Forged by Hephaestus, the Annihilator was one of the most fearsome weapons of the Ancient World. It was a weapon that even Ares, the quintessential warmonger, feared to wield. Its bloodlust knew no bounds; it slaughtered countless armies – both those that opposed it and those who sought to control it – before its onslaught was quelled after it was buried for centuries.
It was eventually recovered as part of an archaeological dig, resulting in it being displayed in a museum as an apparently conventional suit of armor. However, it was eventually activated by renegade Amazon Aresia with the aid of Loki, who provided her with the Tear of Zeus and the Eye of Odin to act as a power source; Loki had intended to use the Annihilator himself, but the intervention of the Justice League forced Aresia to activate it herself, later using a spell of Loki's to control it. Although the League and Doctor Strange were unable to stop the Annihilator, various female heroes travelled to Themyscira to talk to Hephaestus about his work, learning of the Annihilator's fatal flaw; its inability to fight back if nobody attacked it first. After the Annihilator was deactivated, Strange claimed the Tear of Zeus while Superman took the Eye of Odin to the Fortress of Solitude, the Annihilator being left in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody with strict instructions about its weakness.
The Annihilator appeared in the animated show Justice League Unlimited. It was constructed by Hephaestus for Ares and use it for the purpose of exacerbating the civil war in Kaznia. It was powered by aggression and was only stopped when Dove convinced both sides in the conflict to stand down, thus depriving its fuel. The suit was taken to the Watchtower and stored there before it was stolen by Task Force X on behalf of Cadmus. However, the suit was taken over and possessed by the spirit of Felix Faust and used it to stormed Tartarus and making himself ruler over the underworld. Although Faust remove the Annihilator's weakness, it was still vulnerable to Shayera Hol's Nth metal mace, which disrupted magic. The suit was destroyed by Shayera and Wonder Woman, leaving a small portion of Faust's soul drifting loose.