War of Kings (2009) Reading Order

The alien Kree were once a proud empire and a warrior race, but they recently suffered terrible losses (during ANNIHILATION and ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST). Thousands of years earlier, they experimented on early homo-sapiens to create the Inhumans as living weapons. Despite the Supreme Intelligence granting them their freedom many of years ago, the Inhuman king Black Bolt is about to turn the tables and claim what remains of the Kree Empire themselves.

But another empire recently gained new leadership when the mutant Gabriel Summers – aka Vulcan, the immensely powerful brother of Cyclops & Havok of the X-Men – claimed the throne to the Shi’ar Empire by force. Now Emperor Vulcan seeks to expand his borders, despite opposition from Havok and the rebel Starjammers.

Marvel’s new-millennium cosmic titles ramp up as the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Nova Corps, Darkhawk and more become involved in a ‘War of Kings’ that could threaten the very fabric of the universe…

Major Event: This storyline incorporates multiple titles and issues which tie into a central mini-series, with events that impact almost every character involved. It’s considered to be a major event.

Must Reads: Story arcs marked with a ✔are must-read stories from this time period, along with any key related stories and often-forgotten tales that are worth a read.

When an issue contains multiple stories, the relevant story is denoted with square brackets. For example [2/5] refers to the second story of the five stories in that issue, so you don’t need to read the other four

DECIMATION – First appearance & origin of Vulcan

ANNIHILATION – Death of the Nova Corps

ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST – The Phalanx take over the Kree Empire

Want to keep it simple? Here’s the chronological reading order without story descriptions, or spoilers:

  • Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1 (also see SECRET INVASION)
  • X-Men: Kingbreaker #1-4
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #7-8
  • War of Kings: Warriors – Gladiator #1-2 [digital comic]
  •      War of Kings: Warriors – Crystal #1-2 [digital comic]
  • Nova #19 (tie-in)
  • War of Kings: Darkhawk #1-2
  •      War of Kings: Warriors #2[2/2]
  • Nova #20-22 (tie-in)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #9-10
  • War of Kings #1
  •      War of Kings: Warriors – Blastaar #1-2 [digital comic]
  •      War of Kings: Savage World of Sakaar #1 (also see SON OF HULK)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #11-12 (tie-in)
  • Nova #23-25
  • War of Kings #2
  • War of Kings: Ascension #1-2
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #13
  • War of Kings #3
    Guardians of the Galaxy #14
  • War of Kings #4
  • War of Kings: Ascension #3
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #15
  • Nova #26
  • War of Kings #5
  • Nova #27
  • War of Kings: Ascension #4
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #16
  • War of Kings #6
  • Nova #28
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #17
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #18-19 (tie-in)
  • War of Kings: Who Will Rule? #1

