Guardians of the Galaxy #16 kicks off 'The Last Annihilation,' the first crossover of Marvel's so-called 'New Age of Space' which brings back the title of the publisher's classic cosmic event story Annihilation.
Now, Marvel has released a preview of interior pages from Guardians of the Galaxy #15, showing a confrontation between the newly superhero-focused Guardians and S.W.O.R.D., the mutant space agency, specifically Magneto. The issue sets the stage for 'The Last Annihilation' - including revealing the villain of the story.
"The Last Annihilation will begin in July's Guardians of the Galaxy #16 but the mastermind behind this latest threat has been kept under wraps. However, fans won't have to wait long! After months of speculation, fans will finally learn the identity of the saga's secret villain next month in Guardians of the Galaxy #15," reads Marvel's statement, included with the pages.
"The issue will deliver an ending no one will see coming and will also see two heavyweights from Ewing's current titles collide. Both reeling from recent conflicts, the new Guardians of the Galaxy will come face to face with mutantkind's new space agency, S.W.O.R.D." the description continues. "Get a glimpse at the Guardians' tense showdown with the master of magnetism, Magneto, in all-new never-before-seen artwork by series artist Juan Frigeri!"
The original Annihilation crossover focused on Annihilus, the villainous dictator of the Negative Zone, and his Annihilation wave of devouring insectoids. Marvel has been teasing the identity of the new story's villain, with the baddie's silhouetted form gracing the now revealed cover of Guardians of the Galaxy #16.
"In recent issues, the Guardians of the Galaxy have increased their ranks like never before, recruiting powerhouses such as Wiccan, Hulkling, the original Quasar, and even Doctor Doom! But will they all be enough to withstand what's to come?" Marvel's statement concludes. "Pick up Guardians of the Galaxy #15 to discover what villain is behind 'The Last Annihilation' and to see the twisted vision they have in store for the galaxy."
Here's a gallery of interior pages:
"Guardians of the Galaxy and S.W.O.R.D. have been building their own unique gravity for a while now, and in space, when two objects have gravity, there's a pretty good chance they'll crash into each other - or get sucked into the orbit of something even bigger," writer Al Ewing states. "Marvel Space these days is a fragile coalition of worlds that chose peace over war, a little bubble of hope in a cruel void - but there's an enemy nobody ever suspected readying an attack that'll either cement all those frail alliances or tear them to pieces."
Guardians of the Galaxy #15 is due out June 23, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy #16 on July 21.
The original Annihilation is one of the best Marvel Comics stories of all time.