This is it! The end of the “War of Kings” saga! It all comes to a conclusion here, right? Well, sort of.
This is the final issue of the “War of Kings” mini-series, and Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have a lot of fun with bringing everything an explosive conclusion. After all, Abnett and Lanning have teased a fight between Black Bolt and Vulcan for quite some time now, and I think it’s safe to say that it’s a moment eagerly awaited. In that alone, they don’t disappoint. Black Bolt versus Vulcan should be a fight that isn’t easily settled, and with each new feint and strike, the ultimate victor grows harder to determine. (Plus, let’s face it, from the moment of his introduction, Vulcan has been a character just begging to have the tar beaten out of him.)
Abnett and Lanning also touch on some of the other players of the “War of Kings” saga here, although in not quite as great a fashion. Gladiator and Crystal both get their moments in the spotlight, and I’ve enjoyed the portrayal of both characters in this story. In the months ahead, it will be interesting to see which of the survivors goes on to some form of prominence within the Marvel Universe’s space scene, and I think it’s safe to say that these two are ones to potentially watch. There’s even a small bit of set-up for future stories planted in “War of Kings” #6, and that set-up has a lot of potential. (I suspect, though, it’s also being planted as a future reset button for characters if other writers so desire it. Let’s hope not.)
What’s missing, though, is most of the epilogue, which is now scheduled for a “War of Kings: Who Will Rule?” one-shot in September. I’m glad that Abnett and Lanning are getting extra space to resolve things, because there’s still a lot up in the air after this issue, and I appreciate that they were able to use more pages to have the climactic final battle and moments play out as much as they did. But when you’re reading a comic that has “6 of 6” listed on the front cover, you expect a conclusion. Instead, too much is left hanging until next month.
Still, it’s a fun issue, and Paul Pelletier’s pencils are their consistent, energetic norm. If Marvel ever publishes another “Inhumans” series down the line I’d love to see him draw it, because there’s something about the way he draws characters like Crystal and Medusa that just feels right. Hopefully next month’s epilogue one-shot will finish wrapping this story up. There are still a lot of unanswered questions and situations, but Abnett and Lanning have done a good job up until now of dealing with them.