The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1Marvel’s premier gay supercouple returns for another adventure in this week’s The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulking #1, but this time it’s not a literal honeymoon for them…

Wiccan and Hulkling is the fifth part of The Last Annihilation, a cosmic crossover event based around the Guardians of the Galaxy, of which our super-couple is currently members. Following in the tradition of two older, similarlynamed storylines, the main gist of The Last Annihilation is that bad stuff happens when a major Marvel villain (this time Dormammu) makes trouble in space, and it’s up to our heroes to save the day. Unfortunately for Billy and Tommy, circumstances have them separated from one another, forcing each to act on their own and help their respective sub-teams before Dormammu succeeds in his attack.

Unlike their last spotlight during King in Black, this issue is very much part of a larger whole and not as singularly focused on them individually. One of my favorite things about that one-shot was how divorced it was from the main plot of that event, which isn’t the case here. If you’re going into this issue cold or just from reading Guardians of the Galaxy and nothing else, then you might be a little lost. Writer Anthony Oliveira (last of the GLAAD-winning Lords of Empyre: Emperor Hulking one-shot) does his best to make a pleasant reading experience with the material given, but it’s one of those instances where the #1 marker on the cover is a bit misleading and might turn some off. But that’s not why The Last Annihilation: Wiccan and Hulkling deserves your attention. The main story is serviceable enough, with lots of cosmic mumbo-jumbo and deep lore dives for long-timers to chew on, but it’s the flashbacks of our titular couple in the early days of their relationship that warrant attention.

The flashbacks here don’t exactly cover any new ground that we didn’t already know—they met in high school and joined the Young Avengers together—but Oliveira’s script in those scenes really conveys the lived-in fondness they have for one another and how it informs their characters in the present day. Even if the floating timeline of comics makes character ages vague and unclear, Billy and Teddy are such a product of the era they were created in (the mid-2000s). The flashbacks have such a sense of wistful melancholy to them that anybody who was a gay teen in the 2000s (like Oliveira and myself, for starters) can understand and relate to. Being a young queer person then was just different than it is now, and while that’s obviously something to be happy about in the broader sense, those of us who came of age in that decade can’t help but have a lingering sense of envy towards the younger generation. Billy and Teddy were lucky to have found one another when they did in that specific time; it makes their current successes feel earned in a very palpable way. I almost wish the entire issue was just those sections, but I realize this is a mega company crossover tie-in and that was never in the cards, but a guy could dream…

But flashbacks aside, Oliviera still finds spaces to insert some human emotions into the story, such as how Phyla-Vell struggles to relate to a different version of the brother she knew in her home reality (turns out that her Teddy kind of went berserk in a bad way). It’s these smaller details that keep a cosmic story like this one grounded and approachable in a way that it might not have been otherwise.

This issue’s triumph isn’t just in the script but Jan Bazaldua’s art as well. She contrasts the normal mundanity of their teen years with the sci-fi bombast of the present day sections, which makes their overall arc feel appropriately epic. It takes a certain deftness to have a couple’s first kiss come across as eventful and big as two cosmic entities wreaking havoc on our heroes; Bazaldua manages it. Marvel keeps teasing us with the idea of a Hulkling/Wiccan series in these event tie-ins, and this is yet another creative team permutation that I wouldn’t mind seeing being given a greenlight towards.

The Last Annhilation: Wiccan and Hulkling #1











  • Writer: Anthony Oliveira
  • Artist: Jan Bazaldua
  • Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg
  • Letterer: VC's Ariana Maher
  • Cover Artist: Luciano Vecchio

Credits (cont)

  • Editor: Darren Shan
  • Publisher: Marvel Entertainment
Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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