|War of Kings: Who Will Rule? one shot (Marvel)|
Brandon Peterson (cover)
the one thing i really liked about War of Kings is that it finally elevated Gladiator (no, not Russell Crowe) from a two-dimensional muscle-bound powerhouse into a fleshed-out ethical soldier with leadership potential. actually, DnA, in taking reins of Marvel's cosmic crossovers/space operas since 2006's Annihilation (with Keith Giffen), have breathed new life into C-list characters and moved them up the ladder (ex. Nova, Ronan, Super-Skrull, Rocket Raccoon, Star Lord - even Maximus became more than a cardboard cutout insane villain) or at least made them readable again. with the seeming deaths of Black Bolt and former Shi'ar Majestor Vulcan, Gladiator (true name: Kallark ... you know, like that guy from Kansas via Krypton) tries to hold the fragile Shi'ar Imperium together and at the same time, bury his former Majestrix Lilandra, a casualty of the War of Kings (did somebody tell Xavier yet?). he still thinks himself as a soldier, and prefers to have someone else take the reins of the Empire, whether its someone within the Shi'ar heirarchy or a regent from presumably their new rulers, the Kree/Inhumans. Crystal feels Medusa will appoint her, and she herself is reluctant to take the position. in the end, Gladiator doesn't have a choice: he's the best suited individual at this point for the job. unfortunately, its what suits the Fraternity of Raptors - and the Magus (the now-i'm-crazy-again Adam Warlock). up next: Realm of Kings.