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Comic Book Sneak Preview

It fell through a wormhole off the back of a truck. Here’s a sneak peek at the end of the Emperor Vulcan mini-series. Spoilers abound, so ye have been warned!


X-Men: Emperor Vulcan 5

by Christopher Yost and Paco Diaz Luque

It is such a relief to get to the end of a story and have it still be good. No super-people punching holes through reality, no mutant saying she’s getting rid of all the mutants, although she still survives herself, and so do a couple hundred others… It started good, it read good, and it ends good.

With Havok out of contact, Polaris takes charge. There is no dissent, nobody suggesting they can do a better job, and no annoying melodrama about not being ready for the job. The others look to Polaris for guidance and she steps up to make the decisions, and it’s refreshing to see that kind of bravery and decisiveness in a Marvel story. The Imperial Guard attacks the Starjammer, and Polaris orders Rachel and Korvus to break off and try to intercept the doomsday weapon. It’s the right call.

Havok’s not dead! Ok, everyone probably figured that, but it turns out that his dear old brother threw him in the direction of a freaking star, and Alex comes back super-powered from his proximity to that much solar energy. It’s a good idea to explore in a series that seems to contain some of the best ideas Yost has had in his entire writing career so far.

Gladiator intercepts Phoenix while Korvus still heads to stop the doomsday weapon. Havoc is too powerful for Vulcan. Rachel knocks Gladiator for a loop, and General Ka’Ardum, Lilandra’s uncle… fires on Korvus?!? Brilliant! In a twist that makes the greatest of sense, Ka’Ardum has seen that the finality weapon is aimed for the center of the Scy’ar fleet, and he agrees with it, figuring the M’Kraan Crystal can survive being near the explosion. The Imperial Guard shows back up to stop Havok from killing Vulcan, Phoenix rescues Korvus instead of doing anything else to stop the attack, and the weapon fires! The stargate opens, the star goes nova, and it appears that the Scy’ar fleet is obliterated!

Havok uses his over-charged power to destroy the main space station that activates the stargate-nova star weapon combo, but he and the rest of the group are taken prisoner. Lilandra’s uncle kicks her out, telling her to run and link up with Phoenix and Korvus, that the civil war is over, because he’s moving over to Vulcan’s side. See, he watched as the Shi’ar race was threatened, and saw that he was willing to do pretty much anything to defend what he thought was his, which Ka’ardum believes is in the best interests of the empire. Lilandra’s opposition to the doomsday weapon has cost her the support of her uncle. This is one of my favorite parts of the story, as a battle-hardened general shows his integrity by siding with what he believes is the best available choice for his civilization, but still showing a little loyalty and mercy to a family member, who has just become his own enemy, by definition. The about-face is logical, and in itself gives us a great insight to the complex character of Ka-Ardum, making him very interesting. The series ends with Vulcan holding Havok and company, declaring a new age of imperial expansion for the Shi’ar Empire, and a flashback that shows that the Scy’ar were not the original inhabitants of the M’Kraan area anyway; they were also an invading force.

Thus ends the cosmic saga of Vulcan establishing his authority to rule the Shi’ar Empire, with a cool Billy Tan cover, and great art from the whole creative team throughout. This series had a lot of inventiveness in every issue, and is one of the better mini-series out there, especially for such a short, relatively self-contained story. If the big guys at Marvel are bright, they will find a way to immediately incorporate the Shi’ar into the Annihilation: Conquest storyline playing out in all of the neighboring galaxies, because as soon as Vulcan attempts to expand, he’s going to run head-long into the Phalanx, probably no matter which direction he goes. If you missed the beginning of this, the trade should be out in six months or less. Do your imagination a favor and get it.

Do you like sneak previews of your comics? If you want to see more of these, please let us know. If enough people post below in the positive, we’ll try it again sometime!
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Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.

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