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War of Kings

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Event Synopsis

Prologue

With the disastrous conclusion to Secret Invasion having nearly annihilated the Skrull Empire, and the tension building up in the uneasy relationship between the Shi'ar and the Kree, it would not have been long since the time for these galactic superhouses to clash openly once again in a War of Kings...and that time has now come.

The Guardians of the Galaxy

In an unknown part of the Universe, Drax and Quasar are searching for clues to find Cammi by asking seers if they have any information. One seer asks whether they are here about the oncoming war between kings and the doom of the future tense, to which Drax bluntly replies with a no.[1]

In the aftermath of Secret Invasion and the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy leaving because of his deception, Peter Quill, also known as Starlord, ventures to Hala, the Kree homeworld, under the belief that that the Skrulls were attacking the Kree. Star-Lord soon found out he was wrong when he discovered that the Kree had captured an attacking Skrull force and used the prisoners to power the Babel Spire, a weapon left from the Kree's just-ended war against the robot empire, the Phalanx. Ronan approached Peter and stated that the spire is for the protection of the Kree. Star-Lord saw the spire and its use of Skrulls as fuel as criminal and ordered it be shut down. The two came to blows, with Ronan easily defeating Star-Lord. Ronan then condemned Peter Quill to banishment to the Negative Zone. After arrival in the Negative Zone, Star-Lord discovers that Blastaar is the new King of the Negative Zone. After Blastaar demonstrates his power, the two converse and Blastaar reveals that Ronan has granted him full sovereignty of the Negative Zone. Blastaar tells Peter that Star-Lord has skills he requires, then reveals to him "42," the United States government's prison for anti-registration heroes. Blastaar then informs Star-Lord that he wants him to get into 42, so he can invade Earth.[2]

Back in the Negative Zone, King Blastaar lays siege to 42. The prison is defended by the prisoners themselves - led by Jack Flag and others - after the guards deserted them. The prisoners have proved capable of defending themselves and have been holding back Blastaar's army for six days. After a while, Blastaar sends Star-Lord in, with no clothes, giving him an hour to talk to the leaders. After getting some clothes, Jack Flag calls together the other leaders - Condor, Ki, Gorilla-Man and Bison - to talk to Star-Lord. Peter tells them that they shouldn't consider surrendering and neither should they open a portal back to earth. After talking the leaders, except Jack Flag, decide to open the gates to Blastaar's army. Star-Lord punches Gorilla-Man in attempt to stop them, causing Bison to attack him. Jack Flag neutralizes Bison with a blaster, shortly followed by Condor as he attempts to attack him. Ki doesn't want to fight with Jack and so agrees to stay in the room, while Jack takes Star-Lord to find a telepath as a way to contact the Guardians. Ki however goes against his word and opens to the door to Blastaar's army to surrender. Meanwhile on Knowhere Vance Astro is talking to Starhawk in hopes of remembering his past, when he is called away by the return of the Guardians. While Rocket Raccoon and Groot inform the others that the Kree Ambassador says that they have no knowledge of Peter being on their home world, Mantis is contacted telepathically, discovering it is Peter. In the Negative Zone, Star-Lord is beating up Carrion - the telepath Jack brought Peter to - to make sure that the message has been sent. Mantis discovers that Peter is in the Negative Zone and the Guardians quickly resolve to find him, being teleported right into the middle of Blastaar's troops.[3]

