Saturday, April 26, 2003

Annihilation: Ronan #1 Review

Annihilation: Ronan #1 has a lot of things going against it in my book. The two biggest are as follows – I have little to no interest in the basic concept behind Annihilation and I really never liked the character Ronan. I mean, don’t get me wrong, he’s a mainstay in the Marvel Universe, so I suppose I’ve always accepted him as just a given, but I have never taken much of a liking to him, and the idea of Ronan being a villain in an issue has never had any great appeal to me. Therefore, the fact that Simon Furman has somehow made this book pretty fun is quite an achievement on Furman’s part!

Furman has decided to take the “high concept” approach to Ronan, and that is to go back and examine just what it is that an “Accuser” DOES. Furman’s answer? He is judge, jury and executioner. One that is so confident in the infallibility of his logic that he never, for a second, questions whether he is right in his actions. So, for instance, if he were to walk in during an argument, he would quickly figure out who was to blame, and then mete “justice” at the end of his cosmic-powered hammer. Think of the fun you could have with a character like that! Someone who just wanders from situation to situation, meting out “justice” wherever he goes!

In any event, that’s the basic plot scenario, as Ronan is in a bad place, after he has been branded a traitor by the current Kree government. He is now on a quest to find out who has testified against him, causing him to be labeled a traitor. If he happens to come across some injustices along the way, so be it! Furman also takes the time at one point to, for some reason, address plot points from Operation: Galactic Storm of all places, as Ronan comes across former Kree allies who were forced to work for the Sh’iar after the Kree lost the Kree/Sh’iar War, but were given their “freedom” when the Kree Empire rose from the ashes, at which point the Kree did not want back the “traitors.” It’s an interesting enough idea – but Galactic Storm? Really? You want the reader to get into THAT?

Jorge Lucas’ art gets the job done, but does not go any further than that. His character designs are not exactly inspired, but everything is told in a clear manner, and he does not hurt the story, which I think is probably the most important rule of drawing a comic – don’t hurt the story. Once you’ve achieved that, then it would be nice to HELP the story, but that’s less important, I think, than simply just not HURTing the story.

It is interesting how Furman has Ronan go about clearing his name in such a seemingly dispassionate manner. It’s a nice character tic, and gives the book a lot of interesting scenes (like as Ronan just casually takes apart some people there to kill him, as his mind is preoccupied by his plight). The cliffhanger ending was a bit annoying to me, on a purely continuity level, in that the character who apparently is being sent after Ronan is a classic character who I’ve enjoyed, and I do not know if I like this new (at least I’m pretty sure it is new – 1 cool point to anyone who can tell me what the current status is for the character at the end of this issue) status quo for this character, as I enjoyed this character as a good guy.
In any event, while there was a lot to like about this comic, I think it strikes me a bit too “one-note” to recommend. But it was a pretty good comic, which I did not expect from a Ronan comic book.

Read the Review


Blogger Tim O'Neil said...

Maybe Operation: Galactic Storm may seem like an obscure reference, but anyone who's read the story knows that you couldn't really do any kind of Kree tale without at least paying lip service. It's not really an issue of continuity wagging the dog, so to speak, it's the fact that they basically blew up 95% of the Kree empire with a giant nega-bomb and if they just ignored that it would be a bit different than, say, just not mentioning that Spider-Man's parents were once impersonated by evil robots. Anyone readign a comic about Ronan the freakin' Accuser is probably, by definition, not going to mind a little continuity clean-up.

4/26/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Dizzy said...

So basically Furman is writing Judge Dredd again. Good enough for me.

4/26/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Jumping off of what Tim said: If anyone, by sheer accident, picks up this book without having read or heard of Galactic Storm, it won't mean much to them; it'll just be a bit of character history. "Oh, a while ago there was a war, and the Kree were conquered. OK."

This is an interesting case of continuity that's only a problem if the reader knows it's continuity.

4/26/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

Yay! I can get a cool point! The character in question was last seen hanging out w/Adam Warlock at the end of Infinity Abyss. Andy Schmidt has stated several times that Warlock will not be used in Annihilation, so I assume he's off still training that Atleza kid.

In Furman's defense that character WAS trained as an assassin, though it's a pretty large leap. And I think you're being too hard on the OGS bits, since it only takes up one page of the issue and doesn't stop the story. I loved Furman's characterization of Ronan, who as a character has pretty much been a blank slate to get punched (and I swore he was dead). Stripped of his rank and title, he really doesn't know what to do with himself.

4/26/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Stripped of his rank and title, he really doesn't know what to do with himself."

He could probably pick up some spending money by hanging around Earth settling bar bets.

4/26/2006 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Coyle said...

Ronan... the BOUNCER!!!

4/26/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger CalvinPitt said...

As someone who hasn't read Operation: Galactic Storm, it really wasn't a big deal to me. I vaguely remember something about the Kree being majorly wiped out by a Nega-Bomb (to jump start their evolution, right?), but I had no clue who they had been fighting, so it was just a nice little character moent to me.

"Oh look, Ronan has friends."

4/26/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Anonymous successwithusana said...

Little doubt, the dude is completely just.

4/21/2012 07:08:00 PM  
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