Oct 8, 2008

[Comics] Annihilation: Ronan

Annihilation: RonanIn the late sixties, Marvel Comics started to introduce the alien race known as the Kree. It started with one of their Sentry robots encountering the Fantastic Four as it watched over the Inhumans and this eventually triggered more and more of the Kree becoming aware of the little blue planet known as Earth.

One of the most notable among the early Kree remains to be Ronan, who held the title of Supreme Accuser of the Kree Empire. He was one of the main characters in the various Kree-Skrull War storylines but beyond that he didn't gain much fame in the Marvel Universe. Let's face it, his character's role was a somewhat strange one and the role of Supreme Accuser just seemed like some sort of trumped-up judge - he even had a hammer as a main weapon.

Given his lackluster history, it came as a surprise to me when he was chosen to be one of the main characters of the Annihilation storyline as one of the primary characters including him getting his own mini-series building up to the actual Annihilation comic.

KreeImage via WikipediaDuring the Annihilation storyline, Ronan the Accuser has fallen from grace and has been branded as a traitor to the Kree Empire. Believing in his innocence, Ronan has gone on a quest to clear his name and track down his accuser in order to return to his former status.

He eventually tracks down one of the chief witnesses against him, Tana Nile, amongst the forces of Gamora known as the Graces. Thus he comes head-to-head with Gamora, often tagged as the most dangerous woman in the universe, in an effort to get to Tana Nile and learn the truth of why she made false testimony against him. All this takes place as the Annihilation Wave begins to move through the galaxy including Kree space.

Now my knowledge of Ronan was severely limited prior to this series and I'm sure I wasn't alone in considering him to be a rather two-dimensional character given how he was written back in the earlier years when he often came to blows with the Avengers and the likes of Captain Mar-Vell. His plans seemed to have a sense of forced artificial complexity given when you really took a good hard look at why he was fighting, his motivations came out rather shallow. This continued on in many storylines and probably explains why he was pretty much shelved for so many years.

Come Annihilation, the writers certainly did their best to revitalize him and bring new life and more importantly depth to his character. They explored his being an extremely loyal soldier to the ideals of the Kree Empire, even when tagged as a traitor by his own people and banished from the realm. He remains unceasing in his loyalty to his people and continues to fight in their name throughout the series, somewhat desperately holding on to a higher ideal that he expects the Empire to remain true to.

Plus he's no longer just a guy with a hammer - he is a formidable foe and the true abilities of his Ultimate Weapon really come into play this time around including his ability to manipulate various energies and redirect them as needed. In addition, he seems to possess considerable tactical knowledge and abilities and is able to map out diverse plans and lead his armies into tactical strikes that achieve his objectives as best as possible.

He plays a key role in the main Annihilation comic given a lot of the story takes place as the Annihilation Wave moves through the Kree Empire and ultimately follows how Ronan clears his name and reasserts himself as a leader of his people.

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