Sunday, August 16, 2009

War of Kings

Okay, so War of Kings had issue 6 come out last week, which means that the series is over. Well, it is supposed to be. Let me just go off about War of Kings for a sec here.

War of Kings suffered from the same problems that Annihilation: Conquest suffered, just on a greater scale. You see, how this Cosmic Marvel stuff had a resurgence was from Annihilation, one of the best storylines to come out recently. Annihilation took characters that had been doing nothing, who were all Cosmic Marvel characters, and made a giant epic war. It was self-contained in a Drax miniseries which lead to the Annihilation prologue, which was followed by 4 4-issue miniseries, featuring Silver Surfer, Nova, Ronan and Super-Skrull. Then, there was the Annihilation event, followed by two Heralds of Galactus issues after. The only parts that had any reference to then-current Marvel was Nova, who basically just flew into space before Civil War. Other than that, all characters who weren't doing anything else. They made Nova big and important and they made Cosmic Marvel interesting and brought it back. Unfortunately, they then tried to capitalize on the success of Annihilation with Annihilation: Conquest, which, while good, suffered from continuity issues to an extent, and from trying too hard. Now, I'm not saying it was bad, just that it was awkward. See, at that point, they had to take into account Nova's ongoing series, along with what was happening in Mighty Avengers (considering Ultron, the main villain, was just in Mighty Avengers), both things that made it feel more awkward. See, with an ongoing series, the character is much less likely to die or just vanish. Yes, I know, Captain America, but other than that, it really doesn't happen much. So, Nova's fate wasn't really up in the air as much as it could have been. If Nova hadn't had an ongoing series, he could have died, been fully transformed by the Transmode virus, or any number of other things. With his series, you're pretty sure he's going to come out of it alive and as himself. When they took Ulton into their story, well, it's kind of funny that all these cosmic beings couldn't really stand up to Ultron when characters like Ant-Man and Black Widow did just fine. Sigh... Oh, and when you look at what went into Annihilation: Conquest, there was a prologue, 4 4-part stories (3 mini-series and 4 issues of Nova) and a 6-part story. So, basically, the same format without the mini-series beforehand, and the two issues after, but, while the main series was happening, Nova was off doing other things, which had something to do with the story, basically, with Nova fighting off the Transmode virus, while being hunted by Drax and Gamora, two who had been infected, searching for a way to get rid of it, coming accross Warlock, who then helps in Annihilation: Conquest (meaning that the technically not tie-ins are actually tie-ins).

War of Kings is much more full of continuity that drags it down, and feels forced a lot of the time. With Annihilation, Nova became more powerful and got his own series, in which he did a lot. Now, Nova is an important character. With War of Kings, they are trying to do the same thing with Darkhawk. Now, it isn't that I dislike Darkhawk, I mean, I probably have 1/2 to 2/3 of his series. It just is that with Nova, he grew into it and it felt natural, with his being a big part of the prologue, but not the entire thing, with his mini-series, which was one of 4 mini-series, and with his leading the forces in Annihilation, his eventual series seemed natural. With Darkhawk, they gave him a lot that had nothing to do with the main plot. Plus, his series runs alongside, which makes sense in the story, but is not as important to the story. War of Kings also fails, when you take all the players into account. We have the Shi'ar on one side, with the story of how Vulcan came into power being important and having the entire X-Men: Deadly Genesis, which leads into The Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire, which leads into Emperor Vulcan, which leads into X-Men: Kingbreaker, which leads into War of Kings. There is a lot of backstory to cover. Sure, not knowing any of that, you can still understand a lot of it, but it really helps to understand Vulcan. For the Kree, well, I guess if you start with Silent War, some parts of World War Hulk, with the Illuminati, then Secret Invasion, leading into War of Kings. You'd probably want to have read the Secret Invasion stuff, for which you'd want to have read the other stuff. Besides just both sides having lots of backstory that affects it, there is also all the other characters involved. Now, the Starjammers were dealing with Vulcan, so they are covered, and the Guardians of the Galaxy also are involved. Plus, Nova's series is involved, and with Darkhawk also, it just is really awkward. Plus, I hate how the end isn't even an end. It is an abrupt stop, so sure it ends, but there is so much to cover still. Sure, there will be aftermath issues, but dear Deadpool, that is just silly! Now, I have to admit that I really wanted to like War of Kings, and it wasn't horrible. But, and this is a big but, it wasn't really all that good. Darkhawk was forced, you needed to know a lot that made it awkward, all of these different characters being involved needed multiple tie-ins that didn't help. I guess it felt more like a generic cross-over, and less like the Cosmic Marvel crossovers that were Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest.
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