Long ago in the Negative Zone, when the Tyannans seeded life spores on barren planets, one of their ships got hit by a meteor and was sent onto the volcanic planet Arthros. 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 a 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 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. Other creatures came from the spores as well, but Annihilus used his power so he would rule above them.
Annihilus first appeared in Fantastic Four Annual #6 in 1968 and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Major Story Arcs
When Sue Storm was having cosmic ray-related pregnancy complications, the remaining three of the Fantastic Four went into the Negative Zone to find anti-particles that could treat Sue. Annihilus's minions captured Reed, Johnny, and Ben, but the three managed to escape with the cosmic control rod. After siphoning off the needed particles and returning to earth, they returned it to the Negative Zone. Annihilus invaded the Microverse, sending his minions to conquer in his name. Psycho-Man tried to stop the Insectovorids, but they were emotionless so they were immune to his power. Psycho-Man had no choice but to capture the Silver Surfer and Spider-Man and have them help him. He wanted the two to power his weapons. The two heroes escaped and they left Annihilus and Psycho-Man fighting for the Microverse. Annihilus's invasion was repelled.
Kidnapping of Rick and Franklin
Doctor Doom stole Annihilus's rod so he could steal Galactus's energy. Annihilus captured Rick Jones and would only release him if he got his rod back. The Fantastic Four managed to retake the rod and they returned it to Annihilus and Annihilus released Jones. Annihilus later fought Janus The Nega-Man and won. Since Annihilus won, he made Janus lead him to Earth, but Janus exploded where matter meets anti-matter. Annihilus almost crossed over to earth with Rick Jones, but the Avengers were there to stop him. The Vison tricked Annihilus to fall back into the portal to the Negative Zone. Annihilus sensed Franklin Richard's power and abducted him. Annihilus amplified Franklin's mind causing it to go out of control. The Fantastic Four came and defeated Annihilus, but Reed Richards had to temporarily shut down Franklin's mind (so Earth's solar system would be protected).
Age of Apocalypse
During the events of Age of Apocalypse on Earth-295, Annihilus features in the Blink volume #1-4. During the period when Blastaar is ruler of the Negative Zone, Blink is transported there after falling through a portal. She meets the man Ahmyor, who later turns out to be the fallen Annihilus, who for some untold reason has lost his memory. Both Ahmyor and Blink start a rebellion in the Negative Zone to topple Blastaar, who upon capturing the two reveals the truth about Ahmyor. Blastaar then forces Annihilus to activate the Annihilation Cannon, but not before Blink saves Annihilus by teleporting them both to safety. The Annihilation Cannon is destroyed, along with Blastaar and his troops. Annihilus remains in the Negative Zone and Clarice returns to the Age of Apocalypse.
Annihilus has become aware that the Positive Zone universe is starting to over take the Negative Zone. With his army, the Annihilation Wave, Annihilus has travelled to the Positive Zone and began a purge of all life that his wave has come upon. He sent out seekers to capture the Heralds of Galactus. He made a deal with Thanos that saw the capture of Galactus himself possible. The Annihilation Wave has destroyed countless worlds. At this time, Annihilus also gained possession of the Quantum Bands.
While Annihilus had led everyone to believe that he planned to conquer the Positive Zone and become ruler of the universe, he secretly planned to use Galactus as a massive Power Cosmic bomb to destroy both universes. Thanos learned of his plans, but was killed by Drax before he could set Galactus free. Drax freed the Silver Surfer, who was able to free Galactus. An angry Galactus completely destroyed the Annihilation Wave in one massive attack.
Still not discouraged and knowing full well he could regroup his armies, Annihilus faced off against Nova. Possessing both the Cosmic Control Rod and the Quantum Bands, Nova seemed to have little chance of destroying Annihilus. When Phyla-Vell was able to take the Bands from him, Nova was on a more level playing field. Nova was able to kill Annihilus by ripping his intestines out through his mouth.
