Long ago in the Negative Zone, when the Tyannans seeded life spores on barren planets, one of their ships was hit by a meteor and sent onto the volcanic planet of 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 notably high intelligence.
Finding the wreckage of a Tyannan starship, he used a special helmet to transfer all information about the advanced Tyannan technology into himself. This caused him to grow stronger and smarter, gaining a "Cosmic Control Rod" and body armaments.
The creature became known as Annihilus. He set out to destroy anything that was a threat to his existence, planning to conquer/destroy all planets near Arthros. Other creatures came from the spores as well, but Annihilus used his power to 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' 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' invasion was repelled.
Kidnapping of Rick and Franklin
Doctor Doom stole Annihilus' rod so he could steal Galactus' 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 Richards' 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).
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 traveled 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.
The Negative Zone is given the opportunity for free elections. Annihilus is selected as a write-in candidate who receives the majority.
Infinity Relativaty and the Hulk
Still in a juvenile form, Annihilus sought to increase his power to continue his assault on the Positive Zone. He enlisted the help of Pip the Troll to kidnap the Hulk. Once the Hulk was captured, Annihilus ordered his servant Dr. Bultar to isolate the chemical that causes Banner to transform. Even with the intervention of Thanos, Annihilus was able to achieve his transformation. In his new form and carapace, Annihilus was even more physically powerful than the Hulk.
With new, perfectly precise teleportation technology, he again invades the Positive Zone looking for a immense power source that has suddenly appeared. This power source turns out to be Adam Warlock, who now has the power of Eternity and Infinity within him, but still has not learned to control his power.
Thanos and Warlock gain the assistance of Pip and the Guardians of the Galaxy on a mission to kill Annihilus once and for all. But Annihilus is well prepared. He banishes Thanos to limbo and forces the Guardians to retreat, capturing Adam and placing a neural inhibitor on him to obtain his power.
Powers & Abilities
Annihilus is a highly advanced insectoid being who possesses exceptional physical strength, allowing him to lift about 50 tons. However, Annihilus is much stronger with the Cosmic Control Rod. After transforming himself with the power of the Hulk, Annihilus was able to best the Hulk and Gladiator in physical combat easily.
Annihilus’s body produces less fatigue, allowing him to exert himself physically at peak capacity for about 24 hours. He also possesses Superhuman Speed, Reflexes, and Agility.
Annihilus's bodily tissue is far harder, tougher, and more resistant to physical injury. Along with his chitinous armor, Annihilus is capable of withstanding high caliber bullets, ballistic forces, falls from great heights, and powerful energy attacks, as well as also withstanding powerful impact forces and blunt force trauma from superhumans strong as the Thing, Blastaar, Thor, or Nova. He can also endure extreme pressures and temperatures, such as being in the void and vacuum of outer space, or extreme pressures of 0 up to 1,500 lbs per square inch (equal to the pressure of being 2,002 hundred and 50 feet below the ocean's surface) without sustaining any physical injury or being in any severe discomfort. Being part of a insect alien race, if injured, Annihilus's metabolism enables him to recover from damaged bodily tissue with higher speed and efficiency than that of what normal humans are capable.
Due to his long exposure to the Cosmic Control Rod. Annihilus’ body has no need nor requires any kind of sustenance such as food, water, or even air in order to survive and Annihilus is capable of staying in and surviving unaided in the void and vacuum of outer space indefinitely without the use or presence of any type of equipment for up to one Earth year by breathing at a low activity level along with his efficient energy and oxygen conversion and storage and possesses large bat-like scalloped wings that enable him to fly at great speeds of over 150 miles per hour to 225 miles per hour in an Earth-like gravity or atmosphere.
Upon physical death, Annihilus is always reborn upon death as his body releases immature clones of himself that each possesses his full memories, as he was at the conclusion of the Annihilation miniseries. So if Annihilus’ body is physically mortal, through his spirit, he is virtually immortal. This is described by Annihilus as "an endless cycle of resurrection as he can't stop living." and according to Annihilus, he wants to die as of now and doesn’t know how too. Annihilus is resistant possibly immune to the attempts from others that can fundamentally change the nature of reality as the Scarlet Witch's hex powers apparently didn’t have much if not any effect on him cause according to her “he's too inhuman" for it. This was however before the House of M.
His intellect is slightly above human average, though his strategic intelligence is a bit higher. Annihilus is highly familiar with the advanced technologies of the Tynnans, particularly in the areas of advanced weaponry and the genetic engineering technology that they had at their disposal. Though Annihilus has knowledge and mastery of this technology in areas of Engineering, Astronomy, Mechanics and Weapons Systems which is centuries beyond what is known on the current status of Earth.
