: Who Is Drax The Destroyer

(Editor’s Note: Cosmic Book News continues its coverage of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie with a look at Drax the Destroyer!)

 

Guardians of the Galaxy movie: The once and future Drax the Destroyer

 

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When we finally saw the creation of Jim Starlin’s Drax the Destroyer, rising zombie-like from the ground beneath the ethereal visage of Kronos, imbued with the soul of the dead Earth man known as Arthur Douglas, I wasn’t sure if I was still reading a comic book space opus or one of Marvel’s monster books that were then so popular.

Eerie as his creation was, Drax has certainly stood the test of time, as have most of Starlin’s Titan-based creations, the greatest one – Thanos – now heating up the fanboy internet chatrooms as proposed villain in both the coming Guardians of the Galaxy movie as well as the sequel to the blockbuster The Avengers film.

Drax, as he first started out, would be what we call today a cosmic heavy-hitter. He was as strong as a calm Hulk, it was said, and able to fly through space unaided and fire blasts of cosmic energy from his arms. In his purple skull cap and cape, he was right at home with Captain Marvel in the first Thanos War … and later by himself among the denizens of deep space. His prime objective was always the primary reason Kronos and Mentor brought him into being: Destroy the mad Titan. Kill Thanos!

Drax is initially able to do this – kill Thanos – albeit with the aid of the Avengers and Mar-Vell of the Kree. With no life’s purpose anymore, the Destroyer first chooses to battle Mar-Vell for taking away that reason to exist and then becomes the pawn (a role that will become familiar in his future) to his own daughter, Heather (Moondragon).

Eventually freed by the Avengers of his daughter’s mental domination, Drax advances toward her in an effort to end her menace, an evil for which he blames himself. But Moondragon forces the life essence of Arthur Douglas to flee the indestructible body of the Destroyer. Later, after subduing Moondragon and returning to Earth, the Avengers place Drax’s body inside Moondragon’s ship, The Sensia, and send it into deep space programmed to self-destruct. Without Douglas’ spirit inside it, Drax’s body is destroyed when The Sensia explodes.

Years later, when Thanos is revived by the Lady Death, Kronos reanimates Drax on Titan, only with greater physical power. Kronos does not consider the effects of Drax’s death and the Destroyer’s mind retains the damage done by Moondragon. Alongside a multitude of other heroes, Drax helps battle Thanos and Nebula for possession of the Infinity Gauntlet. Despite the setback of the damage taken from his death (and following Thanos’ defeat and the subsequent breakup of the Gauntlet), Drax is chosen by Adam Warlock to safeguard the Power Gem as part of the Infinity Watch.

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I never got a chance to witness this chapter of Drax’s existence and the amount of material about our cosmic champions since the advent of Annihilation was at the time certainly a godsend to those who may have taken a break from comics around this time (for me, a full decade).

It seems that following an incident in which the creature Syphon manipulates Drax (he is blamed for the murders of Elysius and others and later cleared by Warlock and Genis-Vell), the Destroyer’s condition begins to change. His mass and strength climb to monstrous levels (barely recognizable as Starlin’s character) and his mind becomes clouded. Finally, he seeks out Moondragon (again?) which leads to an altercation with Genis-Vell. Drax winds up being transported to the Microverse and finds acceptance and happiness for a time on Jarella’s home planet of K’ai.

With both his power and intelligence in flux, Drax is later seen on a prison transport ship that has crashed on Earth. He becomes involved with a human named Cammi whom he mistakes for Heather. As he slowly wanders through the countryside at a low level of intelligence, he again encounters one of the ship’s other prisoners, Paibok, who ruthlessly murders the Destroyer. Drax emerges with a new body, a higher degree of intelligence and lessened strength than that of his former self. This new Drax kills two other prisoners (Lunatik and one of the Blood Brothers) and ends up back on a prison ship with Cammi.

