”What We Said Then” is an ongoing feature at Comics Bulletin, displaying past reviews from Comics Bulletin and how they relate to the prevalent comics of the present.
With Legendary Star-Lord #7 and writer Sam Humphries spearheading the upcoming “Black Vortex” cosmic event, let’s look at a review of Annihilation: Ronan #1, one of the cosmic related books that inspired the hit Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Read what our Jason Sacks had to say about that comic way back in May 2006…
Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Jorge Lucas
I keep looking at this comic and asking myself why I’m supposed to care about the lead character. He is Ronan, a massively huge blue-skinned dude with a giant hammer. Ronan has been falsely accused of some crime or other, and is desperately looking to clear his name. There seems to be some sort of conspiracy among the Kree to cast Ronan in a bad light, and so it will probably turn out that in fighting to clear his name, it will help the Kree reform themselves.
Which is all well and good, but, again, why am I supposed to care? This story is supposed to tie in to the Annihilation cross-over, but I don’t see any great connection between that storyline and this comic. This crisis is alluded to in the abstract, but it’s certainly not called out at all in the comic.
So failing a direct connection to the giant crossover, a comic like this has to give readers a reason to care about Ronan. And I just couldn’t find myself caring about the dude. He’s a big nasty hardass with a very short-sighted idea of justice, kind of like a blue-skinned Punisher with even less of a sense of humor, so there’s no reason to root for him. All the scenes take place on bizarre alien worlds, so it’s very hard to get a sense of the setting of this story. And the art, gorgeous and strange as it is, only serves to distance me from the actual story. Jorge Lucas is wonderful at drawing bizarre alien creatures and making everything feel alien and strange, but the art has the unfortunate effect of distancing me from the comic even more.
That doesn’t mean that this isn’t a professionally done comic. The writing is, for what it is, quite solid, and the moral dilemma created by Ronan early in the comic is kind of cool.
But in the end, the comic is summed up by the last half of the last page. After we’ve witnessed Ronan’s struggles to clear his name, the last page cuts to a weird woman sitting on a throne made of skulls. “Next: Gamora,” we’re told, as if that’s supposed to be intriguing or compelling instead of just confusing. I’m sure for those who really know their Marvel history, Gamora really means something. But for me, Gamora, Ronan and the whole gang are just too obscure to care about.