Annihilus is an interdimensional insectoid conqueror and tyrant hailing from the Negative Zone, a pocket dimension located on Earth-616. Birthed from the planet Arthros, he attempted to take over the entire realm wielding the Cosmic Control Rod. He is a nihilist obsessed with extending his own lifespan and will destroy any being that threatens his existence.
Long ago in the Negative Zone, when the Tyannans seeded life spores on barren planets, one of their ships crash landed onto the volcanic planet Arthros when it got hit by a meteor. Before dying, the crew released spores. Many years later, one of the spores evolved into an insectoid creature. Due to a mutation, he had a high intelligence.
Finding the wreckage of the Tyannan starship, he used a special helmet to transfer all information about the advanced Tyannan technology to himself. This caused him to grow stronger and smarter, gaining a Cosmic Control Rod and body armaments. The creature eventually became known as Annihilus and he set out to destroy anything that was a threat to his existence. He planned to conquer or destroy all planets nearby Arthros.
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' 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 with ease, but spared his life in exchange for his help in invading Earth. Nega-Man later betrayed him and apparently died in the Exploding Atmosphere, the point of contact between the two universes. The male members of the Fantastic Four ventured into the Zone to stop Janus, and battled Annihilus until Janus' apparent death made that fight unnecessary to continue. The Thing and the Human Torch managed to return to Earth safely with Reed distracting Annihilus. However, as Reed lost his own tracking device in the struggle to enable himself to return, Reed decided to sacrifice himself with a deliberate drift into the Exploding Atmosphere to keep his knowledge safe from Annihilus. However back on Earth, Agatha Harkness helped the rest of the Four with her magic to rescue Reed with a fiery beacon indicating the way out and a mass illusion to confuse Annihilus enough for Reed to exit safely.
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 Skrulls, 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.
In Annihilus' next encounter with Reed, they became allies. Annihilus had found Scavenger, an android created by the Mad Thinker, and put it to work. Once the Mad Thinker re-established control over the android, though, it stole the Cosmic Control Rod for a power source. Reed, cast into the Negative Zone by the Brute (his evil twin), was forced to buy Annihilus' help by recovering the rod. Together they thwarted the Mad Thinker and the Brute.
Annihilus found another android, A.I.M.'s Super-Adaptoid, and hatched a new plan to conquer Earth. He formed an uneasy alliance with Blastaar, no doubt planning to double-cross him at the first opportunity. Instead, Blastaar's wife, Nyglar, double-crossed him and alerted the Avengers, who defeated the Super-Adaptoid, and, as a result, Annihilus killed Nyglar. In retaliation, Blastaar took the Cosmic Control Rod. Annihilus made his way to Earth, took Franklin and his governess Agatha Harkness hostage, and forced the FF to get his rod back.
Shortly thereafter, Annihilus visited Earth again when the Fantastic Four took an extended trip into the Negative Zone. He took over the Baxter Building as a beachhead for invading Earth. After placing a force field around the building and terrorizing Franklin and Harkness, Annihilus was beaten by the FF and the Avengers.
Meanwhile, the realm of Asgard had broken loose from its accustomed place and intersected the Negative Zone. When Annihilus learned of this new territory, he decided to conquer it. He bested the Asgardian soldiers and even Thor before losing to Odin. Soon afterward, Annihilus kidnapped a sleeping Odin but lost a rematch with Thor.
Next, Annihilus encountered the long-lost Tyannans. Unfortunately, they were under the control of the Brute. Along with Blastaar and Reed Richards, Annihilus defeated the Brute and freed the Tyannans. To protect themselves from the other inhabitants of the Negative Zone, however, the Tyannans and Reed set up a barrier around their world.
Another power-hungry madman, Syphonn, gained prominence in the Negative Zone. He had created a Conqueror Wheel, a device that allowed easy passage to the positive matter universe. Forming an alliance with Blastaar and Syphonn, Annihilus gathered his forces unaware that Syphon planned to betray him by destroying the positive matter universe and using its energy to become a god rather than opening a passage to enable an invasion. Before they could 'attack', though, Adam Warlock destroyed the Conqueror Wheel.
Nega-Man reappeared (the original Janus this time) as a member of the Gideon Trust, a group that used the FF's "Transceptor" technology to invade the Negative Zone and mine its resources. This constant traffic between the universes threatened to destroy the barrier between them. The loss of energy also weakened Annihilus. When Annihilus caught up to the Gideon Trust, however, he also encountered Hellscout and the FF. Although the Gideon Trust obtained Annihilus's rod, Hellscout shattered it with a gunshot. Annihilus tried to recapture the fragments but was beheaded by Hellscout.