After my comics sabbatical, this is where I first encountered Drax and all the other cosmic champions of Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest. A man of intellect, battle savvy and wielding knives, this Wolverine-esque Drax is who has been accompanying first Nova and later Peter Quill. Although he succeeded in fulfilling his life’s mission (again) by punching a hole through the heart of the mad Titan, killing him, he has not wanted for things to do as before. He has come to see himself as a mentor to young heroes like Nova and members of Quill’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

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With this “new” body of sharp intellect but little cosmic power, Drax once again clad himself in the garb of the original Destroyer (with a big Secret Invasion Nick Fury gun or three for good measure). As Drax and the Guardians watch over the newly-resurrected and imprisoned Thanos and Nova pursues a false Quasar, the Magus and his Universal Church of Truth tear open the Fault (opened at the end of War of Kings and previously sealed by Warlock). Monstrous creatures emerge from the Fault and are confronted by the Kree and Shi’ar armadas and numerous cosmic beings. Among them is their leader, Lord Mar-Vell, who is an alternate version of Captain Marvel. Mar-Vell seemingly kills the Magus for failing to locate Thanos.

Mar-Vell is the avatar of Life, and Thanos is the avatar of Death. Because of this, the battle will only be over when one of them kills the other. While Star-Lord leads Drax and the other Guardians (and Thanos!) into the Fault hoping to locate Lord Mar-Vell, Lord Mar-Vell scours the Marvel Universe for Thanos.

Meanwhile, Nova leads Quasar, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, the Silver Surfer and Ronan the Accuser in an attack on Mar-Vell, but loses badly. When Thanos kills Drax, his death as the avatar of life alerts Mar-Vell to his presence and he returns to the Cancerverse.

We all know how that ended. What we do not know is how Drax (now returned to his knife-throwing physique) has come back with Peter Quill and some members of the Guardians to aid the Avengers against a reborn Thanos.

That, as they say, is another story – hopefully one told in or before the coming of a Guardians of the Galaxy movie in 2014!

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Guardians of the Galaxy Movie: Who is Star-Lord?

(Editor’s Note: Continuing our coverage on the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, up next is Star-Lord!)

 

The leader of the band: Who is Star-Lord?

 

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Like most of the trendy movies, I will begin this article at its ending and then work backwards:

Peter Quill aka the swashbuckling (aren’t they all?) space hero known as Star-Lord is busy fighting the mad Titan Thanos alongside a cadre of Avengers and his own team, the Guardians of the Galaxy. How he got here, we do not know.

The last time we saw said hero, he and Nova (our Nova, Richard Rider) were literally stepping up to the plate to save the universe from Thanos by collapsing the so-called “Cancerverse” in on itself, seemingly dying. Thanos made it back, and apparently so did Quill. Where Nova is – the true Nova – there is no word — from space or Marvel ED.

Hows and whys aside – Flark, who except the great Peter David bothers with continuity anymore? – Star-Lord IS back in the Marvel U. alongside the once-disbanded rag-tag heroes he commands. At his side in Avengers Assemble have been Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Drax, Bug and Groot.

How he is here is still a Bendis mystery, but who he is — well, your M.E. can help you there.

[Dissolve to hazy beginning, around the time I was about to graduate from high school: 1976.]

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:3275:]]The first (and best) Star-Lord is Peter Quill, whose premiere adventure was in Marvel Preview #4 (January 1976) and was created by Stainless (miss those Bullpen monikers) Steve Englehart and Steve Gan.

Quill is born during an unusual astronomical phenomenon when many of the planets align. Seeing no resemblance, the man who believed he was Quill’s father accuses his wife Meredith of infidelity and attempts to kill the infant, but dies of a sudden heart attack. Quill is raised by his single mother until she is killed by an alien.

(Peter’s real father is Prince Jason of the alien race Spartoi, who had fled his Empire after wrongly being branded a traitor by his father Eson, later crash-landing on Earth to be cared for and nursed back to health by Meredith.)

