It was supposed to be a wedding between Crystal of the Inhumans and Ronan the Accuser of the Kree. It was meant to symbolize the union between the Kree and their new masters, the Inhumans. But the happy occasion became a declaration of war when the Shi'Ar Imperial Guard crashed the wedding. This was the sad scene in "War of Kings" #1, on sale now from Marvel Comics.
For the past several weeks, CBR has been examining how the war might ply out by closely examining the forces at the disposal Vulcan, ruler of the Shi'Ar, and Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans.. In our latest installment of ALL THE KINGS' MEN, writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, collectively known to their fans as DnA, help us reveal the Rooks, the kings' living siege engines, in the cosmic chess game that is "War of Kings."
WHITE ROOK: GORGON
When Gorgon was exposed to the Terrigen Mists, the mutagen which gives Inhumans their super powers, he was endowed with the ability to create deadly seismic waves by stomping his feet. As an adult, Gorgon put those abilities to good use as both a bodyguard to Black Bolt and trainer to teenage Inhumans. His experience in both those capacities makes Gorgon a valuable wartime asset for the Kree and Inhumans.
But despite his value as a trainer, chances are you'll find Gorgon fighting on the frontlines of the war, where he can stomp his enemies to pieces. That's because Gorgon was recently exposed to the Terrigen Mists a second time, which resulted in him becoming stronger and more bestial and savage.
"Given the Inhumans' new streak of ruthlessness, the all-new, all-savage Gorgon is exactly the sort of charismatic troop commander they need leading the way for the New Inhuman Elite," DnA told CBR News. "He is a bit of a slave to his emotions, however."
WHITE ROOK: TRITON
Unlike the other members of the Inhumans Royal Family, Triton's exposure to the Terrigen Mists did not result in him receiving super human powers with clear offensive capabilities. Instead, Triton was transformed into a being capable of surviving and thriving in any aquatic environment. Triton's Shi'Ar opponents shouldn't make the mistake of thinking this makes him any less dangerous, though. "He's a warrior too," DnA stated. "Triton's expertise is showcased in issue two, and we'd rather not spoil the moment."
Additionally, the writers said, "He's very cool, calm and collected, and also, like Crystal, a bit of a moderate."
BLACK ROOK: PLUTONIA
Her ability to phase through solid matter makes Imperial Guard member Plutonia the perfect spy, thief and saboteur for the Shi'Ar war machine. She can enter a facility, take what she want, smash whatever's left, and there's very little the Kree and Inhumans could do about it. What makes Plutonia even more dangerous is that her abilities can be used for more than just stealth purposes. "She's got a full suite of powers, and they absolutely can be used for offensive phasing purposes, as you'll see," DnA teased.
Plutonia's phasing abilities come with a price. Her body generates an unknown form of radiation, and she must wear a containment suit. If Plutonia ever removes the suit or allows it to become damaged, dire consequences could result. "She might suffer some kind of extreme metabolic collapse," DnA explained. "And take the neighborhood with her."
Because she can phase through many physical attacks and damaging her containment suit could cause an opponent more harm than good, it may seem like Plutonia is unstoppable, but the guardsmen does have some exploitable weaknesses. "We're thinking telepathy," DnA said. "Or some very exotic forms of matter or energy."
BLACK ROOK: CHANCELLOR ARAKI
In war, sometimes the most potent form of power is political, and in the Shi'Ar Imperium, few beings have more political power then Prime Minster and Lord Chancellor Araki. Simply put, he's extremely good at what he does. In fact, Araki has proven so valuable in his job that after his death, his mind was transferred into a clone body. Indeed, a number of Araki clones have served the Empire.
Araki may be a capable and powerful servant to whoever is ruling the Shi'Ar Imperium, but his ultimate loyalty is to the Empire -- not to the Emperor. The current Araki clone does seem content to serve Emperor Vulcan, but it's possible he could be just biding his time and waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike against the king. "All the Araki sequence politicos are gene-bred from the bloodline of the Secret Order. They uphold the power of the Imperium and abhor weakness in rulers," explained DnA. "Vulcan is strong, so that's good--we just wonder how they feel about crazy."
Araki is not much of a physical presence, but his Kree and Inhuman opponents should not be fooled, for the old Shi'Ar politician can hurt an opponent in a variety of ways. "He's vastly dangerous because he operates and influences the inner workings of the Imperium in ways too subtle to track," DnA said. "He has influence, huge influence, and a fanatical devotion to Shi'Ar rule..."