With Captain Marvel almost upon us, the possibilities for Marvel's cosmic characters have become almost limitless. We're currently in the middle of a war with Thanos, but when the dust settles, what villain is big enough to threaten the entire universe? Perhaps Annihilus is sitting by waiting his turn.
The evil behind Marvel's cosmic event "Annihilation", Annihilus and his Annihilation Wave could be the next big threat to the MCU. But who is the ominously-named character, and what might he mean for the MCU? Here are ten things you should know about Annihilus.
10 Annihilus is a Space Bug From the Negative Zone
More specifically, Annihilus is an Arthrosian, whose home planet Arthros hails from Sector 17A of a dimension known as the Negative Zone. The Negative Zone is an antimatter universe that was first discovered by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, which frequently undergoes power struggles over leadership, with Annihilus frequently assuming control.
Annihilus is able to survive in the vacuums of space and wears an armored insectoid exoskeleton, and his power levels make him a formidable foe for strong heroes like Thing and Thor, even when he isn't wielding his dual Tyannan energy blasters.
9 Annihilus Wields the Cosmic Control Rod
The Negative Zone warlord has used blasters and other weapons over the years, but he is best known for wielding the Cosmic Control Rod, one of Marvel's most powerful weapons. Annihilus holds the weapon as a symbol of his rule over the Negative Zone.
The weapon's prestige is largely due to the Rod's ability to control Cosmic Power, not to be confused with the Power Cosmic used by Galactus and his heralds. Annihilus has used the Rod's power to extend his usually short insectoid lifespan, enhance his own strength and abilities, and generate powerful energy blasts that make the Rod a force to be reckoned with.
8 He First Appeared in a Fantastic Four Annual
Fantastic Four Annual #6 hit stores in 1968, and featured the Fantastic Four on a desperate trip into the Negative Zone to procure the Element X that exists within Annihilus' Cosmic Control Rod in order to save Sue and their unborn child during a troubled pregnancy.
Mister Fantastic, Human Torch, and Thing met Annihilus in the Zone, who refused to part with the Cosmic Control Rod. Reed Richards managed to siphon enough Element X from the Rod to save his family, but created an ongoing rivalry between Annihilus and the Fantastic Four and introduced Annihilus to another world he could control.
7 His Film Rights Are Questionable
The film rights to the character of Annihilus were previously held by 20th Century Fox since his first appearance was in an issue of Fantastic Four. This meant that under normal circumstances, any mention or inclusion of Annihilus by Marvel Studios in a film like Captain Marvel would have been impossible.
However, the recent acquisition of certain 20th Century Fox properties (which includes all FF and X-Men characters) by Disney means that the potential tease of the FF character on the CM website could potentially be legitimate, leading many fans to believe the film could be introducing the villainous character to the MCU.
6 Blastaar is His Most Frequent Negative Zone Enemy/Ally
While the Negative Zone is sparsely populated, there are a number of other characters who have threatened the Marvel universe over the years. Next to Annihilus, the most frequent agitator is Blastaar the Living Bomb-Burst, who first appeared in Fantastic Four #62.
Blastaar would attempt to invade the Earth many times over the years, but during his downtime in the Negative Zone was locked in frequent battle with Annihilus. The two would team up occasionally when their goals temporarily aligned, but Blastaar would often find himself teamed up with the Fantastic Four or Avengers against Annihilus in the end.
5 He Played a Small Part in the Kree-Skrull War
The events of the legendary "Kree-Skrull War" kicks off shortly after Annihilus escape from a Negative Zone portal is foiled by the Avengers and the first Captain Marvel. While Annihilus' appearance is small and relatively unimportant to the rest of the storyline, it gives us an idea of how the character could appear in Captain Marvel, since the upcoming film will adapt parts of the "Kree-Skrull War" storyline to work with the Carol Danvers version of the titular character.
Annihilus throwaway comic appearance could be adapted as the film's tease for a future villain, much like Thanos' post-credit appearance in Avengers.
4 He Almost Conquered the Galaxy with his Annihilation Wave
2006's Annihilation event featured an all-out war between Annihilus and cosmic characters like Nova, Silver Surfer, Thanos, Star-Lord, Drax, and Gamora, and would eventually lead to the formation of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Annihilus led an army of warships known as the Annihilation Wave from the Negative Zone in an offensive against the Marvel universe and quickly destroyed or annexed a number of planets before the heroes won after months of fighting.
3 Annihilus Has Worn the Powerful Quantum Bands
During Annihilation, Annihilus killed the cosmic hero known as Quasar and took his Quantum Bands, using them in his bid for galactic domination. The Quantum Bands were created by the cosmic entity known as Eon to be used by his appointed Protector of the Universe, Quasar.
The Bands enable their wearer access to the unlimited energy of the Quantum Realm, while also allowing manipulation of energy and the ability to open wormholes in space for travel. These bands were coupled with the power of Annihilus' Cosmic Control Rod, briefly making him a cosmically powered threat with untapped power limits.
2 He Once Resurrected Johnny Storm
In 2011's Fantastic Four #587, Johnny Storm sacrificed himself during a battle in the Baxter Building with Annihilus' insectoid soldiers that threatened the children of the Fantastic Four. Spider-Man later joined the renamed Future Foundation, honoring his best friend's last request.
Unbeknownst to them, Storm was resurrected by Annihilus to again open a portal out of the Negative Zone. The Human Torch refused, gathered a team of powerful rebels and defeated Annihilus, with his rebellion inspiring the Negative Zone populace to democratically vote in their next ruler. Former ruler Annihilus won in a landslide victory.
1 Annihilus is Virtually Immortal
Annihilus uses the energies of his Cosmic Control Rod to extend his lifespan, but this wasn't the only way the character has managed to remain immortal, and consistently return from the dead. After all, Annihilus has been completely destroyed by Marvel's most powerful mutant Franklin Richards on more than one occasion, and still returned to threaten Marvel's heroes time and time again.
Following his death at the hands of Nova in Annihilation, it was revealed that after every death Annihilus is reborn as an infant, with all the memories of the original, in an endless cycle of rebirth.