Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Penciler: Manuel Garcia
Inkers: Rafael Fonteriz, Cam Smith, Wayne Faucher & Manuel Garcia
Colorist: Federico Blee w/ Rachelle Rosenberg & Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Covers: Josemaria Casanovas; Arthur Adams & Edgar Delgado
Release Date: December 18th, 2019
This is it! The big conclusion to the ANNIHILATION – SCOURGE event! Will our heroes be able to beat back the Scourge into the Cancerverse, or will the Negative Zone fall and pave the way for a Positive Zone invasion? Let’s crack open Matthew Rosenberg’s ANNILIHATION – SCOURGE OMEGA #1 and find out!
The issue begins with a close-up on Beta Ray Bill’s axe, Stormbreaker, stuck in the ground on a planet in the Negative Zone. Readers of the entire event will remember Bill threw the weapon at Sentry to drive him back into the Negative Zone, losing Stormbreaker in the process. Unfortunately, this panel is one of the best art-wise in the entire book. Manuel Garcia does all right with objects and even grotesque creatures, but the character work has to be a low point in the series, which is a real shame. The overabundance of artists on the book (7) could contribute to the messy presentation, but there’s only one penciler, so the buck has to stop with Garcia.
But hey, Matthew Rosenberg is there to write a kick-ass ending, and take the heat off of his partner, right? Yeah, not so much. And again, it’s a real shame. There were a lot of skeptics going into this mini event, but up to this point it’s been mostly good, and at times great. For the finalé to fall flat on its face will just leave readers with an overall negative (no pun intended) feel to the series, which isn’t fair to previous issues.
As for what actually transpires, Human Torch and the Thing are fighting back Cancerverse monsters on the same rock Stormbreaker is on. Beta Ray Bill and Lockjaw show up, Bill grabs his axe, regains his horse face, and wipes out the the attacking horde with his transformation. The Silver Surfer / Bob Reynolds hybrid also shows up, and the heroes set off for a planet housing Negative Zone refugees, which is being shielded by the Invisible Woman. If it sounds like characters are just being thrown at you, that’s only because they are. It truly feels like Rosenberg didn’t have enough space to finish this story, so let’s blame editorial a bit for this too. Not having one consistent team of creators from the get-go for ultimately a six-issue mini seems like it may have bit them in the butt also.
Readers can discover the rest for themselves, but be assured there are a few moments that shine– namely the sacrifice the FF are willing to make, Nova’s entrance, and the way the Silver Surfer “defeats” Sentry. Wooden, exposition-laden dialogue and poor art dull these moments however. The heroes, namely Nova, defeat the Cancerverse in a ridiculous way, and a meaningful sacrifice is nullified pages later.
ANNIHILATION – SCOURGE OMEGA #1 is a disappointing ending to an otherwise decent little event. It doesn’t feel like Matthew Rosenberg had the space to form a cohesive finalé, and Manuel Garcia’s art did little to alleviate the strained story. Perhaps the worst sin of this conclusion is that the naysayers going into it will feel vindicated, when even a slightly above average issue would have resulted in a fine six-issue story. Unfortunately, ANNIHILATION – SCOURGE OMEGA #1 disproves the adage of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.