War of the Four Cities
Unable to truly die, Annihilus was again resurrected as he has been many times before. He set up a sect on Earth called the Other Side of Zero, led by the Anti-Priest to convert humans to his twisted causes and have access to the Positive Zone for his eventual invasion. Above all else, Annihilus finally wished his own death, although he wished every other living being dead as well.
Annihilus made a deal with an alternate version of Reed Richards of the Council to help him gain access through the Fantastic Four's portal, which had been locked for good by the Human Torch on the Negative Zone side, making access for Annihilus and his armies impossible. When the Kree attacked the Earth, Annihilus was forced to put his invasion plans in to motion early or risk the destruction of all the obelisks the Cult of Zero had set in place to make the gate opening a possibility.Before his invasion could commence, prisoners of Annihilus the Human Torch and the Light Brigade escaped and confronted him, their ultimate goal to take the Cosmic Control Rod from him. They were successful, Annihilus being captured and chained and losing control of his armies.
Powers & Abilities
Annihilus is a highly advanced insectoid being with strong chitinous armor, which renders him super-humanly strong and durable. He can survive in space for up to a year via efficient energy and oxygen conversion and storage. Upon physical death, Annihilus spawns immature clones of himself that retain his memories. Annihilus has scalloped wings which enable flight at a maximum speed of 150 mph.
His intellect is slightly above human average, though his strategic intelligence is a bit higher. Though he has had no formal training, Annihilus is a formidable hand to hand combatant. He is also highly familiar with the advanced technology of the Tynnans, particularly the advanced weaponry and genetic engineering technology they had at their disposal.
- Various Tyannan Technology: Annihilus has access to the highly advanced technology of the Tyannans, and possesses other secondary weapons and vehicles which she created by cannibalizing the Tyannans starships. These include energy weapons and flying attack vessels.
- Cosmic Control Rod: This item, normally worn at his throat, houses the essence of the Tyannan starship's stardrive. Cybernetic micro-circuitry allows Annihilus to harness its vast cosmic energy and ambient 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.
- Negative Zone Army: He has a vast army of soldiers and ships known as the Annihilation Wave which are controlled through a hive mind.
- Quantum Bands: During the Annihilation War, Annihilus killed Quasar and claimed his Quantum Bands. They were however taken by Phyla at the climax of the war.
Weight: 345 lbs
In the Ultimate Universe Annihilus is known as Nihil. The members of his space-borne race are exceedingly long lived, and Nihil could probably live until his N-Zone universe has died. As Nihil's solar system has aged, he has slowly gathered the vessels of whatever life forms he found, melding their ships into one large conglomerated station, also apparently claiming whatever he needed from those he saved. In this manner, he built himself a large kingdom, a space station in which he took what he wanted while returning the necessities of life to his vassals. The name "Nihil" is actually a traditional cast title for leaders and punishers, dating back to feudal times of his race.
When the Fantastic Four visited the N-Zone, Nihil detected them and sent out a hailing beacon to attract their attention. After the foursome's translation techniques proved ineffective, translating Nihil's name as "Annihil Us", Nihil provided them with his own translation devices (which, unbeknownst to the Fantastic Four, contained explosive devices). Collecting information on their home system, Nihil determined they were from a parallel dimension which was younger and had a much longer prospective lifespan. The discussion was curtailed when Johnny Storm took ill and the four decided to leave. When Reed Richards and Ben Grimm informed Nihil of this, he decided to kill them both and take their ship for himself. Despite destroying their suits' integrity by detonating the translating devices he had attached to their helmets, Nihil was defeated in hand-to-hand combat by Ben, who managed to tear off one of Nihil's wings during the fight. While his vassals delayed Reed and Ben's escape, Nihil got to a ship and pursued the Fantastic Four to their home dimension. Both ships crashed on the Sunset Strip in Las Vegas, and while the four defeated his servants, Nihil himself was apparently killed by one of his own weapons while battling Reed Richards.
In the Marvel Adventures universe, Annihilus is able to vomit a stream of mucus to blind his foes. He is defeated when Reed creates a poison that can force him into a dormant state similar to what some insects undergo.