This, if you do not know, is the sequel to WOK, which I thought was a great read. This one once again crosses over with the same series I mentioned in the WOK review, GOTG and Nova. Once I found out there was a sequel there was no doubt that I was going to check it out.
Abnett as you know is pretty much my new favorite writer. He is single handily responsible for some of my favorite series. He is also in charge of pretty much all the cosmic characters in the Marvel universe. I do not know if that is still the case, but either way I love the work he has done.
In the aftermath of WOK’s the final battle between Vulcan and Black Bolt has left a giant rip through space time. It is unknown what is on the other side of this hole, but as the story unfolds the rip in space is actually a gateway to another universe, the Cancerverse. In this strange and weird universe nothing dies everything is still alive, the problem is that all the living beings in that universe have completely devoured everything in their universe and are now looking for bigger and better things. Because the normal Marvel universe is so full of life they are egger to escape their desolate universe and devour everything in their path.
With all that being said the majority of this book focuses on a lot of the lesser story lines, and not necessarily the main action. As I have mentioned so many times with this series thus far there is quite a lot of cross over going on, but for all the cross over events I have read I think this is one of the best regarding GOTG: ROK and Nova: ROK, I will talk more on this below. I will admit that I am bias as I love the cosmic characters, heroes and villains alike, so this was a very cool and exciting ride for me.
Despite there being a ton that is going on to really get the full aspect of the story you will want to read GOTG: ROK and Nova: ROK, as a lot of the main story happens in these books. At times when reading comics, especially when reading a huge event like this one, it is easy to get bogged down with all the titles out there to read. I never felt that way with this one. I did it a little different in this one though as I read this book first, then I read the entire Nova and GOTG from start to finish. I am sure there is a better way to do that if you don’t want to know what is going on before hand. you will have to check with comicvine or another website to figure out the correct reading order.
The other cool thing about this one is that it starts to wrap up all the cosmic events so to speak. It more or less starts funneling them into a larger event or storyline. Which I think is the Thanos Imperative, spoiler ahead, Thanos was killed during the Annihilation series. I will let you guess as to what the Thanos Imperative is about. I will be doing a review on that title as well as the Nova series and the GOTG series here in the near future.
The other cool thing I liked about this one is the idea of the Cancerverse. As far as I know that was invented just for this series, which is pretty cool and shows how creative some of these writers are. I think the idea of a universe where nothing dies is very interesting from a physics and metaphysics side, as there are many theories about the infinite universes that are believed to exist out there. As you can imagine Marvel does not necessarily explore this idea but nonetheless it stuck with me and is very cool.
It is very hard to judge all the artwork in the books of this series. I will say that Nova: ROK has the most solid artwork from start to finish. Very traditional and high quality, what you normally think about when you think of a superhero comic. Throughout most of the story in ROK the artwork is not bad, although there are some very stylized chapters that I did not necessarily care for, but still not the worst I have ever seen and it was not a bad mix-up from all the traditional styles. GOTG: ROK has my least favorite artwork of the series. Toward the end it gets very cartoony, which really makes me mad because some serious stuff starts to unfold and I think the artwork does not go well with the seriousness of the story. Again the colors and page layouts are spectacular in Nova: ROK, really deep rich colors that give the reader some awesome space scenes. ROK is next as there are some great page layouts and colors as well. My least favorite is GOTG: ROK, I felt that the last few chapters with the stylized artwork had some very lackluster and faded colors. Again I think this style really hurt the integrity of the story.
I wanted to mention that although this is technically classified as a true Marvel event, I do not think it is. To me this was a very large and very drawn out transition story to lead into The Thanos Imperative. There is nothing wrong with this, but knowing what I do now I would almost say to skip the ROK book and just read the GOTG series and the Nova series from start to finish as that is where almost the entire main story takes place anyway. That is the other thing is that there really is no main story, the event is just a completion of many different stories and characters. So I think it is a bit of a misnomer to call this an event, but what do I know. So my words of wisdom are too just read Nova: ROK and GOTG: ROK, you should be fine sticking to those. However, if you really want to know what is going on with the Imperial Guard and the Inhumans, then by all means pick up ROK. I beg you not to read Son of Hulk: ROK it is pretty much pointless.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series for the most part. I will admit that this was not as good as the original, the sequel never is, but still a good read. Overall the artwork is mostly solid and unless you are a real stickler you will not be disappointed. It is also worth mentioning that there are some really great covers for each issue. The artwork on these covers is truly phenomenal, some of the best I have seen. I would have included more but did not have enough room.
I will also say that by this point in the story and with all the crossovers I had a small fortune and a large amount of time invested in this series, but didn’t care. Like I said above it never felt like too much while I was reading, it was always exciting to pick up the next trade and see what was going to happen. This is really the first time I had been this invested in a particular group of characters and I was a really cool experience and something that I had never done before. If you read my reviews often you can piece together that I am kind of all over the place, but with this series I was invested in every way imaginable and it was great. It was a fun ride but all things must some to an end, and the end was near. My bank account was screaming for some relief.