ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Last Annihilation Wiccan and Hulkling #1

Content warning: The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1 contains scenes of LGBTQ discrimination.

The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Anthony Oliveira, with art by Jan Bazaldua, colors by Rochelle Rosenberg, and letters by Arianna Maher. With the galaxy under siege by the legions of a Dormmamu-possessed Ego, the unified Kree/Skrull Empire is hard-pressed from all sides. With Emperor Hulkling holding the line on Hala and his Royal Consort Wiccan on far-away Skrullos, the couple may be forced to fight on separate battlefields but are forever together.

Do you know how I know when a writer is hitting the perfect note when telling a story that centers on a couple’s love? When I flip that last page, and the first thought that passes through my head is, “Damn. I want what they have.” And as I scrolled past that last screen of the latest of the many books I’ve read by the phenomenal Oliveira, that was all I could think of where Hulkling and Wiccan are concerned.

The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1 picks up shortly after the events of S.W.O.R.D. #7 where Commander Brand led a team of Mutants to save Hulkling from being overwhelmed by the relentless onslaught of Mindless Ones. While the Emperor was secured, his magic sword was shattered in the ongoing battle, denying the forces allied against Dormmamu a potent weapon. To remedy this, Hulkling dispatches Brand to join up with Wiccan on Skrullos, taking the fractured sword with her so that the Royal Consort might find a way to mend it.

The intense rush of peril that has permeated the entirety of The Last Annihilationstoryline continues to be omnipresent throughout the bulk of this story. Oliveira does a great job of maintaining the feeling that time is almost up for our heroes. This is quite a trick to achieve, given how well long-time comic fans have been trained to assume everything will be fine in the end, which greatly hampers the sense of imminent peril. And I say that this sense of intensity is only maintained through most of the book because much of The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1 takes place some years ago before there was a Hulkling and Wiccan. Back to when Billy met Teddy.

This flashback story delivers the classic story of the football player and the outcast who meet one day, bond over unexpected shared interests, and, well, the rest is history. And while the bulk of this side of the story is a beautiful love story, Oliveira doesn’t deliver this story of young love completely through rose-tinted shades. For example, with Billy openly gay, he is subjected to bullying at the hands of some of his and Teddy’s peers. These moments are hard to read, but Oliveira uses them skillfully and tactfully to help sculpt the characters’ growth.

The art in The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1 does a good job of delivering its story. While the present-day story is done well, it is the past side of the story where Bazaldua’s art shines. The way the artist captures Billy and Teddy in their awkward and tender moments completes the delivery of the narrative.

While Bazaldua’s strongest side of this issue is in the past, the opposite is true for Rosenberg’s colors. While the colorist treats the past well, it is the tension-building lighting of the present where Rosenberg comes through the brightest.

Wrapping up our look at The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1, we have Maher’s letters. As always, the letterer guides the reader through the story with easy-flowing clarity and skill.

When all is said and done, The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1 brings a story that both continues to deliver the tension that the crossover event has built itself on while also delivering a tender look at one of the brightest shining love stories in comics.

The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1 is available September 1st wherever comics are sold.

The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1
5

TL;DR

The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1 brings a story that both continues to deliver the tension that the crossover event has built itself on while also delivering a tender look at one of the brightest shining love stories in comics.