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Must ReadsTitle & Issue NumberSynopsis & First Appearances
Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1When the Skrulls kidnapped Black Bolt and replaced him with an infiltrator (revealed during SECRET INVASION) it was the final straw for the Inhumans. Black Bolt opens up the Chamber of Devices to utilise his brother Maximus‘ forbidden weapons. Amplifying his immense vocal powers with Echo-Tech, Black Bolt launches the Inhumans’ city of Attilan from Earth’s Moon into space to pursue the retreating Skrull fleet, destroying a number of their ships as well as a Shi’ar craft that gets in Attlian’s way. Gorgon, Karnak and an Inhuman strike force are sent to Hala – homeworld of the Kree – to act as heralds for Black Bolt’s arrival. Ronan the Accuser unexpectedly surrenders Hala to Black Bolt. Crystal will marry Ronan to mark their alliance. Over on Chandilar, the new Shi’ar ruler Emperor Vulcan hears of the Inhumans’ attack on one of his military craft and of the Inhumans’ takeover…
X-Men: Kingbreaker #1Spurred on by his power-crazed wife Deathbird, Vulcan breaks past treaties to expand the Shi’ar Empire. Vulcan gloats about his power to the captive X-Men and Starjammers, but can’t seem to break their spirits. Elsewhere in Shi’ar space, Lilandra Neramani, Marvel Girl (Rachel Grey) and Korvus Rook’shir steal back the Starjammer (the Starjammers ship) and set off to rescue their friends…
X-Men: Kingbreaker #2Lilandra tries to convince Gladiator – leader of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard – to help her, but he won’t betray the throne. Vulcan forms a new guard, the Praetorians, from the worst criminals in Shi’ar prisons and orders them to apprehend Lilandra. The Praetorians destroy the Clench Worlds in their pursuit. Representatives of the Galactic Council warn Vulcan to show restraint, so he kills them and sends their functioning Recorder to report his threats back to the rest of the Council, essentially declaring war on the universe and making Deathbird question her loyalty to him. Havok absorbs enough energy from the sliver of light beneath his door to blast himself, Polaris, Raza and Ch’od free and plans to lure Vulcan in so they can kill him…
X-Men: Kingbreaker #3Vulcan heads to Kr’kn to face Havok, who’s busy fighting his way through the other prisoners in the Hole. Lilandra and Korvus arrive but soon find themselves facing the deadly Praetorians. Vulcan beams down directly into the undersea prison with Deathbird, Gladiator and select Imperial Guard. Elsewhere in space, the Ovoids take the Recorder to Ronan the Accuser…
X-Men: Kingbreaker #4Gladiator realises Vulcan has employed his cousin, Xenith – now calling herself Strontian – in his new guard and ends up fighting her instead of the Starjammers. Havok focuses all his energy on Vulcan, while the Phoenix Force suddenly abandons Marvel Girl and Korvus’ Blade of the Phoenix. Lilandra impales Deathbird on a metal shard then teleports the Starjammers off planet, leaving only the injured Raza behind. The Starjammer races across the galaxy, heading for Kree space. Deathbird is in critical condition, renewing Vulcan’s hatred for Lilandra. On Hala, Ronan the Accuser informs Black Bolt of Vulcan’s actions…
Guardians of the Galaxy #7The Guardians of the Galaxy have split up after learning Star-Lord convinced Mantis to coerce them all to join the team (during SECRET INVASION). On Knowhere, the detained female Starhawk warns Cosmo that reality is in jeopardy and is in a constant state of flux. Rocket Racoon leads Groot, Bug, Major Victory and Mantis against the Badoon. Adam Warlock and Gamora oppose the Universal Church of Truth. Quasar (Phyla-Vell) helps Drax search the galaxy for the missing Cammi, only to learn that an Inhuman-Shi’ar War is breaking out and that Moondragon may be alive. Star-Lord finds himself in the Negative Zone where Blastaar has proclaimed himself king…
Guardians of the Galaxy #8Earlier, Star-Lord found out that the Kree are powering the Babel Spire with Skrull corpses to reactivate their protective barrier. Ronan the Accuser reject Star-Lord’s demands to shut the Spire down cast him into the Negative Zone. Now he’s a prisoner of Blastaar who intends using him to invade Prison 42 (built to imprison superhumans during CIVIL WAR) and, from there, the Earth. Rocket’s Guardians squad defeat the Badoon war machine and order them to cease their weapons testing. Warlock demands an audience with the Matriarch
War of Kings: Warriors – Gladiator #1 [digital comic]Despite his loyalty to the throne, Gladiator considers allowing an assassin’s bullet to reach its intended target – the head of the mad Emperor Vulcan. He recalls the first test of his loyalty to the throne when Majestor T’Korr ordered him and his fellow Strontians to slay their own Council of Elders
