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Dark Tidings

January 29, 2010

     In the lastest issue of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard, the Imperial Guard is in deep doo-doo.  As Mentor, Plutonia, Ch’od, Manta, Hussar, and Fang try to fix the Starjammers’ ship, the landing party runs back, being chased by the creatures that are eating the ship.  The remaining Guard from the ship help get everyone evacuated, Starbolt charges up the engines, and Flashfire induces an involuntary muscle spasm, letting the ship escape as the bioship collapses.  Elsewhere, Gladiator meets with the Inhumans and other races who wish to reconvene the Galactic Council.  He has a daydream where he slaughters everyone there, and during a break, he curses himself for losing himself.  Back at the Starjammers’ ship, an energy projectile smashes into the side of the ship.  The projectile is Quasar, our Quasar, having returned from the other side of the Fault and badly wounded.  And he’s being chased by giant creatures, the things that the bioship was eating itself to avoid.

     Well, now we finally see a clear tie to the Realm of Kings one-shot.  This is our Quasar, and the Quasar who arrived at the beginning of that issue was the alternate universe, cancerverse Quasar.  I really like the concept of the cancerverse, so I’m glad to see it tying back into the rest of Realm of Kings.  It’s interesting to see the Imperial Guard, aside from Mentor and Gladiator, finally get concrete and interesting personalities, as it’s clear just how dysfunctional a group this is.  It was really only kept whole by a strong Majestor, and Gladiator hasn’t really acclimated to the position yet.  In fact, he’s beginning to lose himself.  It’s quite good, even if this is still the least interesting of the Realm of Kings stories.  Kevin Walker’s art is more expressive in this issue, particularly with Mentor and his lack of sleep.  He does have trouble making angry faces look less… standardized, and he’s not so good with normal human faces (except the scarred Quasar).  But his work is good.  Now, I’m looking forward to see how the Guard fares against a small fleet of cancer ship things.  Can this team keep it together long enough to not die?  Honestly, I don’t know.

Plot: 8.5      Art: 8.2      Dialogue: 8.8      Overall: 8.5

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