War of Kings Review540 views
I’ll admit it. I love Marvel’s cosmic Universe.
The Infinity Gauntlet was one of the best comic book stories EVER. I loved Annihilation, and I enjoyed Annihilation Conquest, and I enjoyed most of the limited series that accompanied these events.
And I love the Inhumans. The Inhuman Maxi-series from several years ago by Jenkins and Lee was as good as Infinity Gauntlet (though for different reasons)
So there should be no surprise that I loved War of Kings.
This series continues the Emperor Vulcan story from a year ago, as the legendary third Summers brother assumes Emperorship of the Shiar empire. Now, Vulcan is powerful, but he is also one of the more hot-headed characters in the Marvel Universe, and we see how his impulsiveness causes events to unfold and eventually unwind. I am not going to give a lengthy recap of the series. If you are reading this, you know what War of Kings is about.
And I’ll say with little equivocation, it is worth the read.
For many, many years the cosmic arm of the Marvel Universe has been just a second child, seldom explored, and oftentimes the associated stories were horrible. Infinity Gauntlet was great, but the sequels were awful. But Annihilation put the epic cosmic story back on the map for Marvel.
War of Kings is epic, and was probably rushed through. It could easily have been ten issues without seeming too long. So much was crammed in, and I felt myself being pulled like a whirlwind through the pages. The story, while simple, was entertaining, and all of the characters were there: The Shi’ar, the Imperial Guard, the Kree, the Inhumans, and what is left of the Starjammers and the cosmic X-mean team (Polaris, Havok, Rachel Summers). We also see Darkhawk and Guardians of the Galaxy, both of which have accompanying stories in their own books.
Part of what made this story great was Gladiator, and watching the evolution of a rather dull, powerful character into the complex creation he truly is. His role at the end of the story will shock you.
I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, so I won’t, but I will say that there was no real ending, and that is a good thing. The story is far from over, and another series can’t be far. For every conflict that was resolved, another was started, and I look forward to reading the next chapter.
As many mini-series have accompanying mini-series, as both Annihilation stories did, so did War of Kings. Sort of. The Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova crossed over, but not in a way that required you read either of those books. The one true mini-series was War of Kings: Ascension, which featured Darkhawk. I used to love Darkhawk, and I love what they did with him in the limited series. While Darkhawk’s role in the main War of King series is important, though brief, you do not have to read Ascension, or really any of the other books, to get the full impact of War of Kings. Why? Here’s the trick: All of the W of K books are written by the same people, Abnett and Lanning. So they can coordinate everything, which allows everything to flow very nicely. They’ve plotted it so the main book can exist and be enjoyed without reading the Nova or Guardians or Darkhawk books, but they also make it so you can read those books and feel like it was worth the time and money involved. Too often the spin-offs and limited series are written by other people, and things get lost along the way. Not so here.
I look forward to the next chapter in this massive story. I look forward to see how the civilizations respond, how the Inhumans cope, where the Cosmic X-men team go (though I would love to see them return to earth), what Gladiator does with his new responsibilities. I look forward to seeing Darkhawk again. Abnett and Lanning not only know how to do Cosmic right, they know how to do epic right. The fact that I look to the future is a testament to the power of their story.
I enjoyed the ride immensely, and I can’t wait to get onboard again