Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Paul Pelletier
The new galactic crossover event War of Kings has been stewing for awhile now. With Secret Invasion, the Inhumans have been forced to take a more proactive role in protecting their people and have thus allied themselves with their creators the Kree, and the royal family now rules over that race. Inhuman Crystal's marriage to Kree leader Ronan the Accuser is what will firm the union up, and is the event that this first book centers around. Meanwhile in Uncanny X-Men, Vulcan has taken over the throne of the Shi'ar, forcing former Empress Lilandra to ally herself with the Starjammers who, together with a few of the X-Men, are trying to dethrone the unstable Vulcan. With Deathbird and the Imperial Guard at his side, Vulcan has been able to conquer many races in his quest for universal rule, and has his eyes on the Kree next, especially as the opening scene of this first book shows the Kree allowing the Starjammers and Lilandra into their domain, while denying (and destroying) a pursuing Shi'ar vessel. Using this as his excuse for retaliation and conquest, Vulcan sends his Imperial Guard in to the Kree homeworld during the royal wedding of Crystal and Ronan, an act of war that begs for Medusa's vow of blood by the issue's end. This issue is basically the opening shot that thrusts these two people headfirst against one another in all-out war, with the best king, either Blackbolt or Vulcan, to come out victorious to lead the people of the universe. Already in this first issue, there have been casualties on both sides, and there's sure to be more to come, especially as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Darkhawk and Nova are going to be getting involved in the battle to come. I'm glad to see the very capable Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning writing this series, as they did a phenomenal job on Annihilation: Conquest, and Paul Pelletier does a competent job illustrating the issue in a style that reminds me quite a bit of Alan Davis, one that suits the action and scope of this title very nicely. I'm still not sure if this is going to be as good as the Annihilation crossover series, but so far it's off to quite the breath-taking, action-packed start.