I'm probably going to be a bit on the brief side tonight, so be forewarned. As you know, to be forewarned is to be forearmed... Whatever the hell THAT means. This is a "War of Kings" x-over issue and is written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.
-This issue begins with a donnybrook between Vulcan, Emperor of the Shi'ar and all-around psycho and Warlock of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The two battle and Vulcan more than holds his own, which is flat out awesome. Yes, I'm a huge Vulcan fan, deal with it! As the battle continues and Warlock expends more and more energy, he begins to look and act more like Magus, his evil future self. Warlock manages to knock Vulcan away momentarily and after a quick battle with Vulcan's Imperial Guard, Warlock is able to teleport back to Knowhere, which is the base of operations for the Guardians. Vulcan is incensed that Warlock managed to escape from him and his Guard, but one of the Imperial Guardians alerts Vulcan to the fact that after battling Warlock she can follow him anywhere he goes.
-Starlord and his contingent of Guardians are having absolutely no success in convincing the Inhuman Royal Family to halt the war with the Shi'ar for the good of the very universe. Medusa, queen of the Inhumans, blows the Guardians off and Martyr(Phyla-Vell, the former Quasar)brandishes her sword at Medusa, nearly creating an intergalactic incident. Starlord orders Martyr to back off, which she reluctantly does. Crystal, the Inhuman princess, tries to reason with her sister Medusa, but before she can make any progress, Martyr grabs Crystal and holds a sword to her throat, demanding the Inhumans to cease the war with the Shi'ar or else. Starlord flips out, realizing the Inhumans will now count the Guardians as enemies, and demands that Martyr releases Crystal immediately, before transporting his team back to Knowhere.
-Upon returning to Knowhere, Warlock returns to his normal, un-Magus like appearance, and realizes that he was tagged by the Imperial Guard and that they will now be able to follow him. Starlord and his team returns, and Starlord is flabbergasted to realize that Martyr didn't release Crystal, but is STILL holding her at sword-point. Before Starlord can order Crystal returned, the Inhuman Royal family teleports aboard to rescue Crystal. To make matters worse, a contingent of Imperial Guardians teleports aboard to resume the attack on Warlock. So now there is a group from the Kree and a group from the Shi'ar standing face to face in Knowhere... Uh-oh!
I really enjoyed this comic, especially the battle between Warlock and Vulcan. I was afraid that Dan and Andy would have Warlock roll over Vulcan, but the battle between the two was very even, and left me craving a rematch. The stuff between the Guardians and the Inhumans was also well done. Ever since the name change, Phyla has definitely been acting a bit on the unhinged side. It'll be interesting to see what actions Starlord takes to attempt to reign her back in.
While I'm on the subject of unhinged characters, I was EXTREMELY interested to see Warlock's partial transformation into the Magus. With Warlock's recent relationship with the Universal Church of Truth, the organization the Magus founded, along with his mini-transformation, it is sure looking like the Magus may be very close to making a return. I'm fine with that as long as Warlock doesn't turn into the Goddess... Then again, with Marvel's recent rash of sex changes, Warlock transforming into the Goddess may be inevitable... For a score I'll give this issue a very strong 8 1/2 out of 10. This was a very good comic that I'd have no problem recommending.