Kirk: As good as Black Bolt's ascension to the Kree throne or the Imperial Guard's sneak attack at Ronan and Crystal's wedding were, I'm going to go with Crystal's development over the course of the first two issues, which saw her become the 'people's princess'. Just a completely believable and fluid bit of character development for a character I have never cared one iota about.
Matt: I liked that very much as well. I got the impression that DnA a trying to build a comparison between her and Princess Diana of Wales. Someone that is very liked by the people and a media-darling even though she wasn't originally from the empire she is now ruling over.
What are you looking forward to seeing most during this event?
Kirk: Can't wait for the Gladiator / Black Bolt rematch. Gladiator is one of the few characters Black Bolt can actually go full out with and it will be epic to see him finally cut loose.
Matt: I personally can't wait to see Vulcan being beaten to a pulp by Havok. Havok's been close to taking him down twice already! Hopefully third time is the charm.
Kirk: I'd actually like to see Vulcan win a fight. He's supposed to be insanely powerful and a huge threat, but had his ass handed to him by the Imperial Guard in Rise & Fall and Havok has beat him down in both X-Men miniseries (Emperor Vulcan and Kingbreaker). It's hard to see how he even got to the throne with the number of failures he's had. A solid win over someone big would go a long way to making me care about Havok kicking his ass for the third time.
Will any of the Earth teams get involved in this conflict?
Kirk: Going to go with a big no on this one. Can't see any reason for anyone from Earth to get involved here. I suppose if Blastaar does something with Prison 42, we may see the Fantastic Four cameo, but this will probably be a strictly cosmic-based event.
Matt: Probably not, although I could have sworn that I saw somewhere that Skaar was going to be involved somehow.
Kirk: There was a solicit for War of Kings: Savage World of Skaar that was supposed to feature Gorgon and Starbolt crash landing on Sakaar that would act as a tie-in, but I haven't heard any mention of it since it was first announced and it's not on the official checklist either.
Matt: After some searching, I found the solicit on this CBR article, but it is not anywhere on Marvel's site. I guess we are to assume it has been scratched.
Who will die?
Matt: Poor Nova Corps, they are destined to be the cannon fodder of the cosmic universe, along with the Skrulls. I wonder if Robbie (Nova's brother) is going to die or not, as that would cause even more conflict between Worldmind and Nova. And as I mentioned above, if DnA are going for the Lady Di comparisson with Crystal, she may possibly die as well and become a saint-like figure for the Inhumans and the Kree.
Kirk: A whole mess of Nova Corps members. For actual named people, I'm thinking Gladiator will finally betray Vulcan to save Lilandra at the end of this event and it will end up costing him his life. I'm sure some random Inhumans will kick the bucket as well, but can't really see any 'big names' dying.
Is Annihilus going to come back?
Kirk: He was listed, or, at least, his army was listed, in the solicits for War of Kings: Ascension. We haven't seen Ravenous or baby Annihilus since Annihilation (Rav cameoed in Conquest though), so doubt we'll see them involved anytime soon. I imagine the Ascension solicits were just references to his former armies in the Negative Zone.
Matt: I am thinking he isn't going to be directly involved in this one, but maybe he'll return at the end? I can't imagine Nova, the Guardians of the Galaxy or the Kree empire will be too happy to learn that he is still around after all they went through.
Will there be new players on the cosmic plane? Or old players coming back?
Kirk: Hmm, I think this event will be straight forward in its story. I can't see any major players or new threats showing up during this, but am open to suggestions. What do you think, Matt?
Matt: Well, I think Galactus is going to be pretty pissed when he finds out that Vulcan has been carelessly Nega-Bombing planets, so I wouldn't be surprised if he does make an appearance. The Watchers have been uncharacteristically quiet during this whole time of cosmic upheaval. I know they are supposed to only watch and not interact, but it would be interesting to see how they react to something of this magnitude. Also, after her apparent death (as seen in our recent MoTW), I would like to see Ms. Marvel back to her space-pirating days with the Starjammers. And we have yet to see what role will Darkhawk and Talon play in the War of Kings.
Who will win the War of Kings?
Matt: The Inhumans are generally thought to be the good guys in this cosmic war. I don't think anyone is rooting for Vulcan and the Shi'Ar to win. But the cosmic side of Marvel has been a place where anything can happen, so I wouldn't be surprised if the "bad guys" come out ahead at the end.
Kirk: I'm honestly not sure. I'd like to think both groups end up crippling each other to the point of a stalemate, but that would also make for a rather anticlimactic event. However, I think the Inhumans/Kree will come out on top just because I'm a huge Black Bolt fanboy.
Matt: It will end with
Who will lead the surviving empires?
Kirk: Black Bolt will always lead the Inhumans, but I think Crystal and Ronan may assume a stewardship over the Kree post-War of Kings. As for the Shi'ar, I'll go with Vulcan returning to a civil war in the Shi'ar Empire that could be followed up in a Starjammers mini or ongoing to put Lilandra back on the throne.
Matt: A nice twist would be to have Gladiator take over the Shi'ar Empire. He mentioned how, no matter who was on power, he was always the one constant of the Shi'ar empire. I think that wasn't a throwaway line, but maybe some foreshadowing of what's in the future for Gladiator.
Will there be a new ongoing series after War of Kings is over?
Kirk: Hard to say with the economic times. It'll come down to how the event ends, but I think a Starjammers miniseries from Chris Yost, who did Emperor Vulcan and Kingbreaker already, is a lock. I'm also rooting for an Inhumans ongoing, but can't think of a single capable writer to handle it outside of Abnett and Lanning. The Inhumans title could follow the plans for reformation and rebuilding of the Kree Empire that the Royal Family mentioned in War of Kings #2 or deal with tracking down Vulcan or taking the fight to the Shi'ar post-war, depending on how War of Kings ends.
Matt: Yeah, a Starjammers series seems like the obvious choice, but the real challenge would be to make the title different enough from Guardians of the Galaxy to stand out on it's own. I do not know if the Inhumans can sustain an ongoing series, but it would be nice for them to get at least a mini series. I am a big fan of the series that Paul Jenkins did a couple years back, I would like to see him come back to write them. I guess we will also have to see how popular Darkhawk proves to be, he may get additional minis or even an ongoing.
That's it for our speculations and predictions. We always love to hear from our readers, so feel free to comment on what you think is going to happen with War of Kings. If we get a big enough response or some mind blowing predictions that make us think "Why didn't we come up with THAT?", then we may do a follow up post with what you, the readers, came up with.