Quill is placed in an orphanage but escapes and eventually becomes a trainee NASA astronaut. An alien entity called the Master of the Sun eventually visits the space station that Quill and other astronauts are inhabiting, and offers the mantle of Star-Lord (an interplanetary policeman) to a worthy candidate.

Peter volunteers, but is rejected in favor of a colleague he once treated badly.

Outraged, he is ordered by NASA to return to Earth and is to be discharged for his conduct. Instead, he steals a scoutship, returns to the space station, and takes his colleague’s place.

Peter Quill becomes Star-Lord, with the Master of the Sun first creating an illusion in which the character is able to find and kill the aliens that murdered his mother to free him of his past. Equipped with a sentient vessel called “Ship,” Quill commences his role as Star-Lord.

The character later encounters the former Herald of Galactus, the Fallen One, and is almost killed defeating the entity (Star-Lord’s vessel “Ship” is destroyed in the conflict). The pair is subsequently imprisoned in the intergalactic prison known as the Kyln. Star-Lord is freed by our man Nova during Annihilation and aids in the war against Annihilus and his hordes. Quill later acts as military adviser to Ronan the Accuser.

When the Kree homeworld of Hala is conquered by the Phalanx, Star-Lord leads a band of rebels against the invaders until the war is over. In an effort to prevent another interstellar war, Star-Lord forms a new version of the Guardians of the Galaxy. These are “proactive” cosmic heroes who try to end emerging galactic threats early.

Following the War of Kings event, Star-Lord as well as Nova appears to die while saving the universe from Thanos and the Cancerverse. But, as said in the beginning, Peter Quill reappears with some of the Guardians on Earth to aid the Avengers against a returning Thanos.

And just in time for a reported new comic written by Brian Michael Bendis and a movie coming out in 2014.

Ain’t Hollywood great?

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Marvel Studios Wanted Silver Surfer and Galactus For Guardians of the Galaxy Movie?

Marvel Studios Wanted Silver Surfer and Galactus For Guardians of the Galaxy Movie?

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Remember when there was mention that Marvel Studios wanted to acquire the rights to the Silver Surfer and Galactus from Fox Studios in exchange for an extension on the rights to Daredevil?

It was said Marvel Studios wanted both of them for their upcoming movies, but nothing specific was mentioned.

While the deal did not end up going through – it’s been further said that the Marvel Studios and Fox deal wasn’t about characters, but about money – the Silver Surfer and Galactus may have been wanted for the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

The Twitter account that we previously reported on, Roger Wardell, posted an “Inside News” tweet back in the middle of August stating just that.

Inside News: Marvel wanted the rights to Silver Surfer and Galactus for Guardians of the Galaxy.

Of course the tweet could be complete nonsense, but the inclusion of the Silver Surfer and Galactus brings with it an interesting aspect to the Guardians of the Galaxy movie in that the two characters are major powerhouses of the Marvel U. Now, they could have just made a brief cameo, a set up for further movies, or they could have been fully involved.

I can think a few different comic book related possibilities where they would fit with the Guardians of the Galaxy: An Infinity Gauntlet scenario, an Annihilation scenario, or has been previously rumored — a Thanos Imperative scenario.

Now that would have rocked.

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From the M.E.’s Pen: What Could Have Happened to Cammi

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As a comic book reader, a Marvel Cosmic fan (yes, we still say “cosmic”) of 40-plus years and a writer, I returned to comics with great interest after a decade-long sabbatical just as Annihilation hit the stands!

Oh joy, oh rapture!

As the incredible space opus was continued by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, one of the questions I continued to have was: Where is Cammi?

Then came a moment in Guardians of the Galaxy where Drax almost went searching for his erstwhile companion of a tender age. But instead, he found his daughter – alive! – and headed into Thanos: Imperative wherein he was killed.

In my fan’s mind, before the events of the ground-breaking and Marvel ED-ignored T:I, I had other thoughts about the return of Cammi to Drax. And they are in this story treatment that I actually did sent to D and A about the same time Marvel ED was probably telling them their books were done (“hiatus,” my arse!) and to wrap everything up in a neat package.

