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Chaos War: Chaos King #1

Posted: Friday, November 19, 2010
By: Ray Tate

Brandon Montclare
Michael Kaluta, Various (c)
Marvel Comics
I've read Chaos King three times, and apart from the second chapter, I still don't know what this is about. In chapter two, the Fantastic Four chase individual monsters from Universal pictures and meet at the moment the Chaos King strikes. At that point, an old friend from Fantastic Four mythology pops up. This should be a lot more fun, but Montclare goes dark. So, you can't even properly enjoy the chapter that you can decipher.

In the first cahpter, weird stuff centered on Zenn-La happens. I muddled through it this way. There appears to be a little Krona trying to see the beginning of the DCU as well as a bit of the doomed planet Krypton recapitulating on Zenn-La. The characters are however cryptic at best, and only the mention of Zenn-La and Norrin Radd's sacrifice gives the reader a few bearings. There appear to be some ghosts haunting chapter one as well. No idea why.

In the third chapter, the Chaos King invades Hell, and with the exception of a touching scene between Satan and his son Damian Hellstorm, I'm at sea. The gist of it is that the Chaos King wants to unmake the Marvel Universe, and believe you me, if I wasn't a Doctor Who fan, I wouldn't have been able to absorb that information from the gassy, bloated writing.

I only special ordered Chaos King for one reason. Michael Kaluta. Kaluta is a modern day legend. He's responsible for the finest Shadow comic book adaptations and a master of the Madame Xanadu covers. If you were lucky enough, you may have noted his Batman jackets for the odd issues of Detective Comics. Kaluta rarely ventures into superhero illustration, especially for a full story, and it's a real kick to see his rendition of the Fantastic Four and their guest. While I haven't a clue to what's going down in Hell, you can see Kaluta's art noveau styled demonolgy in gorgeous, almost literally fluid imagery. Kaluta even contributes depictions of some Hellish protagonists. Apart from the aforementioned Hellstorm, Ghost Rider materializes. Don't blink, and Satanna can be seen among the magma.

I can only recommend Chaos King for Michael Kaluta fans. Even those following the Chaos War should not contemplate buying this book unless they are a Kaluta fan.



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