After six months of cosmic chaos, War of Kings reached its conclusion this week, and so too did my virgin editing effort at Marvel Comics, War of Kings: Warriors. The second issue of the WoK: Warriors print comic is now in stores featuring stories starring Crystal and Lilandra, both written by Jay Faerber with art by Adriana Melo and Ramon Perez respectively. Additionally, the finale of that Lilandra story can now be accessed via Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.
A few words on the Lilandra story:
Of all the characters assigned to me as part of Warriors, Lilandra was the one I was most concerned about. Gladiator seemed like an easy homerun to me, I was sure we could do something fun with Blastaar, and even though I'm not a big Crystal fan, I at least felt there were enough directions to take the character. But Lilandra has only ever been Professor X's love interest to me, and a fairly dull one at that.
However, that's basically exactly how Jay approached the conundrum: we've only ever seen Lilandra as the girlfriend or damsel in distress, so why exactly should we care about her? More to the point, how did she get to be the respected ruler of an interstellar empire when that's all we've ever seen her do?
Jay set out to tell a story from Lilandra's past that demonstrated conclusively that while she may not always show it, she has the chops to lead a people as impressive as the Shi'Ar. He put together what I found to be a unique spotlight on a character who solves problems in ways most other traditional super hero characters wouldn't.
And he also figured a way to include the Brood, which made us both happy.
Initially, Timothy Green II was supposed to provide art for this story, which I was super excited for as I loved Tim's stuff on Star-Lord as well as his issue of Immortal Iron Fist. When Tim had to pull out due to scheduling conflicts, I was admittedly disappointed and also unfamiliar with his replacement, Mr. Ramon Perez. However, I don't think anybody can look at the finished product and not be impressed with the work Ramon did. He has a decidedly different style from Tim that I'd call gritty as well as impressively stripped down; you'd think it wouldn't suit a cosmic story, and yet for that very reason it does. His Brood are also just fucking great.
On a nice or bittersweet note depending on your mood, I suppose, this will likely be the last Lilandra story to see print for some time as the character died in the main War of Kings book; I hope we did her legendary creators, Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, and her impressive 33-year tenure as a Marvel Universe fixture proud.
I've thanked the usual suspects time and again when talking about Warriors, so I'd like to wrap up by thanking anybody who picked up, downloaded, read or even just flipped through the book; I really do appreciate it. Editing a real deal comic in the Marvel Universe--particularly the cosmic playground set up by the likes of Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Bill Rosemann, Kith Giffen and Andy Schmidt--was a dream come true and it's gonna be tough to top.
I'm still gonna try.