Although, he has had no kind of known formal training and does not engage himself in direct physical combat often using his servants to fight his enemies on his behalf, Annihilus is a formidable hand to hand combatant with incredible fighting ability. Annihilus is particularly adapt at using the energy abilities he can generate through the Cosmic Control Rod during physical combat situations. Annihilus has proven at maximum power level of being able to physical hold his own and even defeat beings as powerful as the Thing, Blastaar, Quasar, Nova Prime, and even Thor in individual fights.
Cosmic Control Rod
Cybernetic micro-circuitry allows Annihilus to harness the Cosmic Control Rod’s vast cosmic energy as the Cosmic Control Rod is normally worn at his throat which gives Annihilus control over vast amounts of cosmic energy allowing him to wield it to his will (not to be confused with the Power Cosmic). The Cosmic Control Rod is a cylinder that is approximately 6 inches (15 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) across. Although the energy from the Cosmic Control Rod has almost limitless applications and Annihilus has claimed that he is powerful enough to sunder planets with the raw fury of butchered stars, it usually allows him to be invulnerable to Disease, Radiation, extreme Heat and extreme Cold and Annihilus usually uses it to grant himself varies superhuman powers including but not limited to:
Superhuman Longevity and Immortality
Due to the exposure of the energies from the Cosmic Control Rod, Annihilus’ main use of the Cosmic Control Rod is to promote his own well-being, by slowing and even halting his cellular degeneration (as insects are normally short-lived) allowing Annihilus to have a longer lifespan, possibly making him literally immortal for all intents and purposes in the sense that Annihilus is completely immune to the effects of aging and would never die by old age while remaining in his physical prime. This does not mean, however, that Annihilus can't be killed although with his powers it would be difficult to do so and also makes him immune to the effects of all known diseases, and infections as the Cosmic Control Rod wards off all known diseases, and infections from him including from the effects of radiation.
Energy Generation, Matter & Energy Manipulation
The Cosmic Control Rod generates large amounts of energy which Annihilus can use and channel for a number of different effects including, but not limited to projecting vast amounts of destructive beams of energy into attacks of concussive force from either his hands or from the rod itself that at maximum power can be equivalent to an explosion of over 10 megatons (10,000,000 tons) of TNT, create, generate, and project powerful force fields that will allow him to defend himself and others while repelling against incoming attacks, absorb different quantities of energy which will add on to his own powers. Annihilus has shown this when absorbing the life force energy from several Asgardians and has shown being capable of draining Quasar's quantum energy from his Quantum Bands when he killed him, and can use the Cosmic Control Rod in order manipulate the molecular structure and possible even the atomic structure of non-organic matter and energy to a unknown degree allowing him to restructure matter into new configuration. The limits of Annihilus’ ability to manipulate matter & energy are not known; however Annihilus has shown being able to reverse the effects of extreme heat, extreme cold, and radiation and possibly even have control over these as he has shown being capable of dousing the Human Torch‘s flames, and once even used it to teleport himself.
Using the the Cosmic Control Rod also increases Annihilus' powers including strength where he could be strong enough to lift over 1,000 tons as he was able to hold his own against Nova (who was the sole host of all the energies of the entire Nova Corps which made him hundreds, if not thousands of times more powerful). His flight speed allowing him to fly 10,000 miles per hour and while flying and traveling through outer space, Annihilus could also reach speeds of 1,000,000 miles per hour and possibly beyond light speed, and his resistant to physical injury allowing him to withstand the Human Touch going nova which is equal to or greater than 2,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit and could have been as hot as the sun as Annihilus has claimed to be able to withstand a star or sun.
Negative Zone Army
The main focuses of Annihilus’ intelligence is his ability to lead and rule as Annihilus leads an elite personal guard known as the Centurions which is made up of over 200 super powered aliens, each of whom are from a different Negative Zone world, all of whom are extremely loyal and faithful to him and when together they form a devastatingly and an effective army along with the rest of his vast army of soldiers and ships all of which are connected and controlled through a hive mind. As a sovereign part of the Negative Zone, Annihilus also has command over many other different types of creatures from different worlds of the Negative Zone that are fully dedicated, such as the omnivorous Borers, Scavengers (creatures like bats humanoids) and Drillers, (capable of piercing any what matters with their jaws). During free elections in the Negative Zone after Annihilus was capture and enslaved by the Human Torch. It was revealed that 14,980,336,901,214 beings in the Negative Zone supported Annihilus’ rule.
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. Upon physical death, Annihilus spawns immature clones of himself that retains his full memories.