Blastaar begins to send his Negative Zone Army into 42 to take over the prison. Star-Lord and Jack Flag continue to fight valiantly with their blasters, hoping to hold off as many of the Negative Zone warriors as they can. Skeleton Ki approaches Blastaar and asks not to be killed, stating he was the one who opened the gates. Blastaar thanks him and then yells to his army that everyone will surrender or die. Most of the prisoners surrender when they see the might of the army, but Blastaar spots Peter and Jack up on another level still resisting. Blastaar takes off into the air before being shot back to the ground by Peter and Jack. Peter and Jack used the last of their ammo shooting Blastaar and so now decide to retreat, Peter says they just have to wait it out for the Guardians to arrive. However the duo run into Bison, Gorilla-Man and Condor. Outside the prison the Guardians have been thrown into the middle of the war zone and are forced to start fighting the Negative Zone warriors. During the battle Rocket Raccoon catches Star-Lord's helmet, realizing their passport bracelets locked onto the passport bracelet on Peter's suit. Rocket tells Mantis to try contacting Peter telepathically. Mantis is able to contact Peter - who is still in the middle of a fight - to find his location. She then contacts Cosmo on Knowhere, asking to change the co-ordinates on their passport bracelets to Peter's true location. Cosmo obliges and the team teleports in front of Star-Lord, Flag and the others. Major Victory quickly deals with Bison, as Mantis takes out Condor and Groot slams Gorilla-Man into the ceiling. Bug attempts to attack Jack Flag, but Peter tells him that he's a friend and Bug stands down. After some introductions Rocket tells Mantis to change the passport fields to cover Peter and Flag and to contact Cosmo to bring them home. Rocket tosses Star-Lord his helmet as Major Victory notices they have company. Blastaar and his army break through the wall, but they're too late as the Guardians teleport back to Knowhere. Elsewhere at Sarcosanct, the Homeworld of the Universal Church of Truth, Adam Warlock and Gamora appear before the Matriarch. Warlock proclaims that he is their Messiah, he is the one they worship. The Matriarch says that Warlock must prove himself. As a way to prove he speaks the truth, Warlock says that there is a war of kings coming, and that unless it is stopped everything will be destroyed. Warlock says he will prove himself by stopping the war and saving all creation, before leaving. Back in 42, Blastaar is being told about the prisoners and whether they died or not. Then two warriors bring Skeleton Ki to him, and Blastaar asks him to open the portal to Earth. However on the other side in Camp Hammond, Star-Lord and the Guardians is telling Reed Richards and others to never open the portal, or they will face the wrath of Blastaar. Mister Fantastic agrees and says they won't open the portal and then asks who they are. Star-Lord cockily replies, "we're the Guardians of the Galaxy" before leaving. They arrive back on Knowhere, where Peter is talking to a now fully healed Jack Flag. Peter offers to drop him off anywhere, but Jack asks if he can stay. Peter says that he can stay, and takes him away to get a drink, telling him what happened today was a quiet day. In the detention area, Major Victory once again goes to look at Starhawk. Starhawk begins to tell Major Victory about how time is changing, how the error is here in the past imperfect and that it will occur days, hours or minutes from now. Major Victory asks if this is the error she claims will destroy the future. Starhawk replies, saying the King with no words has screamed in defiance and has split the universe in two. She then claims that its starting, the war that ends everything.[4]

The Shi'ar and The Starjammers

Elsewhere in the Shi'ar Empire, Gabriel Summers aka Emperor Vulcan begins his expansion of the Shi'ar by attacking, and conquering, the planet Z'Nox. The Galatic Council convene during this time to discuss how they could have prevent the previous two cosmic wars, and how the Shi'ar's withdrawal from the council is a bad sign, and that they must be part of the council if order is to succeed. Vulcan's wife Deathbird tells the Shi'ar people of the conquest's success, to rapturous applause. She and Admiral Ka'ardum, leader of the Shi'ar fleet, talk about Vulcan after the speech, with Deathbird reassuring the admiral that Vulcan can overcome his faults, but the enemy won't overcome him. Elsewhere in Shi'ar Space, Rachel Summers aka Marvel Girl attacks the Shi'ar spaceyard Kythri's Anvil along with Lilandra Neramani and Korvus Rook'shir as a means to recover The Starjammer. The trio succeed and escape the Shi'ar forces. Meanwhile on Kr'kn, Vulcan speaks to the warden of the prison about his brother Alex Summers aka Havok, and how he responds to nothing and his powers are seemingly gone. However as they are watching his cell, Havok looks into the camera and states that he knows Vulcan is watching. They then move onto to looking at Raza Longknife - whose cybernetic parts have been removed - and Ch'od - who is proving impervious to all torture. Finally they move on to Lorna Dane aka Polaris, whose been drugged as nothing else seems to work on her. While looking over her she awakens and attacks Vulcan, until he reaches her and knocks her out, stating to up the dosage of her drugs. Vulcan again attempts to break Havok's spirit by telling him Raza Longknife is dead, but Havok sees through it all. Vulcan is called away to site of the attack by Rachel, Lilandra and Korvus. Vulcan states he wants them all dead and, once told that resources are running too low, resolves to create a new guard from prisoners. Meanwhile, when Havok is being given his meal through a slot in the door, he is able to access a small amount of his power.[5]

