Annihilus feared only one thing: death. Because his Cosmic Control Rod extended his lifespan, he defended it from every potential threat, real or imagined. His first impression of the Fantastic Four, then, was not favorable: they took away his rod to treat Susan Richards during her pregnancy, although they returned it when they were through with it. In one of his first conquests, Annihilus invaded Sub-Atomica. Psycho-Man tried to fight back with weapons that tapped the powers of the Silver Surfer and Spider-Man. After the two heroes escaped, though, Psycho-Man somehow drove back Annihilus's army successfully. His next contact with Earth was through Nega-Man (evil twin of Janus), who discovered how to draw power from the Negative Zone. Annihilus defeated him but spared his life in exchange for his help in invading Earth. Nega-Man later betrayed him and died in the Exploding Atmosphere, the point of contact between the two universes. A temporary inhabitant of the Negative Zone because of the Nega-Bands, Rick Jones drew Captain Marvel there to free him. Seeing another opportunity to invade Earth, Annihilus tried to follow them but was driven back by the Avengers. Jones soon returned, and Annihilus took him prisoner. This time, Annihilus faced the Kree and the Skrull, who were at war, as well as the Avengers. Jones managed to tap into the Destiny Force, which let him escape and end the war. Always searching for new sources of energy, Annihilus kidnapped Franklin Richards, the same child he indirectly saved earlier. Franklin's psionic abilities quickly spiraled out of control, and Reed Richards was forced to shut them down.