Friday, November 13, 2009

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 (of 5)

Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning & Kevin Walker
I've always enjoyed whenever the Imperial Guard would appear in superhero comics, which was usually in the random cosmic adventure the Uncanny X-Men would go on when I was growing up. Lately, they've been involved in quite a few conflicts involving the Shi'ar, like War of Kings, but they haven't lost their lustre for me. There are enough characters, of varying powers and alien races, with a cyborg or two thrown in for good measure, that any story could really focus on any one of them, or a choice few. Of course with Gladiator taking on the role of majestor of the Shi'ar empire, the heavyhitting leader of the Imperial Guard has other duties, duties which his advisors insist do not involve getting his hands dirty with fighting, and so he must sit back and watch his former comrades battle his foes for him, which is frustrating for a warrior. Featured in this mini-series are several of my favorite Imperial Guard members, particularly Manta and Warstar, who are both visually cool with great character designs. Under the guiding hands of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, who have done some phenomenal work in the outskirts of the Marvel Universe lately with such galactic titles as Annihilation and Guardians of the Galaxy, the Imperial Guard has never looked better. I don't think I've ever really read a comic from the Guard's perspective, but it's nice to see the team work together, and of course, the little squabbles and disagreements they have make things that much more interesting. Throw in a pair of Starjammers by the end of this issue and I'm hooked the remainder of the series.

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