War of Kings: Warriors – Gladiator #2 [digital comic]The Strontian cadets battled each other, half loyal to the Shi’ar throne, half to the Elders. Young Kallark becomes the only survivor and is made Gladiator, Praetor of the Imperial Guard for his loyalty. In the present, Gladiator protects Vulcan from the sniper’s bullet, but it’s not an easy decision.
War of Kings: Warriors – Crystal #1 [digital comic]Crystal implores Black Bolt and Medusa to be merciful to the Kree who oppose Inhuman rule. She uncovers a cell who set a bomb in the museum her daughter Luna is visiting…
War of Kings: Warriors – Crystal #2 [digital comic]Crystal heads to the museum, contains the explosion and saves Luna. She convinces some of the Kree opposition to reconsider their stance on the Inhumans.
Must ReadsTitle & Issue NumberSynopsis & First Appearances
Nova #19 (tie-in)Nova (Richard Rider) and the new Nova Corps trainees that were recently recruited by the Worldmind (during SECRET INVASION) take down the Serpent Society. Nova and his squad return to Project PEGASUS where he confronts the Worldmind over rebuilding the Corps without consulting him and asks him not to add more recruits. Nova’s squad defeat Taboo and return to Project PEGASUS where they’re greeted by a hole horde of new recruits, including Rich’s brother, Robbie Rider
War of Kings: Darkhawk #1A glitch in the Project PEGASUS containment grid gives some of the U-Foes a chance to escape. As head of security, Darkhawk (Chris Powell) tackles Vector, but the amulet that gives him his powers surges and makes him lose control of his anger. He fries Vector and lashes out at Dr Evelyn Necker. Chris turns to the Loners for help, but his gem flares up again when another ‘Darkhawk’ crashes into his family home. The new ‘Darkhawk’ activates an upgrade in Chris’ armour before a blast hits the Powell house…
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2The other ‘Darkhawk’, Talon, helps Chris rescue his family, reveals their link as part of the Fraternity of Raptors and upgrades him again in order to defeat the attacking Hunter Drone. Turbo of the Loners accuses Chris of loving the power his unleashed anger gives him. Chris accepts Talon’s offer to help him control his powers and help guide the fate of the universe as a member of the Fraternity of Raptors. With that, he leaves his hospitalised family and takes off with Talon into space…
War of Kings: Warriors – Lilandra #1 [digital comic]The Starjammers journey through space toward Hala. Lilandra recalls her time at the Chandilar Academy, preferring to focus on the theory of battle over the physical combat. After another defeat in class, she’s horrified to witness a swarm of Brood infesting the Academy…
War of Kings: Warriors – Lilandra #2 [digital comic]Young Lilanda outsmarted the Brood and trapped them in the training facility. In the present, Lilandra intends using careful planning to defeat Vulcan, rather than brute force.
Nova #20
Rich Rider expresses his concerns regarding the Worldmind to his former-New Warriors teammates Justice & Firestar. Worldmind has also taken control of Rich’s body in the past and he could potentially be influencing the Corps. Rich takes issue with Robbie’s membership in the Nova Corps and he worries about his safety, unaware that Rich is busy successfully taking down Dragon Man with the other recruits. Later, a huge storm breaks as Ego the Living Planet enters Earth’s atmosphere…
Nova #21
The Worldmind has taken control of Ego and made him the new headquarters of the Nova Corps. Nova argues with Worldmind in front of the entire Nova Corps, only for Robbie to rush to Worldmind’s defence. Nova departs and runs into the Fantastic Four who share his concerns. Worldmind and Robbie Rider invite themselves into the Baxter Building to join the debate. Worldmind implies Rich has suffered severe mental stress from housing the entire Nova Force and may be insane. Nova returns to Ego and agrees to let Worldmind take the Nova Force back. But when Nova hesitates, Worldmind takes the power by force, completely draining Rich Rider of his Nova powers and returning him to Earth…
Nova #22
Worldmind recruits hundreds of humans to rebuild the Nova Corps and deal with the growing threat caused by the Inhuman/Shi’ar War. Rich Rider returns to Project PEGASUS and finds out Quasar (Wendell Vaughn) has reconstituted into his light form. Dr Necker lures Robbie Rider to an isolation chamber to block Worldmind’s influence to see if he’s asserting mind-control. Corp recruits burst into the chamber and retrieve Robbie before the test is concluded. Necker’s tests on Rich Rider reveal that without the Nova Force in his body, he’ll be dead within 48 hours…