Elsewhere, Emperor Vulcan is introduced to his new guard made of criminals - a Symbiote, an Uncreated invasion survivor, the Pn'zo and a Hodinn. Vulcan then chooses a Strontian woman - the same race as Kallark aka Gladiator - to lead the team, saying that he'll give her what she wants if she does what he wants. Meanwhile on Asteroid Haven, Gladiator is sleeping in bed and is awoken by the presence of Lilandra. Lilandra tries to get Gladiator to tell her where Havok and the other Starjammers are, even playing on his feelings by asking him if he ever cared about her, but Gladiator says that he has to serve the empire. Lilandra then reveals Rachel, who used her telepathy to read Kallark's mind and discover the location of the Starjammers. Rachel grabs Lilandra and flies off, followed by Gladiator. However Gladiator isn't fast enough and the duo reach the Starjammer and fly off leaving him there. On the prison planet Kr'kn, a guard slides Havok's meal through a slot while talking to two other guards. However, Havok uses what little energy he has gathered to blast a hole in the door to escape. The blast kills one guard, but the other two survive. Havok is able to take them down and kill them without his powers, as he used what little he had left. Vulcan returns to Chandilar to meet envoys from the Galactic Council. He talks with his wife Deathbird when he disembarks his cruiser and embraces her with a passionate kiss. The Starjammer arrives in the Clench Worlds, which they were using as a temporary hiding place, to prepare for the journey to Kr'kn. However, Vulcan's new guard arrives shortly after to kill them all. The Strontian targets Korvus and his Phoenix Blade, causing Rachel to fly off to help him. Meanwhile the Symbiote enters the Starjammer to attack Lilandra. Rachel attacks the Strontian and takes her away from Korvus. The Symbiote attempts to attach itself to Lilandra, but after finding out it is sensitive to electricity Lilandra breaks a cable and stabs it with it. Outside on the platform the Pz'no attacks Korvus with electricity but Korvus throws him away before the Uncreated attacks him. While Rachel battles the Strontian, the Hodinn finally makes an appearance and decides to burn it all, unlocking his armor and allowing his scorching body to send a huge heatwave that destroys the planet, but not before the Starjammer and the rest of Vulcan's Guard escape. Meanwhile on Chandilar, the Galactic Council ambassadors give Vulcan a chance to explain his actions, but Vulcan simply incinerates them to send a message to the council, stating that it is officially dissolved and any interfere into Shi'ar actions will be met with a similar showing. Back on Kr'kn Havok has managed to break out the rest of the Starjammers, who believe it is imperative to make their escape. But Havok says that now Vulcan will come to them, and that they will kill him.[6]

