There are times that I just have to say that I'm wrong. Like, for example, when I said that I didn't really see what that whole Annihilation thing had to offer after reading the Annihilation Saga oneshot. I mean, sure, I wasn't really wrong about that - There was nothing special about that recap that would make you want to read any further into Marvel's particular brand of new space operatics. What I was wrong about was assuming that the whole Annihilation thing in general wasn't worth my time or attention. Thanks, then, to ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST PROLOGUE for showing me the error of my ways.
(And, no, I'm not being sarcastic.)
Interestingly enough, the thrills and spills in the issue come from just plain old solid good work - There're no showboating creators here, no out-of-character quips or overblown splash pages or plot twists that rely on the reader having read about these characters for the last twenty years. Everything that you need to know about the book to get it is in the book itself, and it still manages to be enjoyable. The tension builds because of the events of the book itself (although the old-school writing skills of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning manage to work in some classic, enjoyably goofy, moments just to underscore moments; when Starlord says "Annihilus and his das't wave was a one-in-a-gazillion situation," it's a wink to the audience, the writers saying "Yeah, we're going to do it again. And bigger"), and the threat is understandable and familiar through pop-cultural memery - It's the Borg but moreso.
Mike Perkins is a strange choice for the book; his down-to-earth style initially at odds with a science-fiction book like this. But it works, because of that discrepancy; the alien eyes seem that much stranger and disturbing, and his ability to sell emotion gives the story the punch that it needs to be sold to the reader. Of course, the novelty aspect helps, as well - because you don't expect to see art like this on a book like this, it's a welcome surprise that endears you to the book that he's here.
It's a strong and intriguing start for (yet another) event book, and the ball could be dropped in the follow-up series. But for now, it's a Good story that makes me curious to see what happens next.