No one’s eyes – except DnA’s – have seen this. But with the return of Cammi and Darkhawk, I thought you, our loyal CBNreader, might want to see how it could have been. Thoughts?

(And of course, just for kicks, I threw in Annihilus and … the Stranger! Enjoy.)

“Re-introducing the Stranger”

Time: Just prior to Thanos: Imperative, when we were all still enjoying DnA on Nova, Guardians of the Galaxyand those great mini-series.

On an unidentified planet in the Andromeda Galaxy, the enigmatic Stranger stands in his laboratory looking at two floating subjects: Cammi, the young girl who was once companion to Drax the Destroyer, and a globe of null energy which holds the original Nega-Bands created long ago by the Kree Intelligence Supreme and recently retrieved by the Stranger from the locked tomb of the deceased Captain Mar-Vell.

Through his vast studies of the Cosmos, the Stranger has discovered that Cammi, like the Terran Rick Jones, possesses latent psionic potential. The Stranger hopes to use the Nega-Bands, which provide a natural gateway into the Negative Zone, to journey unnoticed by denizens of the Zone to the dimension to prevent the hatching of an “egg” containing an ever-growing infant Annihilus.

Although he did not take part in either Annihilation War, the Stranger is concerned with the health of the universe since the release of Black Bolt’s T-bomb and plans to make certain Annihilus never rises again. Moreover, the Stranger has discovered that the wielder of the Kree Nega-Bands is also granted a heightened awareness, Cosmic Awareness. As a scientist, this above all interests the alien as it is a power he does not possess,

Although the Stranger is himself a powerful cosmic being, he has determined (whether correctly or not) that he needs to maintain a link to the positive 616 universe in order to achieve his goals. He has determined the best link for him would be the Earth girl Cammi, once her psionic potential is released.

As the Stranger bathes the Earth girl in multi-hued energies from a device once owned by the Kree Supremer, the planet is approached by a ship containing Drax the Destroyer and his fellow Guardians of the Galaxy: Star-Lord, Bug, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Vance Astro and Drax’s daughter Moondragon. Drax has been on the path of Cammi for months, dating back before the time his daughter Moondragon was discovered alive again. Gossip across merchant vessels and migrating colony arks seeking escape from the Shiar Imperium has led Drax and his fellow Guardians to this uncharted planet.

Drax, in his wars against Thanos, has met and even battled the Stranger before. But that was when he was stronger and could blast cosmic fire from his hands. It was hard for Drax to ask his fellow Guardians to accompany him, putting their lives in danger. But as Richard Rider (Nova) learned from Drax, so too has the former Arthur Douglas learned from the humans he has been exposed to (especially Star-Lord and Jack Flag) about camaraderie and the need for teamwork.

As Cammi screams, energy swirlies surround her head. The Stranger slaps one Nega-Band on Cammi’s wrist while the second is slapped around his opposite wrist. The Stranger violently slaps his wrist against the Earth child’s arm, and the lab explodes in a corona of unearthly energy. As the blast occurs, Drax and his band of Guardians make their way through the rubble of the Stranger’s lab looking for Cammi. What they find is the Stranger, floating in a lotus position contemplating what went wrong: Instead of transporting himself to the Negative Zone, Cammi is gone … and so are both Nega-Bands!

The Guardians engage the Stranger in battle as best they can while Drax looks through the rubble for Cammi. After a cosmic skirmish, the Stranger determines to hunt out Ravenous, currently held prisoner by the new Nova Corps, in an effort to get to the Negative Zone, put an end to Annihilus before the despot can return to life and retrieve the precious bands.

When Drax finds the Stranger is off to retrieve Cammi (who is attached to the bands), he accompanies the last survivor of Gigantus. With Nova away on a mission, the Stranger finds it child’s play to break through the defenses of the Xandarian ship Resolute Duty and free Ravenous, despite the best efforts of the Nova Corp trainees. Unfortunately, when he releases Ravenous, a few of the Praetorian Guard escape as well. The Stranger, Drax and Ravenous depart in a burst of energy, leaving the Nova Corps to clean up the mess and re-capture the Praetorians.

