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Chaos War

Chaos War: Chaos King

Brandon Montclare enters the mind of Marvel's newest would-be galactic conqueror

By Kevin Mahadeo

Every story has a villain, and this November, writer Brandon Montclare and artist Michael Kaluta give readers an introspective look at the one behind the Marvel Universe's latest cosmic event in the over-sized one-shot CHAOS WAR: CHAOS KING.

As the battle rages between Hercules' God Squad and The Chaos King's legion of enslaved deities, Montclare and Kaluta's special issue tells a three-part story exploring the motivations behind Mikaboshi as he makes his way to Earth intent on destroying everything in his path. However,

CHAOS WAR: CHAOS KING #1 black and white preview art by Michael Kaluta
Montclare points out that, like any good villain, The Chaos King really sees himself in the right. After all, what's so bad about chaos anyway?

"He has a goal to return the universe to its original state-a preexisted chaos that he thinks is the right place for it to be," explains the writer. "For him, he's like, 'Is chaos such a bad state?' Nobody was conscious of all the strife that you have to put up with just to live another day; the noise and all the explosions and everything that it all goes through. He sees the universe as being created as disorder and [wants] it all to go back to when things were nice and quiet. No fighting, no death, no dying. It's just one constant state where no one would ever have a care in the world."

The first chapter of the story takes place in the heavens of Zenn-La, home of The Silver Surfer, where The Chaos King seeks to add the gods of that world to his growing army.

"The way we set up Zenn-La is pretty much keeping in how Zenn-La was set up as a culture, which is a mirror of Earth," Montclare elaborates. "It's a lot of different races. It's a lot of different religions. It's a technologically-advanced society. There is a lot of great action with the war of Mikaboshi's army fighting the collective gods of Zenn-La, but it comes down to one god standing-Thrann. That's kind of story one, where you have Mikaboshi confronting a science god."

CHAOS WAR: CHAOS KING #1 black and white preview art by Michael Kaluta
From there, the story moves onto Earth, specifically to New York City as Mikaboshi makes one last survey of the battleground before the invasion begins. However, things take a twist when The Impossible Man shows up to confront The Chaos King about his destructive actions.

"It's cool because Impossible Man can do anything," notes Montclare. "That's the nature of his character. He offers Mikaboshi anything he wants, and Mikaboshi's answer is that he literally wants nothing. All he wants is an end to everything."

Montclare wants to keep most of the details of the final chapter under wraps for now, but the writer does offer one tease:

"The third chapter takes place in Hell. The cleverest way to put it is that it puts [The Chaos King] square against the father of the Son of Satan."

Working with artist Kaluta proved perfect for the writer. Besides the two's previous experience collaborating, the artist's personal familiarity and skill at drawing fantastical imagery made him an ideal choice for Montclare's story.

CHAOS WAR: CHAOS KING #1 black and white preview art by Michael Kaluta
"He is literally a living legend," Montclare praises. "Working with someone of that caliber is such an unbelievable threat that I almost don't have the words to express it. This is a book that requires a lot of designs and settings and layouts that push the boundaries of conventionalism. A lot of different, weird stuff happens when you're dealing with galactic powerhouses. So, having Kaluta on board, where he has such a strong design sense in general, it's right up his alley."

As hinted at, the story plays out entirely from Mikaboshi's perspective, which Montclare admits made for some difficulties when writing the one-shot. While the scribe says that justifying ideas and actions not immediately relatable proved a challenge, it felt like child's play compared to the effort that went into dialoguing the character, noted for his unique manner of speech.

"He only speaks in haiku and his voice that has been established by other writers make it that he's a guy that's not going to fill 30 pages of dialogue," says Montclare. "He kind of speaks in riddles as part of his character. You have to peel back the onion with everything he says.

CHAOS WAR: CHAOS KING #1 cover by Michael Kaluta
"I'm pretty much done with haikus for the rest of my life," he jokes. "It's a gimmick, but it's a fun gimmick. It's something that makes the character who he is. It defines him. It's fun, but it's a challenge."

Keep checking Marvel.com all week for more exciting Chaos War news and announcements!


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