Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Paul Pelletier
While I really enjoyed this issue, there were several nagging aspects of it that I can't seem to let go of for some reason. It's like I want to love this issue as much as every other in the series, and it was good, but I just can't.
But before jumping into some of the problems I had with this issue, I want to discuss what I enjoyed. First off, the opening page with Black Bolt playing with Lockjaw put a smile on my face. I just loved seeing Lockjaw rolled over, tongue hanging out, as Black Bolt is petting him. Juxtaposed with the somber news of Lilandra's death and, later, the realization that Black Bolt was going to sacrifice himself to save his people added a lot more weight to the quit moment than that scene had any right to have. Great moment that you don't see too often.
Another great scene dealt with Talon, of the Fraternity of Raptors and as seen in War of Kings: Ascension. I've really enjoyed everything with Talon and his putting Vulcan in his place here was an excellent moment.
Also, as with the earlier chapters in this series, Crystal, Gladiator and Ronan managed to steal every scene they were in. I can't believe how much each character has grown since the series began. Gladiator, in particular, is no longer just that guy with the mohawk who showed up in random X-Men space stories anymore.
Finally, there's the promise of the Black Bolt/Vulcan fight that we've seen on just about every cover and has been on everyone's mind since the whole War of Kings began. As a self professed Black Bolt fanboy, I'm looking forward to seeing him put that petulant brat in his place next month.
However, all the good aside, I want to discuss those nagging concerns I had mentioned earlier. One is the use of the T-Bomb, which is a weaponized Terrigen Mists that would turn everyone in the universe into Inhumans. Unless they expected everyone to die, similar to the Silent War miniseries where humans were exposed to the mists and all died within a few hours, I'm not sure how giving all of your enemies super powers would really help or make them fall into line. This doesn't even touch on the ridiculous nature of such a plot device that would sacrifice Black Bolt to "convert" everyone to their cause.
In fact, that suicide mission from Black Bolt felt, especially in light of how easily Vulcan stopped the T-Bomb and confronted Black Bolt, felt out of place with the rest of the war and how the story has gone. It's like they didn't have any room to finish the epic they were playing out, so opted for some crazy hail mary pass to end the event. Now, if this all turns out to be due to the manipulation of Black Bolt's insane brother, Maximus, who's been playing the content weaponeer for the Inhumans of late, I'll be willing to overlook this. Otherwise, it just seems wrong and out of character for anyone to think this was a good plan.
All in all, not really a huge complaint, as I actually want to see the fight that came about as a result of the actions, but, still, this was the first time I'd been disappointed by something in this event, so it felt like something that needed mentioning.
Verdict - Must Read. Great action, lots of character moments and, ignoring the odd way Abnett and Lanning moved us to the endgame with the T-Bomb, the promise of the final showdown next issue has me dying to find out what happens next.