Ravenous under threat from the Stranger tells the odd duo of a portal on Earth in the headquarters of the Fantastic Four. It takes less than a breath for the Stranger to make it past the HERBIEs of the unoccupied BaxterBuildingand fly through the portal, Drax still in tow.

Simultaneously, Star-Lord and the Guardians arrive at the Resolute Duty and help Philo and the returning Nova recapture the Praetorians, also seeing to injuries among the Corps. Nova and the Guardians prepare to head to Earth via Knowhere’s Continuum Cortex. With the instantaneous transport that bypasses time and space, the group arrives at the BaxterBuildingas the Stranger and Drax vanish through the Negative Zone portal; the Stranger seals it behind him and our heroes are helpless.

In the Negative Zone, Cammi (unknowing of the power she possesses with the Nega-Bands) has been taken prisoner by thralls of the late Catastrophus. Weak but unbound, the plucky youth recognizes the almost-hatched Annihilus in his goo egg and realizes suddenly the weight of what she must do. She picks up a piece of debris and goes over to shatter the egg and kill the almost-adult Annihilus. But just as she goes to strike, Annihilus breaks free of the egg and grabs Cammi, inadvertently slamming her wrists (and thus the two Kree Nega-Bands) together.

In a brilliant light, nu-Annihilus and Cammi disappear from the Negative Zone and reappear in the heart of New York City, outside the Baxter Building where the Guardians are being held by force by a returning FF as Nova desperately (and comically) tries to explain to Dr. Richards who these galactic heroes are.

Ben Grimm (the Thing) notices a noise outside and there stands an Annihilus of Cammi’s stature, glowing with unbelievable power from the Nega-Bands on the streets of New York: nu-Annihilus and Cammi have merged!

Star-Lord, Moondragon and the other Guardians (sans Drax) and the Fantastic Four join forces to battle the mini-Annihilus until Moondragon telepathically senses Cammi’s thoughts in nu-Annihilus’ mind. While they have never met, Cammi has told his daughter much of his missing terran companion.

In the Negative Zone, Drax does battle with the thralls of Catastrophus while an ignored Ravenous escapes. While the battle goes on, the Stranger uses an other-worldly Kirby-esque device to locate Cammi. Survey says both she and nu-Annihilus are gone. The Stranger uses a twin device to trace the merged entity to Earth, where a fierce battle is even then underway.

Energy such as those given off by Sue Richards, Nova – even Johnny Storm’s flames — are absorbed and redirected toward the heroes. Weapons seem to be equally useless as their energy is absorbed and redirected at the crusaders. Ben and Groot — those with any enhanced strength — for once fare better:

“It’s Clobberin’ Time!”

“I am GROOT!!!”

Suddenly, Moondragon is whispered something by Reed Richards. The telepath reaches into the brain of the occupied nu-Annihilus and releases Cammi’s latent psionic energies. The composite creature suddenly finds itself being attacked by physically viable images of the “old” Drax, Paiboc the Power Skrull, the Blood Brothers and Lunatik: the survivors of the crashed Dredge 01!

At this moment, just as Reed and Rocket Raccoon are about to blast nu-Annihilus with a big bad Nick Fury-like gun, the Stranger and Drax appear. The true Drax strikes nu-Annihilus (not fully aware of the merger) in the heart, pulling out goo as the bug-creature screams bloody murder. At that same instant, the Stranger grabs the Nega-Bands, the now-separated body of nu-Annihilus — and vanishes!

The people of NYC begin exiting the surrounding bars, businesses and high-rises. The heroes surround Drax, who is cradling Cammi in his arms. Her eyes are empty white circles and she is screaming “Oooooooooooooo …”

The experience has driven her mad.