The Ovoid ship 'Mindlight' approaches the Hala Defense Shield, seeking an audience with Ronan the Accuser. On it are members of the Galactic Council, with the droid that recorded the actions of Vulcan. The Starjammer begins to approach Kr'kn, with Rachel outside reflecting missiles to clear a path for the ship. Lilandra begins the descent and tells Rachel to remain in space, to prevent Vulcan from getting to the ground. The Shi'ar send a message to Chandilar about the attack, but The Hole isn't responding. Ch'od removes the communication panels from The Hole to prevent communication, and then tells Havok and Polaris there is no way to escape from the hole without a teleport. Havok complains saying he can only take Vulcan if he is fully powered and that's not going to happen here. Raza then returns with various weapons saying that they will have to do it the old fashioned way. The Starjammers are alerted by the alarm, telling them that the prisoners have all been released. Polaris pleads with Alex to save the Shi'ar guards instead of just letting them die. Back on Chandilar, the Admiral and Deathbird voice their concerns about Vulcan waging war against the universe. Vulcan disagrees and states the Shi'ar are the only power left after the Annihilation Wave and the Phalanx Conquest, then states that his spies have told him the Kree have a new king. Vulcan then approaches the Imperial Guard, who have assembled and are ready. But Oracle tells him the Clench Worlds have been destroyed by the Hodinn. Vulcan asks for confirmation that they are dead, even when Gladiator says it is impossible a Hodinn has done this, he asks to see bodies for confirmation. Deathbird then tells him there is news from Kr'kn. On the Clench Worlds, Shi'ar warships witness the Hodinn destroying more planets and state that Emperor Vulcan wants it back. The Starjammers on Kr'kn begin to fight off against the prisoners defending the guards. The prison then sounds another alarm stating there are two teleportation signals coming. It turns out to be Lilandra and Korvus who, after telling Rachel to once again remain in space, arrive in the prison. As soon as they arrive there they are greeted by the rest of the Starjammers who have defeated the prisoners. Korvus tells them they have to leave now, but Havok says this is the best chance to defeat Vulcan. Korvus reiterates his point, saying that it won't just be Vulcan who comes for them. Just then the rest of the Death Guard arrive and attack the Starjammers, the Strontian quickly removing taking Polaris away from the others. Back in space a Shi'ar warship warps in above the Kr'kn, before the Hodinn flies out and bursts past Rachel. Korvus begins to defend himself from the Uncreated monster. The Pz'no attacks the rest of the Starjammers, until he gets shot at the by Havok. However the Symbiote attempts to join with him, until Raza jumps in and cuts him free. The Strontian overpowers Polaris and drops a huge bit of metal on top of her. Raza tries to kill the symbiote, but only stabs the host, thus allowing the symbiote to attempt to join with Raza. As this is happening there is a large flash of light and the Imperial Guard, with Vulcan stand in front of the Starjammers. Vulcan states this is the end, and this is where they will all die.[7]

On Hala, in the War Room of Ronan the Accuser, the tape of Vulcan's statement to the Galatic Council is played to Ronan and some other Kree. Ronan asks for it to be played again. Above Kr'kn Rachel fights the Hodinn until the Hammer II shoots at them, sending them crashing towards the planet. In The Hole the Imperial Guard and Vulcan prepare to attack the Starjammers, with Gladiator going straight for Havok. As he is about to kill him, his cousin Xenith - the Strontian woman - appears stating that she will kill him afterwards, at which point Gladiator attacks her. The Guard attack the Starjammers as Vulcan faces off against the depowered Havok. As Vulcan calls for Lilandra to be executed, Polaris appears up from the floor below, and saves her. Vulcan then begins to make a dash toward Polaris as Rachel and the Hodinn crash through the ceiling. Polaris attempts to hold the falling debris as the Hodinn and Rachel prepare to fight, but Havok feels the energy of a star in the Hodinn and uses him to recharge his powers. The Guard begin to attack the Hodinn as Havok blasts Vulcan with a huge energy burst. Havok stands over his fallen brother as the Starjammers fight back against the Imperial Guard. Elsewhere Kallark fights Xenith, while they talk about how she fought against the empire and how he betrayed her. Just then Deathbird appears and tells Gladiator that Vulcan granted her a pardon and that if he truly serves the throne he should let her go. Havok starts savagely beating into Vulcan, who tries to explain himself as a means to survive. Polaris struggles with the roof and asks for Rachel's help, but as she and Korvus are fighting the Phoenix leaves her and the blade. The Pz'no capitalizes on this, stabbing Rachel through the shoulder with one of his tentacles, resulting in Korvus lifting his blade and slicing the Pz'no diagonally in half. As Lilandra tries to help Rachel, Deathbird attacks her. Lilandra attempts to reason with her but Cal'syee lunges at her, resulting in Lilandra lifting a pole and stabbing her through the stomach with it. Vulcan sees this happen allowing Havok to beat him to the floor, ready to hit the killing blow. Lilandra decides there is no time left as the Hole is collapsing, initiating the teleport to bring them back to the Starjammer. The Starjammers return to the ship - without teammate Raza, who is still controlled by the symbiote - and initiate a jumpgate to escape Kr'kn. Back in the Shi'ar empire Vulcan has healers working to save Deathbird but she has not awoken, and that if she does the damage to her spinal cord would be irreversible. Vulcan decides that Xenith and Ka'kardum will oversee the expansion and that the Imperial Guard will go with him. He states he will hunt Havok and Lilandra to the ends of the universe to pay for what they have done. On the Starjammer, Ch'od suggests coming up with a plan before more of them are taken. Polaris argues with him, saying they'll get Raza back, but Ch'od knows it will not be so easy. Havok talks to Rachel about the Phoenix, as she states that the power behind it as gone - although she still has her telekinesis and telepathy. Havok complains that he should have been left there to kill Vulcan, but Lilandra states that she needs Havok alive as war as coming. She goes on to say they need allies and she thinks she has found them, then saying that there is a wedding they must attend. Back in Kree space a Captain tells Ronan about Shi'ar Warbirds that were destroyed upon approach of Kree Space. Ronan tells him to leave as he walks into another room and kneels down, telling his king Black Bolt and the Inhuman Royal Family that he has news.[8]

