The survivors of the "Annihilation War" thought they were done with the horrors of combat. This June, they'll wish that they were as a new threat emerges and the cosmos of the Marvel Universe again becomes an interstellar battle ground in the pages of the "Annihilation: Conquest Prologue" by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and artist Mike Perkins. Once the war begins in the "Prologue," the "Conquest" conflict will spill over into a number of books including issues #4-7 of the ongoing "Nova" series, which Abnett and Lanning also write. CBR News spoke with the writers, who to their fans are collectively known as DnA, about the "Conquest Prologue" and the issues of "Nova" that follow it.
It was their old editor that enlisted Abnett and Lanning to chronicle the outbreak and subsequent battles of Marvel's latest Cosmic War epic. "Having worked on the 'Nova' LS for last year's 'Annihilation,' we were approached by Andy Schmidt, who edited the first 'Annihilation' event, and asked to pilot the next event, which Bill Rosemann is editing," DnA told CBR News. "The prologue was a great gig to write - chock full of cosmic goodness and epic space action."
It was the chance to tell a tale of cosmic goodness and epic space action that drew Abnett and Lanning to "Conquest." "We've both loved Science Fiction all our lives," DnA said. "Most of our favorite Marvel characters when we were growing up were the cosmic ones. I think when you put a costumed superhero into a SF setting, it changes the dynamic. What would be a costume in downtown NY ('Mummy, why's that man got a bucket on his head?') becomes a suit of armor in a space setting. It's big, too. We love the awesome possibilities of scale."
The cast of characters in the "Conquest Prologue" will be comprised primarily of familiar faces. "The 'Prologue' focuses squarely on Quasar (and Moondragon) and Star-Lord," DnA explained. "It's partly a 'you are here' to center the reader after 'Annihilation,' and bring everyone up to speed on current events and situations. But it's also where everything kicks off in the most shocking way. And yes, there's a 'don't blink or you'll miss it' appearance of the mysterious Wraith."
With the exception of Quasar, Moondragon and Star-Lord, Abnett and Lanning had to remain cryptic about the other characters featured in the Prologue. They were able to reveal that they would check in with some of the survivors of the "Annihilation War," both good and evil, early on in the "Conquest" storyline and others further on down the line.
The cast of "Annihilation Conquest" will include many old favorites, but new readers shouldn't worry. "It very much builds upon the events of last year's 'Annihilation,' but new readers interested in joining in shouldn't be put off - there is plenty of information to help you dive right in," DnA stated. "This is an ideal jumping on spot for the cosmic books."
Old fans and new readers that jump on board the "Conquest" event with the "Prologue" will be whisked away to a variety of alien worlds, many of which are strategically important following the aftermath of the first "Annihilation" event "This takes place in Kree Space and the territories ceded to Ravenous," DnA explained. "We'll see Hala, Kree-Lar and various outer worlds."
The heroes won't have time to prepare for the massive new threat to Kree Space and the rest of the cosmos that emerges in the pages of the "Conquest Prologue." "We can say very little, as we hate to spoil a surprise," DnA said. "All we will say is - if you thought Annihilus was a big surprise last time, just wait to see who's coming out to play this time. Let the guessing begin."
Readers won't have to guess what happened to Richard Rider AKA Nova between the events of the "Conquest Prologue" and "Nova" #4. The issue, which hits stores in July, begins seconds after the "Prologue" ends and finds the title character in a tumultuous and dire situation. "Rich is going to be even more driven than usual, and even more beset by internal conflicts," DnA explained. "He's also going to have a bad case of 'oh no, not again!' Nova's four-issue arc will be very tough, very fast paced (even by his standards) and have some big consequences for him and the fate of the entire Marvel Universe."
DnA couldn't go into much detail about how much peril Nova will be in issues #4-7. "It's safe to say he's never been in so much danger," the duo cryptically stated.
With the amount of danger Richard Rider is in and Abnett and Lanning writing the "Annihilation: Conquest" mini-series some readers might be wondering what's going on with the "Nova" ongoing series following issue #7. The series will continue to be published and DnA revealed that issues #8 and beyond of "Nova" will be indirectly linked to "Conquest."
Abnett and Lanning have one hope for the readers of the "Annihilation: Conquest Prologue," "Nova" and all the other books that comprise the "Conquest" storyline. "We hope you enjoy it!" the Duo said. "We've had sneak look at what's coming, obviously, and we're very excited indeed about this event. It's one we'd rush out to read."
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