                                                (end)

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Who Is Cammi? Drax’s Sidekick Faces Annihilation In Avengers Arena

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With the announcement that Marvel NOW’s Avengers Arena will be returning to us cosmic stars Darkhawk and Cammi, it makes us here in the CBN offices wonder if some of the complex story threads accompanying said characters might also return.

The fact that former cosmic editor Bill Rosemann, always a friend to CBN, is behind the book makes us feel good, and we are quite eager to see DH’s handling by creative team Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker.

What I – your trusty M.E., Byron Brewer – do not find particularly tasteful is this seeming gladiator mentality where young heroes battle to the death. Iron Man vs. Hulk, Thing vs. Sub-Mariner, OK. Mix it up. But even then, in the Marvelous Age of Marvel, it was never to the death.

And these are kids!

Cammi’s inclusion brings up some particular feelings, seeing as how she has been missing since the great sci-fi days of Annihilation. (Oh how we miss ’em!)

For the uninitiated – and that may be legion – Cammi was a 10-year-old elementary school student raised in Coot’s Bluff, Alaska. She lived with her mother Mavis, who had a problem with alcohol. Her father has been missing for quite sometime.

Around this time, the Omega Core Prison Transport Vessel, designated Dredge 01, departed from Earth en route for the Kyln prison planetoid located at the edge on the universe in the Crunch Cascade. Galactic-level gangsters known as the Brood Brothers were transferred into the Omega Core’s custody by Earth authorities. But before the Dredge 01 left the planet’s orbit, a singularity drive failure caused it to crash-land back on Earth outside of Coot’s Bluff.

Cammi and her friend Dex happened upon the five survivors of the crash: Drax, Paibok, the Blood Brothers and Lunatik. Tricking the (then) dim-witted Drax into thinking that she was his long-lost daughter Heather (Moondragon), Cammi goaded him into a fight with the Blood Brothers.

While waiting for a way to escape Earth, Paibok had grown tired of the feud between Drax and the Blood Brothers so he transformed himself into the likeness of Thanos and then impaled Drax through the head, seemingly causing his death. A strange occurrence soon followed. Cammi curiously claimed ownership of Drax’s dead body. The corpse began to smoke and melded into the ground beneath it. Later, a new version of the Drax entity bursts through the harden soil.

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Paibok, Drax, Cammi and the surviving Blood Brother were taken into custody on the Omega Core Stockade Barge designated Dredge 02.

Cammi and Drax remained aboard Dredge 02 until it docked at the Xander Cluster, Tranta System, Andromeda Galaxy, on its way to the Kyln. At Xandar, the Omega Core Prison transport warden was forced to release Cammi and Drax because this new Drax’s genetic matrix readings did not match the originals recorded by the Omega Core.

While Cammi and Drax were awaiting their pending release, the great Annihilation Wave of the villainous Annihilus (natch) attacked the Xandar Cluster, destroying the prison.

Now stranded, Cammi and Drax began searching for transport off the planet, in the process running into Nova (Richard Rider version, the only acceptable version). Finding a Nova Corps Combat Cruiser, which was powered by the Nova Force that is stored inside of Rider, the companions traveled nine light years to the planet of Nycos, where they were met by the Protector of the Universe Quasar (Wendell Vaughn of Earth).

The heroes were attacked by Annihilus’ command section of the Annihilation Wave. Nova infected the Annihilation Waves’ command structure by using a virus developed by the Xandar’s World Mind. Cammi appeared piloting a rescuing Nova Corps Combat Cruiser. The infected vessels began to self-destruct, granting them safe passage out of the Xandar Cluster.

Cammi, Drax and Nova with the World Mind incorporated into his person then traveled into Kree space. They arrived on Daedalus 5 in the Greater Magellanic Cloud where Nova assumed leadership of the intergalactic resistance movement known as the United Front. Peter Quill, the former hero Star-Lord, served as Nova’s chief aide and strategist. Bolstered mainly by the local Kree Forces, the resistance also included the Skrull Talos, Ronan, Gamora and her Graces.

