In Shakespeare's "Henry IV" the titular king observed, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." Starting this December, two of the Marvel Universe's most powerful kings are going to find themselves very uneasy because the fallout from "Secret Invasion" will ignite a war between them and their respective empires. CBR News spoke with writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, collectively known to their fans as DnA, and Editor Bill Rosemann about "War of Kings," a mega-story which will unfold over a number of titles.
The two rulers at the heart of "War of Kings" command both powerful kingdoms as well as personal super abilities. Vulcan, AKA Gabriel Summers (brother to the X-Men known as Cyclops and Havok), rules the Shi'ar Empire and the only limit on his mutant ability to manipulate energy seems to be his own imagination. Black Bolt was the former (and possibly future) leader of the Inhumans, and his superhuman abilities have transformed his voice into a weapon that can level cities with a mere whisper.
The war between Black Bolt and Vulcan's subjects isn't one that breaks out suddenly. "This conflict explodes directly out of events at the end of Secret Invasion; especially out of the end of 'Secret Invasion: Inhumans," DnA told CBR News. "We will see it escalate and develop to the flashpoint of open war."
Bill Rosemann added, "'Secret Invasion: Inhumans' definitely start the drums of war pounding. And as the armies march toward the battlefield, the mad geniuses in our marketing & sales department will make sure everyone knows where 'War of Kings' is heading next!"
"War of Kings" explodes out of "Secret Invasion: Inhumans," but the project came about because of plot threads from a variety of Marvel titles. "Recent continuity in 'Secret Invasion,' 'Annihilation: Conquest,' 'Nova,' 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and the cosmic 'X-Men' stories have all reached a confluence and gave us the opportunity to allow this story to erupt," DnA explained "The 'WoK' is a natural extension and progression of the events and situations those great storylines have offered up."
When the "War of Kings" finally does erupt, it won't be a simple Good vs. Evil type of conflict. "This isn't a traditional heroes versus villains story, but it isÂ going to have aÂ true epic scale with clearly defined sides," DnA remarked."
"Each side of this battle thinks they are right ï¿½" which makes it awfully deadly for those caught in the crossfire!" Rosemann added.
A war between an interstellar empire like the Shi'ar and a super powered culture like the Inhumans is bound to pull in individuals from across the cosmic landscape of the Marvel Universe. As of this writing, teaser images on Marvel.com asking "Who Will Rule?" have revealed that both The Guardians of the Galaxy and the StarJammers will play roles in the war. "The Marvel Universe has a variety of cosmic characters and races that are bound to be affected by such a potentially large scale incident," DnA explained. "We plan on exploring all the possible story elements this affords us as well as focusing the events through the eyes of specific characters as they become the reader's eyes and ears to the unfolding confrontation."
"War of Kings" may be a cosmic conflict but Earth will have some significance in Black Bolt and Vulcan's war. DNA revealed that as "War of Kings" unfolds a number of connections to characters and situations on Earth will become apparent.
Recent cosmic mega-stories like "Annihilation" and "Annihilation: Conquest" have been dark and dire affairs and "War of Kings" will feature a similar tone. "I don't know about you, but the title 'War of Kings' doesn't sound like a light-hearted romantic comedy musical," Rosemann said. "Although, I'd pay good money to see Rocket Raccoon and Groot burst into song."
The titles and tie-ins which will make up "War of Kings" have yet to be revealed, but readers can expect a prologue and a core mini-series which will be written by DnA. The writing duo will be keeping especially busy because their two ongoing series "Nova" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" will also tie into the mega-story. "They are all linked together, which means we're going to be burning the candle at both ends and in the middle for the foreseeable future!" the writers said.
Rosemann is all too happy to keep DnA busy with "War of Kings" and its related titles. "Great characterization, side-splitting humor, jaw-dropping cliffhangers, mind-blowing action, delicate plotline interweaving--Hey, DnA, can you recommend any of your fellow UK writers who can deliver that? Just kidding!" the editor said. "DnA have proven issue-after-issue that they're the modern masters of sprawling sci-fi sagas. Now it's time for all those X-fans to discover what they've been missing!"
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