Secret Invasion / War of Kings Review – “Secret Invasion: War of Kings”

This technically crosses over with both the Secret Invasion, and the next Marvel event, the War of Kings. You’ll find both checklists at the bottom.

General Information

Title: Secret Invasion: War of Kings

Author: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Illustrator(s): Paul Pelletier and Bong Dazo (pencils), Rick Magyar and Joe Pimentel (inks), Will Quintana and Mike Kelleher (colours)

Cover Date: March 2009

Cover Price: $3.99 US


Black Bolt has been captured and abused by the Skrulls, but is now back in charge of his people. He has considered his options long and hard, and chooses to give in to the intended destiny of his people, turning them into a warrior race. His first target: the Skrulls.

High Point


Low Point

Earthrise? Why do writers insist on talking about Earthrise on the moon? The moon orbits with 1:1 spin orbit coupling, keeping the same side of the moon facing Earth at all times. You won’t see “Earthrise” on the moon. Earth would appear stationary from the moon; it’ll never cross the horizon unless the observer is moving themselves around the moon’s surface.

The Scores

This is original territory for the Inhumans. Up until now, they seem to have done everything in their power to keep to themselves. Now they’re taking a very proactive stance in things. Black Bolt has also been entrusted with the Space Gem, after the events of New Avengers: Illuminati #2; I suspect that will come into play before this war is over. We’re also seeing new territory for both Skrull and Kree societies, and are continuing with the new ground for the Shi’Ar first established by Ed Brubaker in his first Uncanny X-Men story arc. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is solid, depicting both the combat and the emotion as needed. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well told, setting up Black Bolt’s new attitude very clearly, and showing us the fun arrogance of Vulcan once more. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is prominent here. Kudos to the artists for conveying Black Bolt’s emotions; it’s tough with a mute character. Crystal, Ronan, and Vulcan also great some nicely fleshed out work. Medusa, Gorgon and Karnak have their moments, as well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is strong. This is a more intense opener than some of the previous cosmic events. I really enjoyed “Annihilation,” but was less thrilled by “Annihilation: Conquest.” At this stage, this has the potential to be more like the former than the latter. I give it 5 out of 6.

The flow is smooth. The issue begins shortly after Black Bolt decides on a plan of action, which he immediately puts into effect. From there, it’s a pretty linear and easy to follow path. It starts out with a “12 hours earlier…” type of deal, but it doesn’t feel like a retread because it doesn’t retread the scene later on. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a solid start to “War of Kings” that uses “Secret Invasion” as a springboard more than anything else. If you know Black Bolt was captured, replaced, and rescued, then you know pretty much all you need to know to pick this up and run with it. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Secret Invasion: War of Kings receives 35 out of 42.

War of Kings Checklist

  • War of Kings #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, complete series
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #8-?
  • Nova #23-?
  • Secret Invasion: War of Kings
  • War of Kings: Darkhawk #1-2
  • X-Men: Kingbreaker #1-4
  • Likely more to come

Secret Invasion Review Checklists

Background reviews:

Infiltration reviews:

Main Event reviews:

Dark Reign reviews (with final availability dates):

  • Agents of Atlas #1-2+
  • Avengers: The Iniative #20-22+
  • Black Panther #1-2+
  • Dark Avengers #1-3+
  • Dark Reign: Elektra #1-5
  • Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1-
  • Dark Reign: New Nation: This is a sampler with a few pages from each of four or five other Dark Reign titles. It won’t be individually reviewed, and the samplers aren’t complete enough for our system. The finished products will be reviewed as they come out.
  • Deadpool -8+ (crosses over with Thunderbolts)
  • Incredible Hercules #127+
  • Invincible Iron Man #8-11+
  • Mighty Avengers #20-23+
  • Ms. Marvel #34-37+
  • New Avengers #48-51+
  • New Avengers: The Reunion #1-4
  • Punisher #1-3+
  • Secret Invasion: Dark Reign
  • Secret Invasion: Requiem #1
  • Secret Warriors #1-2+
  • Thunderbolts #126-130+ (crosses over with Deadpool)
  • Uncanny X-Men Annual #2: January 21
  • War Machine #1-4+
  • Wolverine Origins -34+