X-Men: Kingbreaker #4X-Men: Kingbreaker #4
Writer: Chris Yost
Art: Dustin Weaver, Jaime Mendoza, and Nathan Fairbairn
From: Marvel ComicsIn stores: today
Holy crap! I mean, WOW! That was a ton of mind-blowing stuff to be put in a single comic right there. It starts with an unbelievably gorgeous cover by Brandon Peterson. As a long time, major Havok fan, that was a great sight to see, and I’d like the poster now, please. Once you get over the cover and move into the story, you need to prepare for some amazing action, a massive moment hinting at a major X-verse thing to come, and the War of Kings to be truly primed and ready to go.
Again, I’m a huge Havok fan. He has been my favorite Marvel character for quite some time; I have his first appearance, I have his alternate universe book Mutant X, I even have multiple action figures of the younger and often whinier original Summers brother. I was quite upset when he got left out in space, and when this series was announced I was thrilled that we might get a return to form for the sun-absorbing plasma-wielding Alex Summers. After three issues of hinting and build up, we finally get to see him truly cut loose. Alex had to watch this brat of a brother kill his father, amongst others he cared about, then was tortured for quite awhile afterwards. Havok fans will not be disappointed by his reaction as he gets to show Vulcan just how much power a sun can hold, and readers who weren’t partial to Alex before should certainly come out of this issue liking him.
That battle actually only covers a small fraction of the action packed into this issue. Every other page seems to have a major event that should have huge lasting consequences on the lives of these characters. This is something that’s missing in a lot of the Marvel Universe right now, but has been present in the cosmic corner of the 616 since it returned to the fore with the original Annihilation. Chris Yost continues to improve, here cramming tons of action while still playing the characters off each other. Every punch, every blast, every slice of a sword has real emotion and reason behind it, and even if you hadn’t read any of Vulcan or Havok and friends’ space-faring adventures, you would feel all of that emotion.
That is of course portrayed by a combination of Yost’s increasing prowess and some gorgeous art by Weaver, Mendoza, and Fairbairn. There were times when the art moved so fast that I found myself skimming the art of a page then going back to read the dialogue. I had to know what was happening next immediately, and the art pulled me from panel to panel forcefully.
The moment that should have X-fans talking the most, though, isn’t Havok’s unleashing or Gladiator and his “Supergirl” style counterpart having it out. I don’t usually like to include Spoilers in reviews, but this one needs to be mentioned. I won’t come out and say it, but I’ll hint strongly, so:
Rachel and Korvus have been sharing the Phoenix Force for quite some time in the X-verse, now. She has part of it in her, and he has part of it in his sword. In this issue, however, the Phoenix abandons them both in the middle of the fight, and Rachel’s dialogue when this happens hints at something huge but inevitable, something that fans have known would happen eventually since the end of Morrison’s run with the mutants. It shows just how much Marvel cares about the Cosmic side of their universe that they’d put this little hint in this book, and is a real treat for X-fans.
This mini series has been a lot of fun in general, and War of Kings looks from early on to be just as good as its Annihilation older brothers. If I wasn’t already a fan of the cosmic side of things, this single issue would make me one. I’m really impressed that Yost and crew managed to make this issue so easy to read for newcomers. If you have even a passing interest in Havok, Rachel, or the X-Men in general, this issue is a must buy.