Annihilation: Conquest (2007-2008) Reading Order

The Annihilation Wave led to the Annihilation War (which, of course, all happened during ANNIHILATION). Once it was all over, the universe learned it needed to be prepared in the highly unlikely event that it could all happen again someday. But no one was banking on the Phalanx…

‘Annihilation: Conquest’ steps things up a notch in the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe and sows the seeds for the modern day incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy that became the inspiration for the 2014 film.

Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.

When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four. 

Stories of note leading up to this event:

  • PHALANX COVENANT – Who are the Phalanx?
  • ANNIHILATION – Annihilus invades the positive matter universe
  • THE ULTRON INITIATIVE – The main protagonist escapes Earth

Want to keep it simple? Here’s the chronological reading order without story descriptions, or spoilers:

  • Annihilation: Conquest Prologue #1
  • Nova #4
  • Annihilation: Conquest – Starlord #1
  • Nova #5-6
  • Annihilation: Conquest – Starlord #2-4
  • Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #1-3
  • Nova #7
  • Nova #8-10 (tie-in)
  • Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #1-4
  • Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #4
  • Annihilation: Conquest #1-2
  • Nova Annual #1 (tie-in)
  • Annihilation: Conquest #3
  • Nova #11-12 (tie-in)
  • Annihilation: Conquest #4-6