The UF’s greatest assets, though, were the former Galactus Heralds Firelord, Red Shift and Stardust. Their mission was to prevent the Annihilation Wave, launched in the Negative Zone, from advancing any further into our positive matter universe.

While on Daedalus 5, Drax was informed by Phylla-Vell, daughter of the Kree hero Mar-Vell, that Moondragon had been abducted by Thanos. She gave Drax a package containing her severed ear, which confirmed the story of Moondragon’s capture. Cammi asks if she can keep the ear. (See what we mean about Cammi? Corpses, ears?)

After a brutal battle with the Centurions from the Negative Zone, Drax leaves Cammi behind with the UF as he goes to rescue Moondragon. After single-handedly killing Thanos (and thus fulfilling his life’s mission, BTW), Drax returned with Moondragon.

Curiously, even though he later set out to find her in Guardians of the Galaxy, there has been no report of Cammi’s whereabouts since the previous events.

Now comes Avengers Arena which stars not only Cammi and Darkhawk, but also students from Avengers Academyand the Runaways cast in addition to new characters.

I trust Bill Rosemann. Marvel with cosmic characters – eh, well, let’s just say they have not won me back thus far with Bendis GotG and Loeb’s nuNova.

Good luck, Cammi.

[page_title]

Bill Rosemann Brings Back Darkhawk and Cammi In “Avengers Arena”; But For How Long?!

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:3061:]]Remember the “Survive” Marvel NOW! Teaser that featured Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker?

Well, Marvel revealed what it really is about. 

And it sounds pretty wild!

The new title is dubbed “Avengers Arena,” and it sees 16 young heroes – including Darkhawk and Cammi – battling it out against each other on Murderworld run by the villain Arcade.

It’s kill or be killed!

Former Marvel Cosmic editor Bill Rosemann is behind the book — which probably explains the inclusion of Darkhawk and Cammi. So thank you, Bill!

Not only are Darkhawk and Cammi present, but so are the students from Avengers Academy and Runways in addition to new characters.

Last we saw of Darkhawk was in Nova #36, I believe, when Evil Darth Quasar knocked him out giving him a concussion. Regarding Cammi, last time for her might have been Annihilation with fans wondering whatever became of the former sidekick of Drax The Destroyer.

“After his last appearances in War of Kings and NOVA, Darkhawk soars again!” Marvel Editor Bill Rosemann told Marvel.com. “Staying with sci-fi, just wait until you see what Dennis and Kev have planned for Annihilation’s Cammi, baddest girl in all the galaxy.”

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:3062:]]Rosemann goes on to compare the new series to the popular novels and movies, Lord of the Flies and Hunger Games, but with a “Marvel twist.”

“AVENGERS ARENA gives a high concept itch a superhuman scratch. Throughout history, societies have sent their young adults against one another in competition, whether that’s in war, sports or “American Idol.” Likewise, art has examined this phenomenon of the older generation sacrificing the younger generation and also of young warring gangs wanting to prove who’s #1 in everything from the myth of Theseus vs. the Minotaur to “Lord of the Flies” to “Battle Royale” to “Starship Troopers” to “Survivor” to “Hunger Games.” Teen vs. teen competition is as old as storytelling — but now it’s time to give it the Marvel twist,” Rosemann said.

Writer Dennis Hopeless states there will be “a lot of murder in this new Murder World” — and we can’t help but wonder if it Marvel will continue their course of killing off cosmic characters.

I think fans of Darkhawk know that he would pretty much be able to take any of these guys out. 

Right?!

Avengers Arena #1 hits in December.

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[page_title]

Op-Ed: I want Marvel Cosmic – NOW!

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Marvel, you want to increase your sales by about $20 a week?

Then give me a space book.

The reason I say this is because books like Annihilation, Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy are my gateway into the Marvel Universe.

With that door shut, so is the rest of the Marvel Universe to me.

And I ain’t alone.