Various Tyannans Technology
Annihilus has access to the highly advanced technology of the Tyannans, and possesses other secondary weapons and vehicles which he created by cannibalizing the Tyannans starships. These include energy based weapons and flying tank like attack vessels.
Formerly the 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.
Annihilus is extremely paranoid and believes that essentially everyone is out to steal the Cosmic Control Rod from him. On the very rare occasions he's even allowed it away from his sight, and it falls into someone else's hands, he's been sent into a near panic and even than it allows him to be surprised by a enemy setting something up while it being beneath his notice.
As Nova pointed out during their fight at the climax of the “Annihilation”, Annihilus’ only real weak spot is his mouth as Nova put his fist down his throat and ripped out his internal organs.
When the Cosmic Control Rod is taken away from him, Annihilus loses the benefits of the Immortality and powers that comes with it, and could be highly weakened by all the delayed aging without it. However; Annihilus has shown at times of being able to live without the Cosmic Control Rod for periods of time. So it’s unknown if Annihilus still has this weakness or not, but if the Cosmic Control Rod is taken away, he will lose it’s powers.
- Height: 6'8"
- Weight: 345 lbs
- Eyes: Green or Red
- Hair: No hair
- Skin: Green
- Unusual Features: Annihilus has an insectoid appearance with large bat-like scalloped wings that enables him the power of flight.
Annihilus has set out to destroy anything that was a threat to his existence as 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 as well.
Annihilus is a raving, paranoid megalomaniac, who’s only fear is his own death and that his sole destiny and purpose in life is to conquer and destroy any person or even any world he views as a possible threat to his existence in order to survive, and because the Cosmic Control Rod extends and even halts his lifespan. Annihilus believes that everyone is either out to steel the Cosmic Control Rod from him or will do so eventually making Annihilus willing to defended it from every potential threat wither it is real or imagined and on the very rare occasions that he's even allowed it away from his sight, and it falls into someone else's hands, he's has been sent into a near panic. Annihilus has conquered a great number of planets in the Sector 17A area of the Negative Zone. Despite his great dislike of the Fantastic Four (along with the rest of humanity) he has occasionally helped them against common foes and enemies, such as Doctor Doom and the Mad Thinker as well as made some small partnerships with Blastaar who is one of Annihilus’ greatest enemies due to Blastaar’s goal of being to conquer the Negative Zone as well although Annihilus was planning to betray Blastarr in time.
Although it is very unlikely, Annihilus had found love before from Blink (Clarice Ferguson) that calmed his uncontrollable anger and gave him a moment’s peace. But then turned back to his former ways.
During the Annihilation Wave miniseries, Annihilus started conquering planets that were in the normal universe stating that the universe was expanding into areas of the Negative Zone, making the rest universe now rightfully his territory to conquer. Annihilus was so bent on his goals of conquering and destroying that his final plan was to create a massive Power Cosmic bomb from Galactus that would have destroy the entire Universe and the Negative Zone, leaving Annihilus as the only survivor. Currently after him dying at the hands of Nova at the end of the Annihilation event and him being reborn, Annihilus has changed as he now wishes for his own death seeing as how he can’t die, but Annihilus also wishes for every other living being to die with him as well.
Age of Apocalypse (Earth-295)
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.
Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610)
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 this alternate reality, Annihilus, ruler of the Negative Zone, must contend with the succubus known as Suzy Richards, the Fantastic Four's second child.
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.
In Other Media
- Annihilus appears as a boss character in the video game adaptation of the 2005 Fantastic Four movie, despite not appearing in the actual film. In the game, Annihilus is encountered by Thing and Mr. Fantastic in an underground S.H.I.E.L.D. facility that has been mutated by cosmic radiation. He was voiced by Lex Lang.
- Annihilus appears in the Super Hero Squad video games, with Dee Bradley Baker reprising his role from the TV series.
- Annihilus makes a cameo appearance in the Super-Skrull's ending in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Annihilus appears as a boss enemy in the Shadow of Doom DLC pack for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. He was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes.
- Annihilus was featured in ToyBiz's Marvel Super Heroes line.
- Annihilus was featured in ToyBiz's action figure line for the 90s Fantastic Four cartoon.
- Annihilus was featured in ToyBiz's line for the 2005 Fantastic Four movie, despite not actually being in the film.
- Annihilus was featured in Hasbro's Super Hero Squad line.
- Annihilus was the subject of a Marvel Legends Build-a-Figure wave from Hasbro.
- Annihilus was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Annihilus was featured in Diamond Select's Minimates line.
- Bowen Designs released an Annihilus bust.
- Eaglemoss created a lead Annihilus figurine.