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Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Annihilation: Conquest Prologue #1
A voice contacts Phyla-Vell – the new Protector of the Universe, now armed with Quasar‘s old Quantum Bands – to warn her of a threat to the Kree Empire. On the Kree homeworld Hala, Ronan has given Peter Quill and the Galadorian Spaceknights access to the Kree war-net to help set up their security. But several cadres of Kree Sentries suddenly go on a rampage and generate a protective barrier around that sector of space. The techno-organic Phalanx emerge as the perpetrators. Phyla-Vell is unable to breach the barrier around Hala. She receives a vision of the future and instructed to “find him”…
Nova #4
As the only surviving member of the Nova Corps, Nova (Richard Rider) carries the entirety of the Nova Force inside him, but he still can’t breach the barrier generated by the Phalanx-generated Bable Spire. Gamora, now infected by the Phalanx, orders 100 Kree Sentries to capture Nova, in the hope of assimilating the Xandarian Worldmind. Nova opens a stargate to escape them and crash lands on nearby Kree outworld, Drez-Lar, where his charred body is discovered by a stranded band of Kree. Their leader, Ko-Rel, approaches Rich’s body and the Worldmind leaps into her, transforming her into Nova 0001
Annihilation: Starlord #1
A couple of years ago, Peter Quill saved the universe from a rogue Herald of Galactus called The Fallen by sacrificing the lives of thousands to save millions across the universe. Afterwards, he ditched his Starlord moniker and handed himself and the Fallen in for life-imprisonment in the Kyln. For letting the Phalanx into their security system, the Kree want to send Quill on a mission to shut down the Phalanx processing plant. They remove all of his cybernetic enhancements and give him low-tech weapons. Quill takes up his Starlord mantle again and leads Bug, Deathcry, Mantis, Captain Universe, Rocket Raccoon and Groot on a mission they’ll probably never come back from…
Nova #5
Gamora, the Spaceknight Lightstorm and a cadre of Phalanx troopers attack Ko-Rel on Drez-Lar and wipe out every other Kree they find. Ko-Rel ignores the Worldmind’s advice and abandons Rich Rider’s body in an attempt to lead the Phalanx away. Gamora slays the last of Ko-Rel’s friends and turns the healed and resurrected Nova into one of the Phalanx Select
Nova #6
Ko-Rel escapes the Phalanx through a stargate. Gamora and Nova locate and defeat Drax the Destroyer, taking him back to the Phalanx for selection. Worldmind sends Ko-Rel to kill Richard Rider, in the hope of destroying his host before the Phalanx can utilise its power. She’s comes close, but she can’t bring herself to kill Rider. Her hesitation costs her the win and Gamora kills Ko-Rel. Nova and the Worldmind now belong to the Phalanx…
Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Annihilation: Conquest – Star-Lord #2
On Hala, Starlord’s team aren’t getting along. Captain Universe saves Deathcry’s life twice, but deprives her of an honourable death and sending her into a rage. Forced to defend himself from her sudden attack, he blows Deathcry bits. While Captain Universe goes into shock, more Phalanx drones attack the team. Groot sacrifices himself to save the group, leaving only a few twigs…
Annihilation: Conquest – Starlord #3
Starlord gets into the Kree security system and learns the Phalanx infection is now airborne, so every Kree already infected along with his team. The Phalanx capture the group, except Mantis who can avoid detection.
Annihilation: Conquest – Starlord #4
Captain Universe sends the Uni-Power to find a Phalanx host in order to gain the knowledge to beat the infection. Mantis frees the team who get new weapons and search for a ship to escape in. Reunited with the Uni-Power, Captain Universe creates an antidote to the Phalanx infection. The team escape Hala and are pardoned. The Uni-Power moves on to find a new host. Galen-Kor has a new mission for Starlord, Rocket Raccoon, Bug, Mantis, the regrown Groot and the now-powerless Gabriel Vargas
Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #1
A mysterious Kree stranger who registers as dead discovers he can shut down Phalanx using his dark powers and make them experience fear – something they’ve never experienced before. The stranger travels through Phalanx-infested Kree space in search of the man who killed his family; the wearer of a signet ring with a flaming skull on it. He discovers a band of Kree rebels led by Ra-Venn and leads the Phalanx away from them as best he can until he’s overpowered and brought before Ronan, now one of the Select.
Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #2
Ronan imprisons the stranger – who he dubs Wraith – with the Super-Skrull and Praxagora, then tortures the stranger for days to learn the secret of his abilities. But Wraith just smiles. He explains how his father discovered an energy source that could bring light to the galaxy, but his parents were murdered by war-obsessed Kree to prevent peace. The boy survived and found himself in a dark dimension with other lost Kree where he was merged with an Exolon creature which pushed his soul outside his body. The Phalanx are afraid of the sight of the Wraith’s soul.
Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #3
Ronan’s attempts to assimilate Wraith are blocked by the ghost of his father, Sim-Del. Wraith breaks out, frees the Super-Skrull and Praxagora and joins Ra-Venn’s forces again. Ronan discovers a secret level in the Phalanx stronghold where, to his horror, they have resurrected the Supreme Intelligence and plan to use it to tap into every Kree mind at once. They just need to get him rebooted…
Nova #7
Ko-Rel’s memory and the Worldmind free Nova of the the Phalanx infection and escapes, pursued by Gamora and Drax the Destroyer. Worldmind sucks Nova through a stargate created using a neutron star. The force transports him to the edge of the universe. He’s unaware that the portal took Drax and Gamora through as well…
Nova #8 (tie-in)
Nova clashes with Drax and Gamora on a space station at the edge of the universe. After inadvertently vaporising an undead alien, then escaping the Luminals, Nova meets a telepathic Russian dog called Cosmo and learns the Knowhere station he’s on is actually the decapitated head of a Celestial. The prisoner the Luminals have been transporting transforms his captors into undead minions…
Nova #9 (tie-in)
The inhabitants of Knowhere have been shrunk down and are living in a tesseract in Cosmo’s collar while the prisoner, Abyss, roams the station. Cosmo helps Nova beat back the zombie aliens while he allows some of the transmode virus to seep out and repair the techno-casket holding Abyss. Once Knowhere is restored, Cosmo sends Nova towards Kvch, the home of the Technarch race that preceded the Phalanx. Drax and Gamora give chase…
Nova #10 (tie-in)
Nova and Gamora are forced to team up to fend off alien Vore babies. Worldmind struggles to hold the transmode virus back as they defeat the Vore and Nova saves Gamora’s life. He returns her to Drax and abandons them on the alien world, heading for Kvch to find a way to destroy the Phalanx once and for all…
Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #1