Guardians of the Galaxy #9Blastaar’s forces have been laying siege on Prison 42 for several days. The guards have abandoned the facility and only the superhuman prisoners lead by Jack Flag (apprehended during THE INITIATIVE) who are left to defend it. Blastaar sends Star-Lord into negotiate, but he tries to convince the prisoners to contact the Guardians of the Galaxy. Skeleton Ki sneaks off to open the doors to Blastaar’s forces and surrender. Mantis picks up Star-Lord’s message for help and teleports Rocket’s Guardians to the Negative Zone. Elsewhere, Drax and Phyla-Vell ask Mentor of the Eternals to locate Moondragon, only for him to use his telepathic abilities to render them unconscious…
Guardians of the Galaxy #10Blastaar invades Prison 42 and discovers Star-Lord’s treachery. Rocket and the Guardians fight through Blastaar’s army, save Star-Lord and Jack Flag and teleport out. They arrive on Earth and warn Mister Fantastic to keep the portal to 42 closed. Jack Flag joins the team and his paralysis is fixed using Knowhere tech. Elsewhere, Adam Warlock states to the Matriarch that he will proves himself to be the Messiah of the Universal Church of Truth in the war between the Shi’ar and Inhumans. When he teleports away, the Matriarch sneers that he’s a false prophet as she already has a cocoon containing the Messiah and demands her believers open it. On Knowhere, Starhawk warns Major Victory that the coming war will split the universe in half…
Must ReadsTitle & Issue NumberSynopsis & First Appearances
War of Kings #1Lilandra Neramani and the Starjammers arrive on Hala, asking for asylum. Crystal prepares for the formality of her wedding to Ronan, unaware of his growing feelings for her. But the ceremony is interrupted when the Imperial Guard attack under Emperor Vulcan’s orders, as he also commands the reutilisation of Nega-Bombs. The Guard kidnap Lilandra, pummel Ronan into a coma, kill and injure a number of guests and leave Medusa swearing revenge…
War of Kings: Warriors – Blastaar #1 [digital comic]Blastaar tears through the Negative Zone, proclaiming himself as its new lord. He eventually returns home to the planet Baluur to confront his father…
War of Kings: Warriors – Blastaar #2 [digital comic]King Grondaar challenges his son to a deathmatch and is victorious. But showing Blastaar mercy proves to be a mistake and he dies at his offspring’s hands. Blastaar takes the title of King and starts plotting against the humans who armed him…
War of Kings: Savage World of Sakaar #1The Old Power unleashed by Skaar (during SON OF HULK) attracts the attention of Starbolt of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard who’s currently engaged in a skirmish with Gorgon of the Inhumans. Both of their ships are sucked into the Great Portal and they crashland on Sakaar which proves to be a challenge to both of them and inspires them to join forces. Skaar tries to kill them both to stop them from bringing their war to Sakaar until Gorgon summons Lockjaw who teleports them back to the safety of Attilan. Starbolt betrays his new ally, threatening Luna’s life in return for his freedom. Gorgon and Lockjaw trick him, freeing Luna but losing their prisoner of war. Both Black Bolt and Vulcan take great interest in the news of the Old Power…
Guardians of the Galaxy #11 (tie-in)Phyla finds herself in a realm of the dead. Her Quantum Bands fall away and Drax has to save her from zombies resembling Annihilus, Mar-Vell , Genis-Vell and others. Maelstrom emerges and explains that they’re in Oblivion’s realm, and he drew them there because Drax killed Death’s champion, Thanos, and a new champion is needed. He leads them to the sleeping Dragon of the Moon and claims Moondragon is inside. But Maelstrom has the Quantum bands and uses them to offer Phyla and Drax to the Dragon in return for his freedom…
Guardians of the Galaxy #12 (tie-in)Maelstrom feeds Phyla to the Dragon of the Moon. Wendell Vaughn materialises, having tracked down his old foe Maelstrom, and attacks him. Drax chops off Maelstrom’s hands and the Quantum Bands immediately return to Wendell. Phyla-Vell tears through the Dragon’s belly, exhibiting dark new powers and carrying Moondragon. The heroes leave Oblivion’s realm, restoring Moondragon to life. Phyla has taken the role of Martyr but refuses to reveal what deal she made to restore her beloved Moondragon.
Nova #23Wendell Vaughn teleports away to address an imbalance in the universe, leaving Rich Rider to face his impending death alone. HAMMER agents shut down Project PEGASUS (under Norman Osborn’s orders due to the events of DARK REIGN), ending Dr Necker’s search for a cure for Rich. He turns down her help when she offers he assistance of her true employers at AIM. The Worldmind stargates Ego across the galaxy to deploy the Nova Corps into the theatre of the Inhuman-Shi’ar War with Malik Tarcel taking the role of Nova Prime. Wendell Vaughn returns from Oblivion’s realm and gives Rich Rider his Quantum Bands as a means of prolonging his life. Rich Rider is now Quasar