Much later, insectoid larvae grew out of the rod fragments. A new, younger Annihilus appeared and menaced the Fantastic Four when they tried to set up a prison in the Negative Zone. They escaped when another Annihilus appeared and the two accused each other of stealing their rods.
Most recently, Annihilus discovered the Opposing Force, the Negative Zone's counterpart of the Power Cosmic. After long years of failed conquests, he had the power to fulfill his dreams. With an entity named Ravenous who wielded this power, he invaded the positive matter universe through a portal known as the Crunch. Many worlds and many heroes fell before the Annihilation Wave. One of his goals was to master the Power Cosmic, so he captured several of Galactus' heralds (all of whom have that power). He also allied himself with Thanos to take Galactus prisoner and use Galactus' power to destroy all life in the Negative Zone and the positive matter universe.
At the last moment, Drax the Destroyer freed the Silver Surfer, who freed Galactus, who destroyed the Annihilation Wave, with Galactus, the Silver Surfer, Nova, Phyla-Vell, and Star-Lord, and the surviving Annihilus the only beings still alive in the area. Nova then had a final battle against Annihilus in which he succeeded in killing him, by shoving his fist down his throat and ripping out his internal organs. However, Annihilus was reborn on Kree-Lar, former capital of the Kree Empire and current seat of the territories ceded to the Annihilation Wave, by one of Annihilus' Queens.
Consequences and Raptors
The consequences of this war were felt for years, while Annihilus bided his time to return to power. While the regent of the seceded territories Ravenous dealt with a Phalanx invasion, Annihilus grew safely in the Negative Zone. During the conflict between the Kree and Shi'ar, a group of Shi'ar Raptors discovered that the regent, a Bug king named Catastrophus, was using the Cosmic Control Rod to retard the growth of the prime Annihilus. They stopped the process and killed Catastrophus, but warned the semi-sentient creature to remember their mercy.
Death of the Human Torch and Downfall
The Cult of the Negative Zone made their way into the Baxter Building and breached the portal to the Negative Zone. Once inside, the cult managed to unleash what seemed to be an endless army of Annihilus Insectoid Soldiers upon Johnny, the currently powerless Ben, and the kids of the Future Foundation. Franklin revealed that he had his powers back by destroying the army and the group pushed into the Negative Zone, where the only way to hold the army off from getting through the door was to lock the door from their side and randomize the code so no one could get in or out. Ben was prepared to make the sacrifice, but Johnny threw him through the portal as he regained his powers. Johnny used his nova flame, but still couldn't burn the whole army and was captured. Annihilus demanded that Johnny opened the portal to Earth, but he refused and was killed.
Three times Johnny was resurrected by worm-healers, but every time he burned them before they had time to recover his body and he died again and again. Finally the worms were able to recover his body, and Johnny was sent to prison, where he met with the Light Brigade. Together they escaped and attacked Annihilus, while Johnny took away his Cosmic Control Rod. After that Johnny opened a portal to the Baxter Building and they all returned to Earth.
Johnny used the Annihilation Wave ships to battle the Kree's (who were attacking the Earth at that time) until the Inhumans asked him to take down the Kree by their own. While the other heroes on Earth were dealing with the scraps of the battle which could damage the Earth, Reed and Sue summoned Galactus, who completely destroyed the Kree army. At that moment, the Mad Celestials appeared to destroy this universe.
Annihilus was summoned by Doctor Doom and Kid Immortus who promised Annihilus to retrieve the Cosmic Control Rod so he could join their alliance. They began observing the FF, while Kid Immortus pressured into merging themselves together so they could defeat the Fantastic Four, but Doom remained unconvinced. They forced Alex Power to sabotage the FF's portal so the superheroes would wound up in Doom's nation of Latveria, it instead transported them on the moon, due to Ant-Man being aware of their plans with the help of Impossible Man redirected the portal. When the FF began preparing their attack on Latveria, Doom was able to retrieve the Cosmic Control Rod with the assistance of his Council of Doom. However, when the FF came, Doom refused to merge with Immortus and Annihilus, deeming them inferior, and instead absorbed the rod into himself and incapacitated Immortus, Annihilus and the FF. Ultimately, the FF defeated Doom and Annihilus got his Cosmic Control Rod back.