The Phalanx and the infected Super-Adaptoid have been pursuing the new Quasar (Phyla-Vell) and her girlfriend Moondragon through Kree space for some time. Phyla’s Quantum Bands are locked off from their energy source and losing power. The bands have also been infected with the hatred of Annihilus which is affecting Quasar’s attitude. The Adaptoid and the Phalanx kill the Priests of Pama and a Cotati. Now Quasar’s looking to make them pay…
Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #2
Moondragon reveals her dark history to Phyla and encourages Phyla to be the hero she knows her to be. Phyla follows the voices in her head in search of the ‘Saviour of the Universe’. She fights the Super-Adaptoid again, but accidentally allows him to emulate her Quantum Bands. Moondragon is almost killed by the Phalanx, but transforms into a huge dragon and burns them all out…
Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #3
Moondragon retains control of her human persona in dragon form. With very little quantum power left, Quasar transports them both to the Morag VI where they hope to discover the saviour. Instead, they’re almost murdered by the Adaptoid who is attempting to infect and convert him…
Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #4
Moondragon and the inhabitants of Morag IV forces against the Phalanx. The Super-Adaptoid is ill-equipped to use Quantum Bands as they require imagination. Something he doesn’t have. Phyla defeats him and forces her Quantum Sword through his chest. The ghost of the original Quasar ghost emerges and forces Annihilus’ evil out of the Quantum Bands. The Supreme Intelligence is revealed to be the voice steering Phyla. The saviour in the cocoon is Adam Warlock. Phyla wonders if Warlock’s exposure to the Phalanx and being reborn too soon has given him a darker edge…
Must ReadsTitle, Issue Number & Synopsis
Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #4
Wraith, the Super-Skrull, Praxagora and Ra-Venn’s try to destroy the Supreme Intelligence before he can be used to assimilate the entire Kree population. Wraith fends off Ronan and sends his Exolon along with the Supreme Intelligence’s signal. Instead of infecting the Kree, it attacks the Phalanx – paralysing them with fear and shutting them down. With that, the Supreme Intelligence dies. Ronan – now free of Phalanx control – begs Wraith to kill him for betraying his people. Wraith encourages Ronan to redeem himself, instead…
Annihilation: Conquest #1
Adam Warlock has been reborn as a younger version of himself with no recollection of his history and an unwillingness to live up to his role as universal saviour. However, he fights beside Quasar and Moondragon against the Phalanx, using his new powers to help the trio escape and seek the help of the High Evolutionary. Shatterax, Korath and Xemnu the Titan return to Hala to report their failure to stop Warlock. The real mastermind behind the Phalanx stands reveals as Ultron, who blasts Korath into atoms. Ultron uploads his consciousness into a new body and prepares to wipe out all organic life across the cosmos…
Annihilation: Conquest #2
Ronan leads the Super-Skrull and Praxagora to Kree-Lar where Wraith continues to fight the Phalanx. Starlord’s crew have been tasked with destroying the Babel Spire, allowing Blastaar to die as part of their plan. While the High Evolutionary explains how the Supreme Intelligence invited him to genetically engineer the perfect Kree, Ultron bursts in with the Phalanx and rips into Moondragon’s chest. Now Warlock’s ready to fight back…
Nova Annual #1 (tie-in)
Nova wakes decades in the future in an old body with a failing memory. At some point he created a new Nova Corps and the Phalanx infected Earth, spreading though his friends in the superhuman community. He recalls a warped version of his origin where he gains his powers and immediately faces a Phalanx invasion alongside Rhomann Dey. This battle is actually taking place in his mind and represents the Xandarian Worldmind’s efforts to flush his the transmode infection. In reality, Nova has landed on Kvch – birth-world of the Technarch race – but the virus is still inside him…
Annihilation: Conquest #3
In Kree space, Adam Warlock rips through the Phalanx troops until Ultron takes him down. Moondragon dies and Quasar rages into battle until the High Evolutionary risks everyone’s lives by destroying his own ship in an effort to obliterate Ultron. On Kree-Lar, Ronan tales Ravenous prisoner and heads into an underground bunker. Starlord’s team fail their mission as the powerless Gabriel Vargas is obliterated and Starlord is taken prisoner.
Nova #11 (tie-in)
Nova meets the last two Technarchs on the planet – Warlock (former member of the New Mutants) and Tyro (a new Technarch under Warlock’s care). Warlock refuses to help Nova in favour of trying to save his own people. But when Tyro’s ‘father’ returns to Kvch, it looks like none of them will survive…
Nova #12 (tie-in)
Warlock sacrifices himself, giving the last of his lifeglow to Nova to help fend off the virus inside him and fight the Tyro’s mammoth siredam. Instead, Tyro comes back and uses Warlock’s mutant virus strain to take over his father’s body. He cures Nova, Drax and Gamora, restores Warlock and the five of them race across space to fight the Phalanx…
Annihilation: Conquest #4
Having survived, Blastaar hunts Rocket Racoon, Mantis, Bug and Groot while they search for Starlord and plan to blow up the Babel Spire. Adam Warlock uses his new powers to save himself, Quasar and the High Evolutionary from death. They survive the fall to Hala, but the Babel Spire messes with Warlock’s mind and the High Evolutionary sells them all out to the Phalanx. Beneath Kree-Lar, Ronan reveals a huge, 15,000-strong army of Kree Sentries. With Praxagora’s help, he makes them immune to Phalanx infection and prepares to send them to destroy Hala…
Annihilation: Conquest #5
Weeks ago (during THE ULTRON IMPERATIVE), Ultron escaped Earth by beaming his electronic consciousness into space where he encountered the Phalanx, giving them new purpose. Now, Ultron intends uploading his consciousness into the body of the perfect organic organism, Adam Warlock. And he’s got more cocoons so that he can grow bodies for the rest  of the Phalanx. Rocket, Mantis and Bug rescue Starlord. Groot quickly grows through the Babel Spire’s foundations and Mantis uses her pyrokinesis to set him alight, destroying the spire and sacrificing Groot. Ronan the Accuser launches the Sentry fleet at Hala…
Annihilation: Conquest #6
Even the Spartoi, Rigellians and Badoon join the fight against the Phalanx. Nova, Gamora, Drax, Warlock and Tyro and push through into Kree space using Warlock’s harmonics. Rocket Racoon saves a twig from the burning Groot. Ultron teleports in ‘wearing’ Adam Warlock’s body until the technarch Warlock casts Ultron out. Quasar arrives and restores Adam’s soul. The Phalanx infect Praxagora’s mind and use the arriving Sentry robots to build a new Babel Spire and a huge body for Ultron. Adam Warlock, Quasar and Wraith combine their powers to defeat Ultron. Wraith combines his powers with Tyro’s to free the infected Kree. The barrier around Hala is gone. Rocket starts regrowing Groot. Ronan feels guilty about his attempt to condemn his people to death to save the universe. And Starlord blames himself for everything that’s happened on Hala, but he’s got a plan to help guard the galaxy from future threats…

