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What Grief Does to a Person

July 11, 2009

     In the shocking conclusion to last issue of War of Kings, Lilandra Neramani, longtime ruler of the Shi’ar Empire and X-Men supporting character, was killed by the Fraternity of Raptors.  With hopes of bringing the war to a safe, early end dashed, Black Bolt makes the decision to utilize his ace in the whole: the T-bomb, a bomb utilizing the Terrigen crystals to force mutation in those it hits.  Basically, the Inhumans plan to forcibly mutate all others in the galaxy into Inhumans, thereby eliminating the need for war.  Vulcan fights some with Talon, and Talon reveals that he is not supporting Vulcan, but rather, the Shi’ar Empire.  Both Ronan and Crystal try to dissuade Black Bolt from his chosen course of action, but the king ultimately decides to go through with using the bomb.  Meanwhile, on Chandilar, Gladiator goes berserk, and the Starjammers fight to stay alive.  Marvel Girl kills Black Cloak, the leader of the Death Commandos, as revenge for all the members of her family that he killed, and Gladiator kills Araki.  Back with the Inhumans, Maximus reveals that, by using the T-bomb, Black Bolt will sacrifice his own life.  Medusa tries to stop him, but Black Bolt silently moves on.  Vulcan bursts into the T-bomb, and the fight between kings is ready to begin.

     This issue is just epic.  Seeing Chandilar burn, Black Bolt making the fateful choice to sacrifice his life…  It’s great.  Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are truly the kings of outer space.  Vulcan is still the loser that he always has been, but they write him better than most people.  I’ve actually completely forgotten his idiotic origin as the third Summers brother.  Crystal, Ronan, and Gladiator continue to be the emotional focuses of the story, and you can really see that through Gladiator’s narration.  I think it’s interesting that Abnett and Lanning picked these characters, none of whom are the main people involved in the war.  They provide a very interesting viewpoint.  Paul Pelletier continues to do outdo himself in these pages.  I especially like his work with Gladiator.  I must admit that I have no idea what’s going to happen next.  Personally, I much prefer that.  It’s the mark of good writesr to be able to keep you guessing even until the end.  However, I do hope that Vulcan will not see the light of day past the end of this miniseries.  He’s the one blotch on Ed Brubaker’s superb record, and it would be better for everyone, both in real life and the Marvel Universe, if he just disappeared.

Plot: 9.2      Art: 9.2      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 9.2

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