There was a lot of online speculation during “Civil War” about the possible interaction between that storyline and either the ongoing “Annihilation” storyline or possibly “Planet Hulk.” While, from what I understand, “World War Hulk” was originally more of a direct sequel to Civil War, I don’t know that the Annihilation Wave was ever planned to reach Earth.
That said, David Hine picks up the idea and runs with it in “What if Annihilation Reached Earth,” a recent one-shot from Marvel Comics.
The “What If” concept in Marvel Comics takes a pivotal event and shifts something that happened, allowing the event to play out differently. In “What If Annihilation,” Drax the Destroyer makes a different choice at a critical moment, causing Nova’s United Front resistance unable to halt Annihilation.
At the climax of Civil War, the clash between Iron Man and Captain America is interrupted — by a scout ship from the Annihilation Wave.
Richard Rider, Nova, stops the scout ship, and comes to the heroes for help — and is amazed that they’ve spent the last several months “squabbling over (their) secret identities.”
Nova is appropriately heroic, at the heart of this alternate storyline. He works to bring together factions against stiff odds, and takes a key role as Annihilation unfolds. Working with Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Bolt, Nova enlists another cosmic force to help Earth face Annihilus.
Mico Suayan provides the art for pages 1-9 and 21-24; Rafael Kayanan handles pages 10-20. Both artists provide appropriately moody but still mainstream style Marvel artwork.
Marvel Comics fans who want a hint at what might have been will enjoy “What If: Annihilation.” With no “next issue” needed, “What If” comics can up the carnage and the consequences. “What If: Annihilation” does so ably.
– Matt Price