Title, Issue Number & SynopsisEvent / Crossover
Nova #15 (2008)
Worldmind abandons Richard Rider as a host when he disobeys him one too many times.
Avengers/Invaders #7-8 (2009)
A version of Ultron’s programming is used in SHIELD’s Life Model Decoys, though it’s not the true Ultron.
Uncanny X-Men #500 (2008)
The High Evolutionary returns to Earth.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (2008)
Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, Mantis, Rocket Racoon, Starlord and Adam Warlock form the Guardians of the Galaxy; Knowhere becomes the Guardians’ headquarters.
Nova #16 (2008)
The Super-Skrull uses his past alliances with Nova to manipulate and betray him.

Guardians of the Galaxy #4 (2008)
A new Cynosure leads a new cadre of Luminals aboard Knowhere.

Nova #17 (2008)
The original Quasar (Wendell Vaughn) is restored to life in an energy form.
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 (2009)
Ronan is forced to hand control of the Kree over to Black Bolt of the Inhumans.

Guardians of the Galaxy #7 (2009)
Blastaar becomes a threat once again when he attempts to gain more power by invading Earth through Prison 42; Bug joins the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Nova #19-22 (2009)
Worldmind forms a new Nova Corps and temporarily strips Richard Rider of his Nova powers.

War of Kings #1 (2009)
Ronan is forced to marry Crystal of the Inhumans as a symbolic bond between the Inhumans and Kree.

Nova #23 (2009)
Richard Rider temporarily takes on the Quantum Bands and becomes Quasar, prolonging his life after the forced removal of the Nova Force.