The Inhumans and The Kree

As a result of what they were put through during the Skrulls invasion, Black Bolt decides that he has had enough. He leads the Inhuman Royal Family to the Chamber of Devices - a storage place for all of Maximus' technology to make the Inhumans stronger, which Black Bolt locked away. As they walk through the chamber they discover a device Maximus made specifically for Black Bolt. Orders are given to all of the Inhumans and Attilan - their home - folds itself and turns into a huge spaceship, powered by Black Bolt's incredible hypersonic voice. They fly off towards Kree Space, destroying a skrull fleet on their way. One of the skrull cruisers crosses into Shi'ar space, causing three Shi'ar warbirds to be sent out to inspect. Black Bolt decides to destroy them as well. As the Inhumans approach Kree Space, Ronan is made aware of their oncoming assault, and raises the Babel Spire to shift Kree Space out of sync with the universe and preventing the Inhumans from entering. Ronan asks for King Blastaar to be contacted and made aware that his army is needed, but it is revealed that he isn't responding to any communiques. In Attilan's Throne Room, Karnak reveals to the Royal Family that the shield the Kree have put up can be manipulated by a teleport cadre. A small strike team teleports inside the shield and takes out the shield relay stations, causing the shield to fail. Attilan then enters Kree space destroying anything in its path towards Hala. More strike teams are deployed - nearly indestructible thanks to echo-skelton armor and weapons fueled by stored reserves of Black Bolt's hypersonic energy. The Inhumans enter the throne room of Hala and restrain Ronan. Ronan believes that the Inhumans have come to destroy their creators but Medusa reveals that the Inhumans have returned to fulfill their original destiny when they were created by the Kree, stating that the Kree have turned their back on this. Ronan reveals that he never wanted to lead the Kree and that he was waiting for a true ruler to arise. Medusa informs him that he need only say two words. Ronan kneels before Black Bolt and simply states 'My Lord'. Meanwhile in the Shi'ar Empire, after a gladiatorial exhibit, Vulcan is made aware of the Inhumans destruction of Shi'ar warbird. Vulcan sees this as an invitation for a war.[9]

