War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar #1

Story by
Art by
Reilly Brown, Graham Nolan, Nelson DeCastro
Colors by
Letters by
Ed Dukeshire
Cover by
Marvel Comics

The praise for this book's visual cohesiveness goes to Nelson DeCastro, who is given the task of inking the work of two pencilers over the course of thirty pages. DeCastro plies his craft very well, making the entire book look as though it was produced by one penciler/inker duo. That's not intended as a slight to Nolan nor Brown, as they do a marvelous job composing the pages consistently and drawing the characters unswervingly.

While this issue flies under the subtitle of "Savage World of Skaar," Skaar's interaction is minimal. Gage chooses to focus on the combatants from the "War of Kings" -- Gorgon of the Inhumans and Starbolt of the Shi'Ar Imperial Guard. This story is theirs. The two foes crash upon Sakaar and find themselves without their accompanying squadrons rather quickly. Gage packs this issue with inner monologues and exceptionally verbose dialog when these characters open their mouths.

In some instances, the script threatens to drown out the art, but just when it seems as though Gage is going to cover the page with text, Gage unleashes an action sequence to remind readers that this issue is the story of a battle within a larger war.

That larger war is poised to come crashing down onto Sakaar soon, but not in this issue. This issue is used to introduce a new battleground for the war as Vulcan and Black Bolt both declare interest in taming the fury of Sakaar for his own kingdom. The fact that this issue exists is a strong indication of the faith Marvel has placed in this "event" as well as an indication of the interest "War of Kings" has generated among comic readers.

For a series starring the Inhumans, who for whatever reason have never been able to sustain their own series, to be used in a crossover issue to boost sales and interest of another character with his own series (Skaar) is a testament to the accomplishments of the primary "War of Kings" series. Marvel is hoping to cash in on fans' excitement for "War of Kings" (the same as any publisher has with any event title over the past five years) with this issue, but the primary story of "War of Kings" remains safely nestled within the covers of that title. This issue simply adds some depth to two very ancillary characters.

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