Nova #24The untrained Nova Corps head into war, completely unprepared. On Nil-Rast, Corp members are completely outclassed by Gladiator and the Shi’ar Imperial Guard who force Nova Prime to surrender. Gladiator takes him and leaves the other 64 Corps members in Strontian’s ‘care’, only for her to kill every one of them. As Quasar, Rich flies inside Ego and finds out the Worldmind is actually under the Living Planet’s control…
Nova #25Ego the Living Planet has been controlling the Worldmind for some time. While Rich Rider fights to free Worldmind, Robbie Rider is unable to obtain guidance from it and heads into space with Qubit on a rescue mission. The captive Malik Tarcel is treated as a traitor by the Imperial Guard due to his Shi’ar origins. Vulcan tortures him personally. Ego sets the remaining Nova Corps on Rich and Wendell. Rich regains the Nova Force, gives the real Quasar back his Quantum Bands and purges Ego. The Worldmind reboots with a persona based on Ko-Rel (from ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST). In Shi’ar space, Garthan Saal – the mad Nova Omega – offers to free Malik Tarcel…
War of Kings #2Vulcan’s plans to use Nega-Bombs and his treatment of Lilandra tests Gladiator’s loyalty to the throne. Hala descends into violence as the Kree blame the Inhumans for the attack. Ronan comes around and tells Crystal he only agreed to ally with the Inhumans because he believes in Crystal who shows that she genuinely cares for the people. Maximus’ Chrorus Sentries powered by Black Bolt’s voice are sent to attack Shi’ar outposts. The Starjammers are victorious over a Shi’ar fleet and learn Lilandra’s location. Vulcan decides she must now die…
War of Kings: Ascension #1Darkhawk accompanies Talon to the depths of the Negative Zone. When they assault the Heteropteron fortress of Lord Catastrophus, Darkhawk finds he can reconfigure his armour but learns that the Raptors are actually cosmic assassins. Talon forces Chris Powell’s persona out of the Darkhawk armour, allowing the Raptor Razor to take control…
War of Kings: Ascension #2Talon & Razor kill Catastrophus, but allow the growing infant Annihilus to live. The two Raptors head to Prison 42 to give the Cosmic Control Rod to Blastaar in exchange for an alliance. Meanwhile, Chris Powell’s consciousness battles metaphorical and literal demons…
Guardians of the Galaxy #13Adam Warlock returns to the Guardians who split into two teams to try to end the Inhuman-Shi’ar War. Star-Lord’s squad appeal to the Inhuman Royal Family, but they refuse to stop. Rocket Racoon’s team run into the Starjammers and agree to help rescue Lilandra. Adam Warlock is accidentally teleported into Vulcan’s flagship and comes under direct attack from him…
War of Kings #3Admiral Ka’ardum convinces Vulcan not to kill Lilandra. The war holds back the proposed Uplift Programme that would see the Terrigen Mists used to evolve the Kree, despite Crystal urging it to happen now. The Guardians of the Galaxy join forces with the Starjammers to rescue Lilandra, fighting Gladiator until he relents and swears loyalty to her over Vulcan.
Guardians of the Galaxy #14 The Inhumans demand the Guardians’ arrest when their meeting turns sour. Warlock begins to show a darker side as he taps into magical energies that help him survive Vulcan and the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. Star-Lord’s squad and Warlock return to Knowhere, but they’re followed by the Inhumans and the Imperial Guard…
Must ReadsTitle & Issue NumberSynopsis & First Appearances
War of Kings #4Vulcan is saved from a Chorus Sentry by the Raptor called Talon who promises to serve him. Ronan & Crystal grow closer. Lilandra returns to Chandilar to regain the support of her people and return to the throne, heading to the temple to renew her oath. On the way, the Shi’ar Death Commandos assault those loyal to Lilandra while Talon murders her…
War of Kings: Ascension #3After a brief confrontation, the Raptors send Blastaar to dethrone Ravenous in the positive matter universe for their master, Emperor Vulcan. Razor heads to Chandilar to assainate Lilandra. When Chris Powell regains control of the Darkhawk armour, he’s accused of murdering Lilandra by Gladiator and Havok…
Guardians of the Galaxy #15As the fight on Knowhere escalates, the Inhumans teleport away. A new persona begins to take over Warlock. Moondragon frees Starhawk to beat back the Imperial Guard, aided by Rocket’s squad as they return to Knowhere. Later, Knowhere wakes up and warns Adam Warlock that the fate of all existence depends on him…
