Chicago Comic-Con '09

Chicago Comic-Con '09: Realm of Kings

The war for the Marvel cosmos rages on as writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning explore the Realm of Kings

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By Kevin Mahadeo

As the War of Kings event comes to a close, a new era begins for the denizens of the Marvel cosmos: a Realm of Kings filled with new adventures, new dangers and tons of new Marvel space-based stories rocketed straight to readers by the writing team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

"It's less an event and more a state of mind," explains Lanning. "War of Kings was this giant, galaxy-shaking event that [change] things in huge ways; Realm of Kings is the dramatic new world the cosmos finds itself in. The books we're writing, including the ongoing GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and NOVA titles, will tie into this and explore it. Realm of Kings is about new threats, new challenges, new political landscapes, new allies, new enemies and it's about exploring strange, new worlds. Realm of Kings is bringing you bold new surprises, strange old friends, and a few dark gems from the past. If War of Kings was about courage and tragedy, then Realm is about wonder and adventure."

It all begins with the WAR OF KINGS: WHO WILL RULE? one-shot this September, which follows up on the tragic ending to WAR OF KINGS that saw the death of both Black Bolt and Vulcan and explores the political power struggle left behind in the wake of stellar war. Then in November, get ready to really explore the new Realm of Kings with the REALM OF KINGS one-shot with art by Leonardo Manco, which sets the landscape and tone for the event, two five-issue limited series with REALM OF KINGS: INHUMANS and REALM OF KINGS: IMPERIAL GUARD, as well as tie-in arcs in both GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and NOVA.

 
INHUMANS, featuring the art of Pablo Raimondi, sees a family torn apart by the death of their King sends a tragic rift through the Royal Family. As Queen Medusa suffers emotionally from the loss of her husband, she comes into direct conflict with her sister Crystal, who suddenly finds herself the chosen leader of a people.

"This is the intrigue book, where things are as sly and underhanded and treacherous as the dealings of an Elizabethan court," explains Abnett. "The Inhumans are divided. The Kree are unhappy. Medusa and Crystal are in opposition. Medusa is almost destroyed by the loss of her husband, while Crystal fights fiercely for what's right and proper, and that includes the welfare of the Kree. As [that] relationship decays, what of the apparently mismatched relationship between Crystal and her 'arranged' husband Ronan? Layered onto this, there's lashing of action with Gorgon, Karnak and Triton as threat after threat come to try their luck against the young, vulnerable empire."

The IMPERIAL GUARD series, with art provided by Kev Walker, tries to put together the shambles of the Shi'Ar Empire left behind following the demise of Lilandra and Vulcan. Although WAR OF KINGS #6 saw former Imperial Guardsman Gladiator holding the Imperial Scepter, as Abnett put it, "no one ever became majestor or majestrix without someone else crying foul or trying to claim the throne themselves-or killing people." As the title suggests, the book focuses on the Imperial Guard, specifically a select team as they head out on a dangerous mission.

"We're also going to play up that feeling from War of Kings that [the Imperial Guard] aren't super heroes," says Lanning. "They're individually meta-powered warriors from an elite military unit."

 
As for the NOVA tie-in beginning with issue #31, the galaxy's only law-enforcement operation finds itself hard at work in the new Realm of Kings, with priority number one being hunting down the galaxy's most wanted fugitive and Lilandra's assassin: Darkhawk. In GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, the team desperately tries to fix a massive tear in the fabric of the space-time continuum.

"Apart from them yelling 'We told you so!' the Guardians will be working every hour of the day and night to get this rip in space and time sealed again," says Lanning. "But things are going to be tough: the outcome of the War of Kings for the Guardians is especially shocking, and leads directly, and unexpectedly, into their biggest story yet, and a clash with one of the most powerful bad guys in the Marvel Universe-ever!"

Overall, both Abnett and Lanning admit to adoring the cosmic part of the Marvel Universe. Fans since childhood, the duo revel in being able to play with these characters from the Marvel toy box, but find it difficult to choose even one or two favorites.

"The Inhumans are universally great," crows Abnett. "We both love Karnak and Gorgon, but writing Crystal made us get very involved with her as a character, and writing Maximus is just huge fun. Plus Medusa, of course, her majesty. So we'll say Lockjaw. Hussar is a bit of a favorite amongst the Imperial Guard, and Mentor is good value for money, but we both have a very soft spot for poor Smasher, or should we say, the Smashers, plural? Just how many versions of him are we going to be able to kill, we

 
wonder? As for our favorite Guardian, that's tough. Rocket Raccoon and Star-Lord are both fab. We have a real soft spot for Gamora and Drax. Oh, and Mantis. Dammit! We can't pick Cosmo, because we can't pick two dogs on the same list! All right, you know who our favorite Guardian is? He is Groot!"

Look for more coverage of Chicago Comic-Con 2009 all weekend long on Marvel.com!

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      Comments

      9 comments
      BlackSamurai
      BlackSamurai

      [quote@MrSinister74 [quote] outcome of the War of Kings for the Guardians is especially shocking, and leads directly, and unexpectedly, into their biggest story yet, and a clash with one of the most powerful bad guys in the Marvel Universe-ever!"[/quote] I wonder if that is the return of Thanos? And I want to see more of Darkhawk and hope he clears his name.[/quote] Well, nix that... apparently they were referring to Magus. Sucked to be Adam Warlock just then. Lol! ...and I'm very disappointed in Phyla.

      AHBARNUM
      AHBARNUM

      Any news on a release date yet? Was that in the article cause I kinda skimmed it, I still haven't read the end of WoK yet.

      MrSinister74
      MrSinister74

      [quote] outcome of the War of Kings for the Guardians is especially shocking, and leads directly, and unexpectedly, into their biggest story yet, and a clash with one of the most powerful bad guys in the Marvel Universe-ever!"[/quote] I wonder if that is the return of Thanos? And I want to see more of Darkhawk and hope he clears his name.

      shocker700
      shocker700

      Vulcan was one of the only reasons I read Marvel Comic. He was by far my favorite!!! Long Live VULCAN!

      Nova1
      Nova1

      Interesting...I have still to get my copy of WoK#6 though.

      Torrez41
      Torrez41

      Black Bolt was one of the only reason I read Marvel Comic. He was by far my favorite!!! Long Live BLACK BOLT!

      BlackSamurai
      BlackSamurai

      While reading it, I just knew Black Bolt and Vulcan weren't walking away from that... at least not immediately. So said so done, but I suspect with a tear like that in reality, that good ol' Mr. Boltagon (and Summers) might have some adventures elsewhere and a chance to return. For now, them being gone will allow for these stories to unfold as they will, and Realm of Kings looks just as sweeeeeeet (though less octane) as Wok has been.Can't wait for some more Smasher deaths, lol.[quote@AHBARNUM AH! To many spoilers in this article! I still haven't read the end of War of Kings, but I will definitely check this out if I'm not broke from buying all the other good comic books coming out.[/quote] Yup, too many! Sorry they spoiled it for you in this article, you're right. Marvel seems so gun ho to announce the next sweet undertaking sometimes that they don't allow even a week for eager-but-late readers to get their hands on an ish.

      AHBARNUM
      AHBARNUM

      AH! To many spoilers in this article! I still haven't read the end of War of Kings, but I will definitely check this out if I'm not broke from buying all the other good comic books coming out.

      ultimate_avenger7
      ultimate_avenger7

      i was really concerned about the end of war of kings, vulcan took over the x-men, warlock, etc. but blackbolt is simply blackbolt, he was my personal favorite, now they are both dead?