The Raptors - Darkhawk and Talon

On Earth, Chris Powell aka Darkhawk is dealing with his ongoing anger issues by taking therapy. As part of this therapy he had to change his environment and soon moved from Los Angeles to Long Island to be with his family. Part of the deal when he came home was to have no more secrets - which he obliged to since his secrets once tore his family apart. This means that his family is completely aware of his alter ago as Darkhawk. After his transformation he flies off to his job as security chief at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S - as taking a job was also part of his therapy and working as security chief allows him to focus on problems other than his own. After arriving and talking to Dr. Necker about a blast caused by a Skrull booby trap left over from the invasion releasing prisoners in the base, he is attacked by one of the prisoners, Vector. As the two take their fight to the sky Vector attempts to remove the crystal that gives Chris his Darkhawk powers. As a result the gem takes over and badly injures Vector. Dr. Necker attempts to help Darkhawk but he overreacts and hits her before realizing what he's done. Darkhawk apologizes and after being offered to let the scientists take a look at his gem and armor he declines and leaves before he hurts anyone else. He then flies to Manhattan and interrupts a meeting between a group of former heroes who try to help each other and to get away from the superheroism run by Mickey Musashi aka Turbo. After the group reacts angrily to Chris' arrival - because he betrayed them in the past because he lost control of the crystal - he asks Mickey for help and she obliges. After having a long talk with each other, in which Mickey tells Chris to let the scientists look at the crystal and study it they walk back to Chris' house where he invites her in to meet the family. She declines and says she doesn't meet family on a first date. The two almost kiss, but Mickey pushes him away to stop herself from making the same mistakes as before. However as a result of touching his chest, Chris' crystal starts burning and he's forced to take it out of his chest. As this happens something falls from the sky and lands in his backyard. Chris runs into his backyard to investigate and finds another person wearing the Darkhawk armor with another crystal. Chris believes it is impossible that there is another Darkhawk as he thought his crystal was the only one left, but the other Darkhawk tells him that he was led to believe it and then calls him 'Designate Powell'. Chris' family comes out to the backyard but he tells them to get back inside where it's safe. The other Darkhawk tells Chris that he's here to save him, and states that only together can they save themselves. The Darkhawk reaches out to Chris and transforms him, telling him there is much he does not know. Suddenly something else falls from the sky. The other Darkhawk says that it's found us already. Chris' mom opens the door to see what's going on just as the falling object hits the ground.[10]

Darkhawk tries to keep himself calm as he searches for his family in the ruins of his house. He finds his mother buried under rubble and his brothers unharmed and asks Mickey to phone 911. The other man comes other and states it would be better for them all if the two left, to which Darkhawk asks who he is. The man calls himself Talon as Darkhawk is shot from behind by the Hunter Drone that was after Talon. Talon tells him the drone was sent to eradicate their kind, The Fraternity of Raptors, resulting in Darkhawk flying into the air and blasting at the drone. The Drone is unharmed and attacks Darkhawk with an energy blast of its own. However the attack results in Darkhawk's suit being reconfigured into what Talon calls the Strike Suit. Talon changes as well and begins to co-ordinate an attack with Darkhawk, telling him to attack its weapons while he immobilizes it. Talon attacks it with a micro-munitions assault but it survives, grabbing Darkhawk. He cuts himself free from its grasp as he and Talon attack it together, destroying it. Talon tells him he's done a good job while he reconfigures his suit, telling him about reconfiguration and how the amulet can draw different armors to use. Mickey approaches him, turning him back into Chris Powell. Mickey tells him there's problems with his mother, to which they run off to follow the paramedics. Darkhawk says Talon will have to wait, and that when he's done Talon owes him some answers. Chris watches over his mother as Mickey tells him about his brothers and notices he's counting. He shouts at her, telling her is an anger management technique and the two get into an argument, with Mickey telling him that she's fed up with him and his excuses for his anger. She says its the armor that's messing up his life, as well as his family and hers. She tells him to give it up or get help, from doctors or even Talon. Chris begins to get anrgy, saying Talon put his mother in the hospital, transforming him into Darkhawk. Outside the hospital window he notices Talon and smashes through it, grabbing at him, trying to attack him. Talon tells 'Designate Powell' - which he has been calling him since they met - that his friend is advising him not fight. Darkhawk says to stop calling him Designate Powell and call him Darkhawk. Talon explains - while the fight - that he has come a great distance to find his last comrade, in order to save the future. Talon tells him he needs to help untangle his mind, explaining that the armor wasn't meant for humans and he has not bonded with the alien presence. He punches the amulet which lets a burst showing pictures of Black Bolt, Vulcan, Lilandra and Blastaar as well as pictures of the Raptors. Darkhawk asks what he has just seen, to which Talon tells him he's seen the past and the future, a flash of variables that need to be aligned by the Raptors, explaining that it has been an overload of data that has been pouring into his mind since he bonded with the amulet. Talon says it's making him insane and angry, and that the drone was sent by their enemies - that there are people who oppose the Raptors. Darkhawk asks him to teach him how to properly use the armor, to which Talon replies that its the reason he has crossed half the cosmos to find him. Chris then goes to a meeting with his old friends, explaining to them that he knows he's caused them problems but it's been the armors fault and he's trying to fix it. He apologizes to them for all the pain he's caused, explaining he now has a chance to really be Darkhawk. He says he's going to leave for the safety of his friends and family, asking them to look over his family while he's gone. Mickey asks him to come back, to which he says he will for her. Chris leaves and turns into Darkhawk, asking Talon when they start. Talon says they start right now, explaining that the Raptor Armor was formed eons ago for those who serve as the architects of fate. The Raptors are sworn to use all their power to safeguard the universe, acting as curators of the past and custodians of the future. He explains that the Raptors have not been working for millenia, and the he himself has only just awoken from dormancy, saying that it's because universal culture has slipped out of control without them, stating they're needed now more than ever. Talon says war is about to reshape the cosmos and they will need influence and leverage if they are going to perform their role for the greater good. He states they will start in the Negative Zone, to which Darkhawk says he's heard of it, but doesn't know how to get there. Talon takes off into the sky, telling him to follow and as they fly into the air they are teleported away.

