Monday, September 14, 2009

War of Kings: Who Will Rule? #1

Gladiator is a pimp. His mourning costume (all black) makes him look bad-ass, I'm so pleased he's getting such a big role in cosmic Marvel. There is little plot movement here, but there are some nice character scenes as the Inhumans arrive on the Shi'ar throneworld and eventually decide to place Gladiator in charge of the Empire. I loved the idea that the Imperial Guard wouldn't honor the Shi'ar surrender until Gladiator accepted the mantle of leadership. They know the toughest guy around. DnA plant some seeds for the upcoming Realm of Kings storyline. The neatest bits show that Gladiator's main advisor is in fact a disguised Talon, who will be working against the altruistic nature of the new Shi'ar praetor. Magus and the rift in space time will be a central location for both the Kree and Inhumans moving forward. It seems Crystal and Ronan the Accuser's relationship could continue to develop too, based on how Crystal reacts to Polaris' teasing.

I can't recommend cosmic Marvel highly enough. DnA's cohesive vision have made this entire branch of the Marvel U an integrated, intriguing place where anything can happen, yet the stories still retain a "classic" feel. These guys love classic characters and it shows in their handling of even side-characters like Maximus the Mad. (He's convinced he should be placed in charge of the Shi'ar. When the royal family is attacked, he comments "this never would have happened under my rule.")

Heck, the Imperial Guard and Gladiator are an "homage" to the Legion of Super-Heroes and Superboy, yet I'm digging the Marvel version more than DC these days.

Paul Pelletier's work is always so fun. Gladiator's black costume is strikingly cool. The Imperial Guard members look right, some dark, some shiny, he even gets their different textures right. I liked the mourning costumes for the Inhumans too, with Medusa's hanging facemask and Crystal's domino mask.


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