Wanting to invade the Posiverse once again but needing greater power, Annihilus, with Pip the Troll's help, captured the Hulk and took him to the Negative Zone. Annihilus ordered his servant Doctor Bultar (actually the demon Mephisto in disguise) to discover what caused Banner to bulk up when he transformed into the Hulk. The Mad Titan Thanos tried to stop Annihilus, but Annihilus was successful in copying Hulk's transformation and growing into a giant. Annihilus and Hulk did battle with Annihilus gaining the advantage, but Hulk was unexpectedly rescued by Pip the Troll and managed to return to Earth.
With his newfound strength along with new teleportation technology, Annihilus attacked the Posiverse in search of a great power source that had recently appeared. Annihilus eventually discovered that the new power source was an Adam Warlock from an alternate reality. Before entering the universe of Earth-616, Warlock had absorbed the entirety of his home reality, turning him into one of the most powerful entities in the universe. Annihilus was opposed by Warlock, Thanos, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Gladiator of the Shi'ar, and Pip the Troll. Thanks to his increased power and the power to instill fear into others, Annihilus was able to defeat his enemies and capture Warlock.
As Annihilus used Warlock's power to destroy the Posiverse, Pip the Troll woke Warlock up and accidentally caused Warlock to destroy the universe with his power. Annihilus was later brought back to life when the universe was restored as result of a deal between Warlock and the Above-All-Others. With the universe restored to the point before his invasion, Annihilus and his forces were defeated by an army of the dead led by Warlock and Thanos. Annihilus was subsequently killed by Thanos, who stepped on him after Warlock devolved him into a small, harmless bug.
With the coming of the Builders, a resurrected Annihilus used the modified Shi'ar stargates over Praxis-2 to bring another Annihilation Wave, despite confirming that he would be unable to control it without his Rod. However, the Builders were able to use their mastery of xenobiology to hack into the hivemind of the Wave and tell them to devour themselves. After the defeat of the Builders, Annihilus retained control of the Stargates and turned Praxis-2 into his foothold in Earth-616. The planet was dubbed Annihilation World, and was the bridge into the Negative Zone.
After finding out that the decay of the universe was linked to Earth, the Shi'ar Empire decided to destroy it. The heroes of Earth tried to stop them using their Planetkiller, but Annihilus, who had allied himself with the Shi'ar, commanded his Annihilation Wave to destroy the machine. They were about to destroy Earth when Iron Man used the Sol's Hammer to destroy the entire Shi'ar fleet.
Against the All-New, All-Different Avengers
Annihilus eventually set a trap on an unnamed planet, luring ships, shooting them down, and capturing them in order to claim new potential soldiers. The trap eventually lured the Avengers who were also captured by Annihilus's forces. He tried to subdue the Avengers youngest members, but they were able to fend off Annihilus and along with the other prisoners escaped the Negative Zone; however, leaving Spider-Man behind. Unwilling to let their teammate behind, the heroes began using the Nega-Bands to switch each others places between the their universe and the Negative Zone and eventually they were able to destroy Annihilus' weapon.
Attack on Earth
Wanting to take control over the universe, Annihilus and the Queen of the Brood manipulated Thanos into attacking the Earth, in order for them to raze the planet. However, the Guardians of the Galaxy prevented that, leading Annihilus to abandon his goal.
Annihilus had stolen some of the High Evolutionary's animals, including Lockjaw's brother. Through torture, Annihilus was able unlock the dog's teleportation powers and hoping to use this power to take over the Multiverse, he set out to capture all ot the other siblings. Thankfully, Lockjaw and D-Man were able to defeat Annihilus, after teletransporting through different dimension, leaving Annihilus to be eaten by a shark.
When the Negative Zone was attacked by the forces of the Cancerverse led by the "Sentry", Annihilus formed a truce with Blastaar in order to fight the Scourge; however, they were outnumbered, leaving Annihilus to open a crack in reality in order to escape and seek help.
In the hopes of getting help from the Nova Corps, Annihilus sought Nova only to find out that he was the only surviving member. They went to the Fantastic Four's base in order to use their portal access to the Negative Zone. They ended up on a moon of planet Ollrig, whose people chose to kill themselves than fall to the forces of the Cancerverse. Rider and Annihilus found a few of Ollrig's survivors and stayed with them for a few hours. While Nova fought off the Negative Zone beings possessed by the Scourge, he left to the Posiverse after being confronted by the Sentry, leaving Annihilus and the survivors to find a new place to hide.