Guardians of the Galaxy #12 (2009)
Phyla-Vell takes a new identity all her own as Martyr and becomes an avatar of Death; Martyr saves Moondragon’s soul from the Dragon of the Moon and resurrects her in a cloned body

Nova #25 (2009)
Worldmind restores Richard Rider as and takes on a new avatar resembling Ko-Rel.

War of Kings #6 (2009)
The damage caused to the universe by the Annihilation Wave, the Phalanx incursion and the detonation of a Terrigen Bomb cause a rip in space referred to as The Fault.

Guardians of the Galaxy #17 (2009)
Adam Warlock utilises an unused future to patch the Fault, bringing his evil future-self back into play and becoming Adam Magus; Magus turns against the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #4 (2010)
Ra-Venn is killed on a mission into the Fault.
New Mutants #5 (2009)
The Technarch Warlock returns to Earth.
Dark Avengers Annual #1 (2010)
Someone claiming to be the Supreme Intelligence (or possibly the Supremor of Earth-200080) empowers the reality-hopping Kree Noh-Varr, transforming him from Marvel Boy/Captain Marvel into the Protector.
New Mutants #9 (2010)
The Technarch Warlock rejoins the New Mutants.
Amazing Spider-Man #627 (2010)
William Nguyen receives the Uni-Power, becoming the next Captain Universe.
Mighty Avengers #35-36 (2010)
Another Ultron emerges, calling itself Ultron Pym.
Chaos War: Dead Avengers #1 (2011)
Deathcry is among the deceased Avengers resurrected to fight the Chaos King.
Guardians of the Galaxy #24 (2010)
Martyr (Phyla-Vell) is killed by the resurrected Thanos, who automatically takes her role as the avatar of Death.
Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 (2011)
Knowhere becomes the base of operations for the Annihilators, Cosmo’s cosmic heavy-hitter team designed to replace the Guardians of the Galaxy.

FF #11 (2011)
The Supreme Intelligence is restored to life by Ronan the Accuser using the Supremor Seed.
Avengers #12.1 (2011)
Ultron returns to Earth in the dead body of a Galadorian Spaceknight.
New Mutants #50 (2012)
Tyro is reunited with Warlock.
Avengers #23 (2012)
Norman Osborn becomes the next Super-Adaptoid.
Age of Ultron #1-10 (2013)
Ultron takes over Earth; the Avengers defeat him by travelling back in time and altering the events of his arrival on Earth from Kree space.
All-New Marvel NOW! Point One #1.NOW (2014)
Korath is replaced as Pursuer by Tanalith the Pursuer.
Uncanny Avengers #1 (2015)
The true Super-Adaptoid is revealed to have returned to Earth and is destroyed by the Avengers Unity Division.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1-6 (2019)
Wraith assists the Guardians of the Galaxy in the hunt for Thanos’ new body; Wraith joins the Dark Guardians.
Web of Venom: Wraith #1 (2020)
The Exolons are revealed to be a race of imperfect Symbiotes created by Knull; Wraith’s Kree name is revealed; Knull rips the Exolon from Wraith and uses it to manifest the All-Black’s Necrosword; Wraith is killed by a damaged teleportation device.

See how this story fits into the wider Marvel Universe continuity with these reading orders:

Notable collected editions for Annihilation Conquest…

Collected Edition TitleIncludes…
Annihilation: Conquest OmnibusAnnihilation: Conquest Prologue #1

Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #1-4

Annihilation: Conquest – Starlord #1-4

Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #1-4

Annihilation Saga #1

Nova #1-12

Nova Annual #1
Annihilation: Conquest vol.1-2Annihilation: Conquest Prologue #1

Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar #1-4

Annihilation: Conquest – Starlord #1-4

Annihilation: Conquest – Wraith #1-4

Annihilation Saga #1

Nova #4-7

Nova Annual #1
Nova vol.1: Annihilation: ConquestNova #1-7
Collected Edition TitleIncludes…
Nova vol.2: KnowhereNova #8-12

Nova Annual #1
Nova HardcoverNova #1-12

Nova Annual #1
Nova by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning: The Complete CollectionAnnihilation: Nova #1-4

Nova #1-15

Nova Annual #1

Nova: Origin of Richard Rider #1

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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