September 27, 2009

Marvel Reviews: War of Kings: Who Will Rule? # 1 Review

WOK3Publisher:  Marvel
Writer(s):  Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist:  Paul Pelletier
Cover:  Brandon Peterson

 “Who Will Rule?” :   If  you didn’t read the War Of Kings mini series then you missed one of the best cosmic events in Marvel this year!  Blackbolt and the Inhumans with the aid of the Kree go up against the Shi’Ar Empire led by the viciously evil third Summers brother: Vulcan!  By the end of it all we have a decisive split among the Shi’Ar,  Blackbolt and Vulcan are presumed dead, and  in the midst of all of this, Lilandra was assassinated and a new Praetor must be chosen to lead the Shi’Ar.  Which brings us to this one-shot issue right here.

Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett slow things down a bit and give us time to catch our breath in this issue. Gladiator is preparing for Lilandra’s funeral and awaiting the arrival of the Inhuman Royal Family. The only good news comes from Rachel Summers who has discovered the identity of Lilandra’s assassin. Though she doesn’t have a name, she has a face, so Gladiator puts out a galactic APB on his ass and calls him an “animal!”  After that we get a lot of his internal thoughts and dialogue before switching over to Crystal who is going through her own inner turmoil. She knows she will be the one chosen to lead the Shi’Ar and like Gladiator, she’s refusing to take the position of leadership.  Each has a reason they believe to be valid, but fate has the final say so in the end. 

There isn’t a lot of action in this story as the only fight comes during the funeral procession where the Imperial Guard refuses to accept the terms of surrender and the news that Vulcan is dead. They then state that they will take control and that the Inhumans need to leave immediately. Black Bolt’s wife Medusa, who hasn’t said a word since her husband’s apparent demise, loses it, and with that the Royal Family takes on the Imperial Guard! Gladiator finally has had enough and stops both sides from fighting, and after a few words from Crystal he knows what has to be done…

Paul Pelletier does a great job in showing the overall emotion of almost every character in the story.  From a principal character to background personalities, you get the overall feel of remorse, guilt, and pain. The art was so good in this one-shot that it could have been told without the dialogue and been done as a silent issue.  Lanning, Abnett, and Pelletier have expanded on these characters in their own way and its made for an amazing tale that you won’t regret reading from beginning to end. One of my favorite parts is where Gladiator is having trouble holding up a piece of rubble that a civilian was trapped under and Crystal comes to his aid. For anyone who knows, his power is fueled by his confidence and the close up of his face just tells the tale of a man who has had his confidence shaken to its core.

Now there is a bit of suspense as we find out that the assassin may be closer than Gladiator realizes, and there is a return of a certain big purple galactic baddie that seems to know that HE will rule in the end!

Infinite Speech



  1. I agree, this one shot was great! I’m really liking Cosmic Marvel right now, and am interested to see where the Starjammers will end up once everything shakes out.

  2. billy

    War of Kings was awesome! Honestly though guardians of the galaxy was as good if not better than the main title.

  3. InfiniteSpeech

    I’m hoping Alex stays in space for a while and helps out around the galaxy this seems to be a great fit for him and Lorna right now. Plus I think it’s a possibility to explore his powers a little more…i was actually impressed when he absorbed that living star creature the Hodin!

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