If there's one thing that makes events in Marvel's cosmic universe different, it's the radical, no-holds-barred changes that fearlessly fill the pages in issue after issue.
After War of Kings finishes up in August, the cosmos will be altered enough that writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning decided to dedicate a whole issue in September to the new status quo: War of Kings: Who Will Rule?. The issue will feature pencils by War of Kings artist Paul Pelletier.
With War of Kings characters already experiencing everything from the marriage-unified alliance of the Kree and Inhumans to the alarming death of a Shi'Ar leader, this event is leading toward a showdown between Black Bolt and Vulcan that will surely shake the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe. Who Will Rule? shows where all the characters stand at the end of the battle, while setting up their future stories.
We talked to Abnett and Lanning to find out more about War of Kings: Who Will Rule?
Newsarama: The six-issue mini-series wraps up in August, but what's going to be the focus of Who Will Rule?
Andy Lanning: It's a chance for us to expand what was initially an epilogue to War of Kings, in the same way as both Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest had a five-page epilogue sequence in both of them that showed how space has been altered and how things might go forward.
As we were getting into this, we discovered that the status quo was changed to a significant degree by War of Kings. It would be so much more beneficial to us to have an issue to tell that in. And so we put that idea forward to Marvel, to have a whole issue to lay out how the cosmic landscape has changed and how everyone has been affected by the War of Kings, because it really does set the scene, then, for cosmic goodies from there on in.
Dan Abnett: Yeah, Andy's described it very well there. I think of it as being very much like the prologue issue we did, Secret Invasion: War of Kings. That issue set the stage for this. It was a big teaser and set up for what War of Kings was going to be. And I think in the same way, Who Will Rule? is an epilogue issue in the sense that it's a respectful and quite interesting look at where everybody's got to, but more importantly it's a sort of statement of intent for whatever's coming after this. It's not just, "look what's happened!" It's "look what's happened and what it will mean in the future." And I think it's going to set up things that readers are going to want to follow up on when they get there. This isn't the end of the story by any means. It's the end of a section of this cosmic history.
NRAMA: Without giving away the ending of War of Kings, it's a safe assumption that the Inhumans will at least survive in some fashion. Will we see more of the Inhumans after War of Kings?
AL: Yes. As you said, we don't want to give anything away. But with War of Kings, we were allowed to do brave and bold things with the Inhumans, essentially taking them from a position that was fairly reactive within the Marvel Universe and do some very proactive things with them. We've enjoyed seeing them thrown into slightly different territories, particularly in terms of making very decisive, bold, proactive gestures -- Black Bolt in particular. And I think having gotten them to this point, it would be a challenge to walk away from that. I think there's an awful lot to be explored.
I think the most interesting thing of all is that we've always known the Inhumans had this royal family, but now we've seen them ruling as a royal family, with the responsibilities and complexities that it requires. And I think there's a lot more to show there yet, so yes.
DA: You'll see in Who Will Rule? that we're not putting any of the toys back in the box where we found them. And the Inhumans have definitely change, and it would be silly not to see how that plays out after War of Kings.
NRAMA: Annihilation spawned the Nova ongoing series, and Conquest gave birth to Guardians of the Galaxy. Are we going to see another ongoing series spin out of War of Kings?
AL: The chances are very good that there will be several cosmic groups coming out of War of Kings that have potential for more attention. As long as the sales warrant it, we definitely want to tell more stories in this playground.
DA: And I think when an event is successful enough to generate spin-offs, there are different ways of doing those spin-offs, so we're exploring different things we can do. So yes, with each step, it generates more material. And obviously, there are lots of strands to be picked up after War of Kings and Who Will Rule?