War of Kings #1- The great mini-series Annihilation was followed by Annihilation: Conquest; and now Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning follow it up with War of Kings. I admit this first; as good as Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning has been in their cosmic corner of the Marvel U, I had doubts about this series. Black Bolt suddenly becoming the king of the Kree was ridiculous, and I don’t even want to get into Vulcan (third son of the Summer family, enemy of the Starjammers, mad conqueror of the Shi’ar…just thinking of the character make me laugh). However good writing conquer all as Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning put together a issue that spell out everything that is happening and set the tone for the issues to come. I especially enjoy the interaction between Ronan and Crystal and the complex political marriage between the two. The art from Paul Pelletier was also very good. His pencil was steady with not a single miss panel in the whole issue and his work on the battle and its aftermath was absolutely superb. Good script, great art; there’s nothing not to like here. Pick this up
Secret Six #7 - The first story arc conclude with #7 and its one hell of a ride. Issue #7 is basically a big brutal violent free-for-all where the Six go head to head against everyone on their tail. As much as I have enjoyed the road trip, I felt that this issue was a let-down. All the twisted double cross and back stabbing are still there but the big battle was missing something very important. A willingness to fight! When Mad Hatter and Junior showed up, all our anti-heroes did was running around saying they are going to die. As insane of a battle it was, I don’t see the need for that. The Six of them with a Venom-pumped Bane are good enough to take on Junior (Mad Hatter is a pushover), so why all the gloom? Still, I did enjoy the action and the return of Bane. Bane reliving his past was great and that’s the way I think he work best. Not a great finish but Secret Six first arc was good enough to have me back for #8.
Secret Warriors #2- Last month's debut issue ended with a surprising (and kind of forced) twist, so this issue has to work on the twist. We saw more of the Secret Warriors this issue and that’s a good thing. A simple dinner in a Chinese restaurant ends up being the most enjoyable moment in the issue with Phobos’ powers the centre of it all. For all the title being the Secret Warriors, #2 is more about their enemy Hydra. I never got Baron Strucker as a character. To me he was always a poor imitation of the Red Skull, but seeing him with the rest of the Hydra’s big-wings made sense. The old Nazi got a presence and history that you can understand why the rest fall in line under him. This series is working to be the Secret Warriors against Hydra, so I’ll hold my opinion till they finally met but so far so good.