Granted, the “cosmic” fans might not number as high as the Avengers and X-Men fans, but we do hold our own.

Back in the good ol‘ days both Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy hovered around 25,000, and with a little promotion we might tip the scale a bit past 30,000 (see The Thanos Imperative).

True, while you told us that the reason for cancelling the Annihilation line was not due to sales, my point is that the audience for these books generally heads to the local comic shop each week — because of these books.

I know talking to a number of Marvel Cosmic fans, that they all came back to Marvel with Annihilation, and I can say the same for me.

After 10 years or so of not reading comics, I heard about Annihilation: Nova and was sold. From then on, each week I would not only by Marvel comics, but comics from all the publishers.

And without them…?

To be honest, I feel sorta left out, that Marvel is only catering to the Avengers and X-Men crowd. 

If you do the math and say only 10 comic book readers who spent twenty bucks a week are no longer buying Marvel (or any comics) as a result of the cancellation of Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy, you have $10,000 a year less coming into local comic shops.

So what do you say Marvel?

I want Marvel Cosmic – NOW!

[page_title]

What the D’ast? Why The ‘New’ Marvel Cosmic will never work

(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with Marvel Cosmic and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)

 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:1590:]]The new Marvel Cosmic will never work.

It may give us incredible scenarios involving the “new” Nova Marvel Editorial is so hot on.

It may give us grand adventures in mags like Fantastic Four, Avengers and Defenders.

It may even offer to solve old cosmic story threads (Darkhawk, etc.).

But the new Marvel Cosmic will never work.

Here is why:

I like so many other comic book readers I know either returned to Marvel, upped their Marvel pick-up list, or even (as in my case) returned to the House of Ideas after long sabbaticals away from comics (in my case, a decade) right in the middle of the miracle that was Annihilation.

Stan Lee, if he were an active writer at Marvel these days, and certainly Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin and Roy Thomas would have loved getting their storytelling teeth into something like Annihilation and its minis. Here you had, in one grand playing theatre, the cosmic characters of the Marvel U. in a vast arena with not one of the major characters now in books of their own. No FF, no Avengers, no Thor, no Iron Man; they were busy fighting each other on Earth.

No, just Quasar, Nova, many of the cosmic supporting characters from other series and many of the baddies/anti-heroes from decades of Marvel space tales. And here they were in a very mature, very involving scenario opposing (for a while at least) a mystery villain who was making his way across the universe, destroying everything in his path.

For God’s sake, we even had the Silver Surfer, Thanos and Big G himself, Galactus!

For years, clear through Realm of Kings and The Thanos Imperative, we Marvel Cosmic fans were kept happy. Even though the heavy hitters of Marvel Editorial did little to promote the wealth they could have achieved in readership and loot from many of these best-selling books and actually voiced their hatred of the genre and characters, we were happy.

Then someone took the plug out of the tub!

Suddenly our favorite scribes Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning were writing about Thor, Iron Man and the New Mutants. Brad Walker was drawing street level heroes. And Brian Michael Bendis seemed to not even know what War of Kings was!

We were no longer happy, we were outraged!

We huffed and puffed, wrote anti-Marvel editorials on our little websites and even posted educated and sometimes nasty twitters to the Marvel Editorial brass.

Didn’t work. They didn’t care.

As this “Summer of Promises” arrives, one in which a Guardians of the Galaxy series and movie may become reality, I am still not convinced. It will not be the same. The threads from Annihilation and Thanos seem to be irrevocably thinned and almost broken.

We want our Nova! We want our cosmic heroes! We want answers to the great story threads spun by DnA. Not more Annihilators, more Annihilation!

And again, we are no longer happy, we are outraged!

Didn’t work. They didn’t care.

TGFLS: Thank God For Last September! For the New 52. for Justice League and Stormwatch, for the Green Lantern books and a fresh new world where Cosmic is celebrated.

Some of us dream on. Some of us are happy again in a new DCU.

But the new Marvel Cosmic will never work.

And we, the Marvel Cosmic readers, no longer care.