Marvel's most powerful Avenger has returned - and he's just conquered the Negative Zone. The original "Annihilation" event launched in 2006, and essentially reinvented the entire Marvel Cosmic range, blazing the trail for Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy. Since then, it's inspired a range of sequels, and the latest is a new event called Annihilation: Scourge.
The Annihilation: Scourge Alpha one-shot sees the Negative Zone - an alternate dimension discovered by the Fantastic Four - under attack from a monstrous army. The Negative Zone's two rulers, Annihilus and Blastaar, are forced to work together to try to hold back a tide of almost-unbeatable monsters; but they're soon forced to retreat back to Annihilus' homeworld. It's staggering to see two of Marvel's most powerful villains, both of whom have brought the galaxy to its knees before now, driven back by this seemingly unstoppable wave of enemies. Finally, the cliffhanger ending reveals the one responsible is one of Earth's most powerful beings, the Avenger formerly known as The Sentry.
The Sentry is back, and he's more dangerous than ever. Possessed with the power of a million exploding suns, the Sentry is powerful enough to go one-on-one with Worldbreaker Hulk, and crazy enough to tear down Asgard single-handedly the last time he went rogue. It seems that he was trapped in a twisted, corrupted universe known as the Cancerverse, where death was destroyed. Disturbingly, when he speaks to Blastaar at the end of the issue, the speech-bubbles are black; strongly suggesting that he's under the control of his Void personality. The Void is dedicated to destruction, and it will revel in the opportunity to cause chaos in the Negative Zone.
It looks as though the Sentry intends to use the Negative Zone as a launchpad for an invasion of the real world. He's powerful enough to take on most of Marvel's greatest heroes on his own, but the Cancerverse is known for its own twisted champions, including the Revengers - brutal, villainous alternate versions of the Avengers. The last time the Cancerverse invaded, the Revengers proved able to beat the likes of Nova and the Silver Surfer, and this time they're led by a terrifying powerhouse.
Making matters worse, it's even possible the Sentry has been corrupted by the Cancerverse, which would mean he is no longer subject to death. That means this next Annihilation event is led by the man who tore down Asgard, and who now can't be killed even by the likes of Thor. The universe's only hope may be to capitalize upon the fractured mind of the Sentry, attempting to awaken his heroic persona and suppress the Void. That certainly explains why the Fantastic Four are involved in the Annihilation: Scourge event, given Reed Richards was a particularly good friend of the Sentry who attempted to help him in the past.
Annihilation: Scourge Alpha #1 is on sale now from Marvel Comics.