Wow, it's WAY past time I gave this comic a read! One of the major problems with buying as many comics as I do is that sometimes a really good one will get lost in the shuffle. Case and point this comic. Interesting story, excellent writing team, great artwork, and I wind up reading a mess of comics I'm not that interested in while this book lays near the bottom of my comic pile. For shame X-Man75... This mini-series is written by the writing tandem of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, who are responsible for the stellar "Nova" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" series'.
-Reading this comic has told me two things; #1, I really should start reading the Ascension mini-series, and #2, this story has picked up BIG time after the events of the last issue!
-We begin with crazy Emperor Vulcan being told by his top advisers that his campaign against the Kree is beginning to stretch the Shi'ar forces thin and that he might want to consider a cease-fire. Vulcan, being crazy and all, tells his advisers he could care less, and that the war will wage on until the Shi'ar emerge victorious. At this time, one of the Inhuman's Echo-Sentry's launch an attack on Vulcan and his advisers. Before Vulcan can react, Talon(the guy who was mentoring Darkhawk)destroys the Echo-Sentry and tells Vulcan he is now under the protection of the Fraternity of Raptors(the Darkhawks).
-From there we head to the the Kree throneworld of Hala here newlyweds Crystal of the Inhumans and Ronan the Accuser of the Kree are discussing matters of war and the future of the Kree people as a whole. The Inhumans took control of the Kree with the promise of helping the Kree solve the problem of their evolutionary problems. However, it seems the Inhumans may not be able to come through on their promises. Crystal wants Ronan to back her when she confronts Black Bolt(the leader of the Inhumans)about putting more effort into the evolutionary programs and less time into the war with the Shi'ar.
-Back on Chandilar, the throneworld of the Shi'ar, the Starjammers and Gladiator take former Empress of the Shi'ar, Lilandra, to what would basically be the Shi'ar's version of the UK House of Lords. While Chancellor Araki(a Vulcan loyalist)is trying to regain the support of the angry Shi'ar Council members who are tired of Vulcan and his many wars, Gladiator walks Lilandra into the room where she announces she is reclaiming the throne of the Shi'ar and banishing Vulcan. This proclamation is met by thunderous applause by the Council members and rage by Akari.
-Back with Vulcan, Talon explains to the mad Emperor what the purpose of the Fraternity of Raptors is and tells Vulcan that he has enlisted the aid of King Blastarr of the Negative Zone to attack Kree loyalist Lord Ravenous and the worlds under his rule. Talon then reveals to Vulcan the events that have transpired on Chandilar concerning Lilandra, and Vulcan naturally flips out upon hearing this news. However, Talon ominously tells Vulcan that he will protect Vulcan no matter what before leaving the crazed Emperor.
-The whirlwind tour of the universe next heads back to Chandilar where Lilandra is marching through the streets with her protectors to officially reclaim her throne at the temple of Sharra and K'ythri(if the spelling wrong, I apologize to any offended Shi'ar), the two major gods of the Shi'ar. Lilandra is somewhat dismayed that some of the Shi'ar are angry and protesting the fact that she is trying to take the throne away from Vulcan, who she figured was universally hated by the Shi'ar.
-During the progression through the streets, Lilandra's party is attacked by the Death Commandos, Vulcan loyalists. The people in the streets begin to panic, and the situation rapidly devolves into chaos. During the battle, Talon appears and begins shooting at the Council members who were loyal to Lilandra. Before the Starjammers or Gladiator can react, Lilandra is struck down by Talon, ending this issue.
WOW!!! That comic was excellent! With Gladiator betraying Vulcan last issue, I was perplexed as to how Dan and Andy were going to be able to stretch this mini out for three more issues, but my questions were enthusiastically answered in this issue. I figured the loss of Gladiator spelt the end of Vulcan's reign, but with the Fraternity now working for Vulcan, things are looking up for my favorite psychotic mutant emperor.
Although the last page sure made it look as if Lilandra had perished, I can't really believe she's dead quite yet. I've never liked Lilandra, but I sure didn't expect her to die in this series. If Lilandra is dead(and that's a big IF)that should solidify Vulcan's powerbase once and for all among the Shi'ar. It also leaves plenty of questions regarding what the Starjammers and Gladiator are going to do, since their plans all hinged on Lilandra regaining the Shi'ar throne and banishing Vulcan.
This comic sure turned this mini-series around big time, and as should be apparent by my glowing words, I couldn't be happier. For a score, I'll give this comic a 9 1/2 out of 10. It's like this mini-series was tailor-made just for me with how much I love the Marvel alien races. This mini-series is probably not for everybody, but for those of us that can tell a Skrull from a Badoon, this is must read stuff!