Nova #26Rich Rider is now Nova Prime. He heads into the warzone and kills Warstar and destroys a Shi’ar ship to save his fellow centurions and get them home. In Kree space, Robbie Rider allies with Triton’s New Inhuman Elite and learns the fate of hundreds of Nova centurions who faced Strontian of the Shi’ar Praetorian Elite. Strontian easily defeats Ravenous to claim his territory, but Robbie pins her with a gravimetric bubble with the intention of arresting her for war crimes. But can he hold her?
War of Kings #5Against advice from Ka’ardum and Talon, Vulcan refuses to stand down and sue for peace with the Inhumans. Instead he decides to confront them directly. Gladiator tears through the remaining Death Commandos, Marvel Girl kills Black Cloak – the Commando who murdered her family (during DECIMATION). Crystal & Ronan beg for an alternative plan when they discover Black Bolt’s move to weaponise the Terrigen Mists against the Shi’ar instead of uplifting the Kree. Black Bolt departs aboard the T-Bomb rocket as Maximus reveals that it’s powered by Black Bolt’s voice and its detonation will cost the Inhumans’ leader his life. But as he charges the rocket, Vulcan bursts into the vessel…
Nova #27Blastaar only allows Rich Rider and his Nova Centurions 15 minutes to find Robbie Ryder. Rich negotiates time to find Robbie. Ravenous tries to kill Strontian while she’s restrained. Rich Rider – Nova Prime – arrives in time to beat back a swarm of Negative Zone creatures, but Strontian is free…
War of Kings: Ascension #4Darkhawk is hounded by Gladiator and the Starjammers for the murder of Lilandra. He escapes by returning to human form. Talon realises Vulcan is a madman. Darkhawk attacks Talon and frees his Skrull host who sacrifices himself to prevent Talon’s return. But Darkhawk is still believed to be responsible for Lilandra’s death and goes on the run…
Guardians of the Galaxy #16Starhawk and a handful of Guardians are transported to the end of space & time where the meet the original Guardians of the Galaxy. On the last chunk of Earth with only Avengers Mansion to house them, the two teams defend themselves from a Badoon attack and witness the entire Celestial Host strapped to the Earth’s sun as an engine to hold back the Fault. As it all comes to an end, Star-Lord sends a message back in time to warn about the Fault…
War of Kings #6On Chandilar, Gladiator finds Lilandra’s sceptre and is hailed by the people as Majestor. Black Bolt & Vulcan fight it out as the T-Bomb continues to power up. Black Bolt yells at Vulcan just as he is about to claim victory, tearing away most of his flesh. Crystal teleports in with Lockjaw and makes the Terrigen Crystals inert. As they try to teleport out again with Black Bolt before the bomb explodes, the withered Vulcan snatches Black Bolt away. Crystal & Lockjaw are safe, but the detonation consumes Vulcan and Black Bolt and tears open a hole – a Fault – in space and time.
Nova #28While Nova fights with Strontian, the rest of the Praetorian Elite arrive. The Centurions narrowly defeat them and free Raza from the Symbiote Zzxz. Nova Prime uses a psionic dampener to beat Strontian. Nova outwits Blastaar to enable the group to leave with their prisoners. As Nova Prime, Rich Rider announces his approval of the new Nova Corps and officially makes Robbie a member. But they soon learn of the Fault and the existence of a missing Nova Corps Starship inside it…
Guardians of the Galaxy #17The remaining Guardians of the Galaxy try to convince the Inhumans that their actions threaten to destroy the universe when they receive Star-Lord’s message from the future. A giant tentacled creature reaches out and attacks all it touches. Adam Warlock summons the power to send the creature back, but Martyr kills Warlock to make good on her pact with Oblivion. Gamora kills Martyr in retaliation, then a much darker Warlock wakes and breaks her neck. Adam Warlock is gone. Now there’s only Adam Magus
Guardians of the Galaxy #18 (tie-in)An alternate future Guardians of the Galaxy and Killraven defend Earth from alien oppressors and are joined by Star-Lord’s time-lost team. They time-jump again to a timeline ruled by an evil Adam Warlock
Guardians of the Galaxy #19 (tie-in)Star-Lord’s Guardians ally with Kang the Conqueror. He gives them a Cosmic Cube and sends them back in time to the moment before Martyr killed Warlock. But they have the timing all wrong as Adam actually became the Magus months earlier. He impales Martyr with her own sword and kills Mantis, Cosmo & Vance Astro. Star-Lord uses the Cosmic Cube to hold Adam Magus back then shoots him in the head.
War of Kings: Who Will Rule? #1Gladiator orders the arrest of Lilandra’s killer, but still refuses to accept the Shi’ar throne. Crystal of the Inhumans thinks the role will fall to her. Gladiator ends a fight between Kree and Shi’ar at Lilandra’s funeral that leads to Crystal giving him the role as Shi’ar Majestor. A disguised Talon also coerces Gladiator into the role and departs. Elsewhere, Adam Magus still lives and has his own plans to rule the universe…