Richard Rider and The Nova Corps

On Earth, Richard Rider - Nova - talks with Quasar about his brother Robbie. Wendell realizes that he needs to talk to someone about the fact he's been told he's going to die. Richard says that Necker and Gruenwald are working on trying to save him but there isn't much hope. Wendell tells him he's not going to stand here and watch him die when he senses something before he's teleported away. Richard tries to phone Dr Necker but there is no response as he runs out into a huge storm wondering what is going on. On Nu-Xandar, Worldmind begins telling the Nova Corps that there have been numerous 8X8 Distress Calls and that there has been registered hostilities between the Kree and the Shi'ar. He goes on to say that it is possible the Galactic Council has also been dissolved before telling a few centurions about what they have to do. Tre and Lindy begin talking about there recent introduction into the Corps as well as the fight between the Shi'ar and the Kree as Robbie Rider lands beside them. Robbie tells them that Worldmind has been busy moving Nu-Xandar's orbit to be ready for deployment. Worldmind tells everyone to go to their designated positions as Nu-Xandar jumps through a stargate. Richards tries to go to P.E.G.A.S.U.S. but the building has been secured by H.A.M.M.E.R. The officers begin to place him under arrest until Dr Necker comes out and tells them that he is her boyfriend and that he's here to help. The two leave the building in her car - after she leaves her pass with the cards telling them she's not coming back. She begins telling him about the storm and how it has been caused by Nu-Xandar leaving Earth's orbit. Back on Nu-Xandar it is announced that Malik Tarcel has become Nova Prime, and he pledges to do his best for the Corps. As everyone is given their roles Robbie Rider finds out that he's been given a Strategic Role, to which he complains about not being on the front line. Worldmind assures him his expertise is needed on Nu-Xandar and that he knows he will respect the needs of the Corps unlike his brother. Back on Earth, Richard and Necker talk about Robbie and how Richard is worried he's going to walk into a bloodbath. Necker apologizes for not being disrupted while trying to find a cure for Richard, before saying there is another place that she can go to try and help him. She drives to an abandoned outdoor movie theater and after pressing a button they are lowered into a high tech underground bunker. Necker says that the people she sometimes works for have tech that might be able to help him, but Richard knows that the people she's talking about are terrorists and can't use anything. Richard leaves followed by Necker and gives him the Quantum Flask, saying that she took it to give to her bosses as a consolation prize. Richard thanks her after which they kiss. Richard then takes the flask and throws it, saying he can't risk it falling into the hands of her associates. It hits something and there is a large explosion from which Wendell Vaughn returns. He tells them that he got them back, telling them he was summoned to help Phyla Mar-Vell who was dead but wasn't. Richard tells him to slow down, to which Quasar says he'll explain it later, but he got the Quantum Bands back and he thinks they can save him. Quasar gives Richard the bands and tells him to put them on, resulting in an explosion of power and the disappearance of Wendell, but leaves Richard Rider as the new Quasar.[11]