Eventually, Annihilus went to the planet which was being protected by the Fantastic Four. After Beta Ray Bill and the Silver Surfer, who had merged with Bob Reynolds, arrived to their aid, the Void and his Scourge were able to find them and destroy their shield. This left Reed Richards to use his Dimensional Anchor to call various other heroes to their aid. After the battle, the Surfer managed to remerge Bob with the Void, while Nova sacrificed himself in order to defeat the Scourge. In the aftermath, Annihilus revived Nova and told him and the Silver Surfer to leave his dimension.
Annihilus possesses a variety of superhuman abilities as a result of prolonged exposure to the Cosmic Control Rod. Due to being subjected to an accelerated-growth element from the work of Doctor Bultar, Annihilus has gained immense power. His might easily rivals Thanos, with the Titan stating that he was evolving into a being apart from the "Cosmic Norm" like that of both Thanos and Adam Warlock.
- Superhuman Strength: Annihilus is superhumanly strong and is able to lift approximately 50 tons. His strength was augmented to incalculable levels after gaining the power of the Hulk.
- Superhuman Speed: Annihilus is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Annihilus' musculature generates considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a human being. He can exert himself at peak capacity for about 24 hours before fatigue begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Durability: Annihilus' body is highly resistant to all forms of physical injury. He has a chitinous exoskeleton that allows him withstand high caliber bullets, falls from great heights, temperature extremes, pressure extremes 0 up to 1,500 lbs per square inch, and powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury. Due to the Cosmic Control Rod, Annihilus is capable of surviving in a vacuum for up to one Earth year. As Nova points out during their fight at the climax of Annihilation, his only real weak spot is his mouth.
- Superhuman Agility: Annihilus' agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Annihilus' reaction time is enhanced to a level that is beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Flight: Annihilus; wings allow him to fly at speeds up to 150 miles per hour in an Earth-like atmosphere. He is capable of traveling at much faster speeds while flying through outer space, although the source of this speed is the Cosmic Control Rod rather than his wings.
Continuous Rebirth: Another facet of Annihilus' physiology is that no matter how many times he's killed, even without the Cosmic Control Rod to give him longevity, he will continue to be reborn again and again for the rest of eternity. In his own words, he is constantly resurrected and cannot stop living no matter how many times he dies.
Fear Broadcasting: One of Annihilus' new tricks is the power to "broadcast" fear into others as potent as even the Hulk and all of New Kral, although beings such as Adam Warlock and Thanos are unaffected by this power for unknown reasons.
Though he has had no formal training, Annihilus is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant. He is particularly adapt at using the energy blasts he can generate through the Cosmic Control Rod during combat situations. He is also highly familiar with the advanced technology of the Tyannans, particularly the advanced weaponry and genetic engineering technology they had at their disposal.
Annihilus is extremely paranoid and believes that essentially everyone is out to steal the Cosmic Control Rod from him. On rare occasions, he has let the Rod from his sight, and it has fallen into someone else's hands. Losing the Rod has sent him into a near panic. In addition, Thanos revealed that Annihilus is an unskilled tactician, as he is always thinking that the usage of an "overwhelming force" could solve all of his problems.
Cosmic Control Rod: This item, normally worn at his throat, gives Annihilus control over cosmic energy (not to be confused with the Power Cosmic). Although cosmic energy has virtually limitless applications, Annihilus characteristically uses it to promote his own well-being, by slowing his cellular degeneration (insects are normally short-lived), warding off disease, and reversing the effects of heat, cold, and radiation. He also uses it to boost his own strength, to fly through space, and to fire energy blasts of up to 10 megatons. The rod is a cylinder approximately 6 inches (15 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) across.
Genetic Engineering Technology: Using techniques of the Tyannans, Annihilus can create life forms with specific characteristics, such as the Borers. However, he lacks imagination and tends to concentrate on insectivorids.
- While Annihilus calls himself the "first-born of Oblivion" in Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 5) #3, he is not actually related to the cosmic entity.
- 144 appearance(s) of Annihilus (Earth-616)
- 14 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Annihilus (Earth-616)
- 24 minor appearance(s) of Annihilus (Earth-616)
- 62 mention(s) of Annihilus (Earth-616)
- 10 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Annihilus (Earth-616)
- 1 invocation(s) of Annihilus (Earth-616)
- 116 image(s) of Annihilus (Earth-616)
- 7 quotation(s) by or about Annihilus (Earth-616)
- 6 item(s) used/owned by Annihilus (Earth-616)