The second last issue starts with the (spoiler protected) line “Word of Lilandra’s death comes to us early on what turns out to be the last day of the Kree-Shi’Ar War.” The series then pulls together the elements needed to set the stage for its final chapter.
Title: War of Kings #5
Authors: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Illustrator(s): Paul Pelletier (pencils), Rick Magyar (inks) and Wil Quintana (colors)
Cover Date: September 2009
Cover Price: $3.99 US
The intro pretty much says it all. The end of issue #4 set things in motion and kicked them into high gear. Issue #5 stomps on the accelerator quite forcefully.
Talon’s speech to Vulcan.
Rachel’s significant moment would be somewhat subdued if one hasn’t read those particular (and particularly weak) issues of Uncanny X-Men, published around the time of House of M.
This is an original issue in the sense of the way the comic book death impacts the characters. Kallark’s reaction is to be expected, but the others react in ways that are perfectly natural but typically ignored in the medium. The action sequences are the typical “pull it all together” stuff, and for the first time in the series, the final page was predictable from the first page. I give it 4 out of 6.
The artwork is still excellent. Pelletier does a great job of pulling things together. The sequence that really impresses me is the Starjammers’. Between Rachel and Kallark, things are really impressive. Emotion, action, and production effects are on full display and very well depicted. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story may be more predictable than the earlier chapters, but that’s mainly because we knew that things would come down to a Black Bolt vs. Vulcan battle from the outset, and this is the issue that finally gets us to that point. It’s still well written, but you know where it’s going. The only real surprise is the exact nature of the device that Maximus has built. I give it 5 out of 6.
The characterization is great. Talon, Vulcan, Ronan, Crystal, Rachel, Kallark, Black Bolt, Maximus and Gorgon all have at least one moment to shine. That’s a lot of moments in a normal sized issue. I give it 6 out of 6.
The emotional response is strong despite the predictability of the end result. We know where it’s going, but it’s still fun to get there. I give it 5 out of 6.
The flow works very well. I was concerned about this after reading War of Kings: Ascension #3, as I didn’t know how this would read given the “dovetailing” that takes place, but that portion of this issue takes place after a segment that must be coming in War of Kings: Ascension #4. It reads quite well on its own. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, it’s another strong issue in a highly enjoyable event. I give it 5 out of 6.
In total, War of Kings #5 receives 35 out of 42.
War of Kings Checklist
- War of Kings #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, complete series
- Guardians of the Galaxy #8-10, 13-17
- Nova #23-29
- Secret Invasion: War of Kings
- War of Kings: Ascension #1-4
- War of Kings: Darkhawk #1-2
- War of Kings: The Savage World of Skaar
- War of Kings: Warriors (online now, print in July and August) Gladiator, Crystal, Blastaar and Lilandra
- X-Men: Kingbreaker #1-4