By Marc Strom
After the last shot goes off, one question will remain: Who will rule?
The creative team behind the current star-spanning War of Kings epic, writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning alongside artist Paul Pelletier, tie up all the loose ends with WAR OF KINGS: WHO WILL RULE?, a special one-shot epilogue hitting stores this September.
"The ending that Dan, Andy and Paul cooked up for War of Kings was so huge, so explosive, there was no choice but to ask the band to come back on stage for an encore to explore the resulting developments and reveal the new lay of the cosmic land to faithful readers," editor Bill Rosemann explains.
The writers themselves felt that the added epilogue would give them more space to fully explore the consequence of War of King's climax.
"War of Kings is such a huge event, we didn't want to short change the readers by trying to cram all the consequences and repercussions into the last few pages of an already emotionally charged and action packed issue, so we thought it would be better to give it a proper considered treatment in its own issue," Abnett reasons. "This also gave us even more pages for the cosmic action that concludes the series. This isn't so much the end of War of Kings as the beginning of everything that follows."
The one-shot will also serve as a great port of entry for readers who may not have read the WAR OF KINGS series but wish to see where the Marvel cosmos will head next.
"WHO WILL RULE? is a great jumping on point for new and old readers, as it firmly establishes the new cosmic status quo," explains Lanning. "Not only is the landscape of space drastically different, all the cosmic players will be affected. Like the
ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST PROLOGUE and SECRET INVASION: WAR OF KINGS, it's great to have the chance to produce a one-shot that clearly sets the scene for the cosmic books."
According to Rosemann, that new scene may prove more surprising than the events of War of Kings themselves.
"From destruction, there also comes new life," he waxes philosophic. "The devastating events of War of Kings—from the invasion during the royal wedding to Gladiator's defection to the assassination of Lilandra to…well, that would be telling—will not only send familiar faces heading down uncertain new roads, but it will also lead to new threats and possible allies arising from the shadows."
With such a large cast in WAR OF KINGS, fans can expect the epilogue one-shot to touch upon a number of characters, but Rosemann would neither confirm nor deny who will make it through alive.
"Black Bolt, Vulcan, Crystal, Medusa, Darkhawk, Gladiator—which of our ensemble's
key players will survive to face the aftermath of WAR OF KINGS #6?" the editor asks.
"Without giving anything away, we are convinced the ending is going to come as a shock," adds Abnett. "We don't think anybody will have anticipated the way it plays out."
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