The final issue of Marvel’s latest cosmic event hit shelves this week. Two of the tie-in series arcs have yet to finish, and there’s a “War of Kings: Who Will Rule?” one-shot due in September before the full event wrap-up article comes.
Title: War of Kings #6
Authors: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Illustrator(s): Paul Pelletier (pencils), Rick Magyar and Andrew Hennessy (inks), Wil Quintana (colorist)
Cover Date: October 2009
Cover Price: $3.99 US
Black Bolt is flying into Shi’Ar space with the T-Bomb, but Vulcan has arrived to face him in one to one combat. These two are not lightweight combatants, and neither one holds back. The aftermath of their battle is neither pretty nor expected.
This is a gutsy ending. It’s really hard to discuss it without spoilers, but the way this story ends brings closure to this story and sets up a new status quo that begs for a new ongoing series or two.
One of my favorite characters is “off the table,” at least for a while. He was taken out of play in a manner that can facilitate his return without much difficult, so it’s really not a huge problem. Having read the issue twice and flipped through it three times looking for a low point, that’s still the best I can come up with.
This feels original once more. It’s a big fight, but it’s a big fight that leaves things with a new status quo by giving us an ending that doesn’t involve any of the usual elements we’d expect when something like this ends. Going into these things, I try to predict the new status quo for the characters involved. There were several prominent characters in play (Vulcan, Lilandra, Gladiator, Ka’ardum, Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Maximus, Karnak, Gorgon, Havok, Polaris, Rachel Summers, Darkhawk, Korvus Rookshire, Razor, Adam Warlock, Ronan, Nova, and Blastaar are the first 20 to come to mind) and I accurately predicted the new status quo for a grand total of one of them. I give it 6 out of 6.
The artwork is consistently great. Pelletier leads a team that provides clear, emotive and intense art throughout. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story is well written. It ties up the major threads of the series proper with a very unexpected but still satisfying ending. I give it 6 out of 6.
The characterization here was limited to Black Bolt, Vulcan, and a relatively small number of others. The story is coming to a close, and the emphasis is on the two leaders who set this whole thing off in the first place. Still, they are all well handled. Gladiator also finds himself in a very new situation that I’m really looking forward to seeing more of. I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response is great. There’s nothing like an ending that unexpected, not because it wasn’t a forseeable possibility, but because I didn’t think Marvel would have the guts to do that with their universe. That’s what we’ve got. I give it 6 out of 6.
The flow is very smooth, and very rapid. This issue could take place in a matter of minutes. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, it’s a strong issue, and one well worth reading. It wraps up one of the most satisfying and enjoyable events Marvel has put out in recent years. I give it 5 out of 6.
In total, War of Kings #6 receives 38 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