In the penumbra of the Crunch, the freed Proemial Gods – Aegis, Lady of All Sorrows, and Tenebrous of the Darkness Between – build incomprehensible machines and make plans to remake the universe in their own image. They are approached by Thanos, the Mad Titan, who bargains with them for a temporary alliance, and the release of the Fallen One (his ‘herald’, who they captured), in return for him weakening their great enemy Galactus.
The current and former Heralds of Galactus – Stardust, Firelord and the Silver Surfer – scour the Andromeda Galaxy for more information on the Seekers and the Annihilation Wave’s quest for sources of cosmic power. They detect a trace of the Power Cosmic reminiscent of Morg, a rebel Herald who they once fought together to defeat, and follow it back to a system where Skrull and Wave forces fought each other to a standstill, and where the remains of a world destroyed by the Harvester of Sorrow still tumble through space.
On a planetoid bearing the remains of the Skrull spaceport, the Heralds find a Kree ship, its systems and life support almost completely depleted, and the remains of a Wave ship, within which the partially-devoured remains of Morg are splayed upon an altar of red-and-gold material. Before they can reclaim the body or rescue the Kree, the Seekers – led by their leader Ravenous, the right hand of Annihilus – spring their trap. They attempt to capture the Heralds and drain their power, aided by the reality-warping energies of the Glorian Matrix (the altar).
Their plan is an abject failure, though – the Heralds easily defeat the Seekers, and Ravenous is only just able to escape along with the Matrix. The Heralds re-energise the Kree ship’s system and find it is manned by Kree soldiers led by Korath the Pursuer, who has been following his psychic trace on the Glorian Matrix; they follow the Matrix across the galaxy to learn that Ravenous has rendezvoused with Annihilus, who has finally returned from his recent exile back to the Negative Zone.
No sooner has Annihilus emerged from the Crunch than his flagship is invaded by a visitor – Thanos! Fighting off the warlord’s minions and repelling the power of the Cosmic Control Rod, Thanos makes his case for an alliance with Annihilus and aiding him in his genocidal plans. The two tyrants come together to hatch a new and terrible scheme – one that involves the fall of Galactus…