War

War of Kings

After escaping the Shi'ar empire, the Starjammers - fully reunited - are heading towards the Kree empire, followed by a Shi'ar Superdestroyer. Havok makes various attempts to contact the Kree for them to lower the shield powered by the babel spire, to no avail. However Polaris gets on the radio and announces that she is sister-in-law to Crystal, here to attend her wedding to Ronan the Accuser. The Kree deactivate a small portion of the shield allowing the Starjammer enough space to enter, but it is too small for the Superdestroyer, and it crashes into the shield resulting in a large explosion and deaths of all aboard. On Hala, Polaris talks to Crystal about her wedding, and the new outlook the Inhuman race has taken. Crystal states that the Inhumans should have become this decisive years ago, and Polaris states that if they plan to conquer the galaxy the first to oppose that will be the Shi'ar. After saying that they have been given no orders from Black Bolt, Crystal starts talking about the wedding. She states that the wedding is purely to solidify the bond between the Inhumans and the Kree, not out of love. Unknown to her however, Ronan was standing outside her room with flowers in his hands. After hearing this Ronan walks away, tossing the flowers aside. Elsewhere, Lilandra approaches Black Bolt, Medusa and Maximus about being granted asylum in the Kree empire. After an interruption from Maximus - who states granting this request will make Vulcan angry at the Kree - Medusa informs Lilandra that she is the voice of her husband. Lilandra believes the Inhumans can offer her sanctuary and one day oppose Vulcan and the Shi'ar. Medusa replies by saying that doing so is not what they had in mind, but Lilandra says that Vulcan will more than likely attack anyway, in an attempt to expand his empire. Lilandra tries to warn Medusa and Black Bolt of the Imperial Guard, but Medusa interrupts and says that the Imperial Guard have never fought the new Inhuman Elite. Elsewhere in Shi'ar space, Gladiator introduces the Imperial Guard - Neutron, Plutonia, Manta, Salac Tuur (the new Smasher), Squorm, Starbolt and Mentor to Emperor Vulcan, stating they are ready to go. In a monologue Gladiator states that he serves the Emperor of the Shi'ar no matter his personal opinion of the current ruler. Gladiator tells Vulcan the ceremony is underway, to which Vulcan sarcastically asks whether they'll like his 'present'. Gladiator talks about how the Fleet will handle most of the invasion, and the Imperial Guard are going to perform an Ehs'tyl Assault. He continues stating all Kree dynastic ceremonies occur on the Gon-Ket glacier on Hala, where a ritual palace is located. The Kree, Inhumans and even the Starjammers and some other galatic envoys watch as Black Bolt walks Crystal down the aisle to Ronan, as Gladiator explains that Ehs'tyl means 'Busting Cranium' or a head shot. At the babel spire a Aakonian delegate looks at the spire as Kree guards try to take him to the ceremony. The delegate then reveals he is a shape shifter and before the Guards can do anything he sacrifices himself to cause an explosion and destroy the spire. The people at the ceremony see and feel the blast, as Rachel feels huge teleport bursts coming in. The Imperial Guard descend upon the ceremony as the Admiral tells Vulcan of the fleet's actions and how one group wishes to use nega bombs - which he believes to be abominable - to which Vulcan replies to use lots of them, but he really wants to hear about the guard. The guard begin to destroy the Kree sentries before they get a target lock, before attacking the Kree themselves. Gladiator told his guard not to hold back, so they don't. He knows his enemy is not unarmed though, as he loses Nightside in the first fifteen seconds, followed shortly by Smasher who is killed by Karnak. Black Bolt and Ronan spring into action, with Black Bolt taking on Gladiator directly. However he is attacked by White Noise, who uses her own sonic power to stun him for a second, allowing Gladiator to smash him into the palace itself. Impulse then fires an optic blast through Gorgon's leg, as Mentor knocks out Lilandra and uses a 'jump-door' to teleport her away. Ch'od tries to grab her but loses his arm as the jump-door closes. Ronan attempts to defend Crystal but is overrun by three guards members before Gladiator declares their departure, stating they've made their point. As they leave, Korvus tells Havok that Lilandra is gone and Crystal sees to Ronan. Medusa stands up and says that the Shi'ar have made a mortal error, and that they shall pay in blood. {{|War of Kings Vol 1 #1}}

Notes

Tie-ins

November 2008:[12]

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Collected editions

The various stories are being collected into trade paperbacks:


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