Led by Annihilus, the Annihilation Wave spread throughout space. Annihilus believed that our universe was growing while The Negative Zone was shrinking. He saw this encroaching upon Negative Zone space as an invasion of his territory by our universe, and saw conquest and destruction as his only option. Composed of Annihilus' Negative Zone armies, the Wave spread and threatened to destroy everything in its path. Leading the remaining Kree armies, several of the universes greatest heroes sought to put an end to Annihilus' path of destruction. Opposing forces included Drax The Destroyer, Nova, Ronan, Gamora, Phyla, Moondragon, and Quasar. Also opposing the wave were Galactus as well as current and former Heralds of Galactus: Stardust, Air-Walker, Terrax, Morg, Firelord, and Red Shift.
Along the way Thanos joined Annihilus cause, but only out of curiosity of how it would affect the outcome. Annihilus began by trying to capture the heralds of Galactus to study the Power Cosmic that they possessed, drawing them as well as their former master into the war. Recently freed from the prison Galactus had put them in long ago, Aegis and Tenebrous were able to defeat Galactus and the Silver Surfer. With Galactus and the Surfer incapacitated, Thanos was able to study Galactus' technology and biology to design equipment which would harness the Power Cosmic which Galactus' body collected when he consumed planets. Keeping Galactus weak by starving his body of the cosmic energy required to sustain him, Galactus and the surfer were kept in a state of stasis while helping build up massive stores of Cosmic Energy. Thanos was able to transform Galactus' very body into a living weapon, generating blasts of cosmic energy powerful enough to destroy entire planets.
It was at this point when a captured Moondragon had read Annihilus' mind and informed Thanos that Annihilus planned not only for conquest, but the destruction of everything in all Universe so that he may rule over everything that is (which is nothing). Knowing of the impending treachery, Thanos prepared to activate a fail-safe which was keyed into his own power level to release Galactus. Before Thanos was able to release Galactus, Drax ripped out Thanos' heart, killing him. After freeing the Silver Surfer, the Surfer was able to generate enough energy to break Galactus' bonds. Freed from Annihilus, Galactus went on a rampage destroying all of the Annihilation Wave forces in the vacinity.
With his forces crippled, Annihilus was confronted by Phyla, Quill, and Nova. With the Nova Corps destroyed and the power of the entire Corps at his disposal, Nova was still not as powerful as Annihilus who now possessed Quasar's Quantum Bands. Phyla attempted to prevent Nova's death and grabbed Annihilus' arms, touching the Quantum Bands. Annihilus easily threw Phyla away, but offered an alternate choice the Quantum Bands chose Phyla and left Annihilus for her. Weakened, Nova killed Annihilus by reaching inside his throat and ripping out his insides.
In the wake of the Annihilation, there is much to rebuild. The once mighty Kree empire is left with its defenses crippled, and the Supreme Intelligence is now dead. The Kree now fall under the leadership of Ronin. Phyla-Vell now possesses the Quantum Bands and has taken over Wendell Vaughn's place as the new Quasar. The Silver Surfer has become Galactus' herald once again along with Stardust, both being needed to quench Galactus' now insatiable hunger. Quill is in charge of helping to rebuild the Kree defense networks. Choosing to forgo rebuilding the Nova Corps until later, Richard Rider still possesses the full power of the Nova Corps and is flying from world to world attempting to answer distress calls from all corners of the universe. Despite Annihilus' death his remaining broken forces are now spread throughout the galaxy. Many generals from the Annihilation Wave are now ruling over their own planets as a result of the treaty struck between Ronan's Kree empire and the remainder of Annihilus' army. Seeking retribution, Terrax flies between planets controlled by Annihilus' officers to put them out of power.
Annihilation - The events of the Annihilation precede and set the stage for the Annihilation Conquest story-arch.