Must ReadsIssue & FalloutEvent / Crossover
Skaar: Son of Hulk #8-10 (2009)
Skaar continues his mission to kill every killer on Sakaar.
Nova #29-30 (2009)
The Worldmind loses control of Ego the Living Planet, forcing the Nova Corps to relocate.

Realm of Kings #1 (2010)
Quasar (Wendell Vaughn) the first to enter the Fault, revealing it to be a rift in the time-space continuum that exposes Reality-616 to other universes, including the Cancerverse (Earth-10011); Project PEGASUS is revealed to have been reopened.

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 (2010)
A select crew of Imperial Guard and Starjammers team up to explore the Fault; Warstar is revealed to have been repaired and is back online.

Nova #32-35 (2010)
Nova pursues the fugitive Darkhawk, only to be drawn into the Fault when they clash with another Raptor.

Guardians of the Galaxy #20-22 (2010)
Moondragon reawakens; the Guardians of the Galaxy fall prey to a creature from the Cancerverse; Adam Magus is revealed to be alive and in charge of the Universal Church of Truth; Cosmo, Gamora, Major Victory, Mantis & Martyr are revealed to be alive.
Avengers: The Initiative #25 (2009)
Vector is revealed to have survived his encounter with Darkhawk.
Marvel Divas #1-4 (2009)
Angelica Jones resumes her Firestar identity.
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #1 (2010)
The Inhumans explore the Fault in search of Black Bolt; as predicted, Blastaar’s forces immediately turn against the Inhumans and the Kree.

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5 (2010)
Medusa assets her rule over the Kree and Inhumans.

Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 (2010)
Gladiator confronts Talon over the death of Lilanrda Neramani, proving his guilt; the effectively clears Darkhawk’s name.
Uncanny X-Men #517 (2010)
The shards of the Phoenix Force inhabiting the Stepford Cuckoos also leave them (in a similar way to Marvel Girl) and return to space.
Realm of Kings: Son of Hulk #1-4 (2010)
Hiro-Kala of Sakaar is pulled into the Fault and ends up in the Microverse due to his father’s legacy in that world.
Fantastic Four #587-588 (2011)
The fully-grown Annihilus returns when the Cult of the Negative Zone open the Negative Zone portal in the Baxter Building; the Future Foundation can only watch as the Human Torch sacrifices himself to prevent another Annihilation Wave entering Earth.
Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 (2011)
Blastaar claims Prison 42 as his citadel.
Guardians of the Galaxy #24 (2010)
Adam Warlock is not inside the cocoon held by the Universal Truth, as Martyr discovers when Thanos bursts from it and immediately kills her.
Thanos Imperative: Ignition #1 (2010)
The Cancerverse begins its full-scale invasion of Reality-616 through the Fault; the fate of Adam Magus is decided.

Thanos Imperative #1-6 (2010-2011)
The Fault is sealed at great cost, saving Reality-616 from the Cancerverse.
FF #5-7 (2011)
The Inhumans return to Earth, setting Attilan up in the Himalayas again; Black Bolt is revealed to be alive, having survived his conflict with Vulcan.
Avengers Academy #20 (2011)
Julie Power returns to her Lightspeed identify when she joins the Avengers Academy.
Avengers Academy #21 (2012)
Mikki Musashi returns to her Turbo identify when she joins the Avengers Academy; Johnny Gallo becomes Ricochet again and signs up alongside her.
Marvel Point One #1 (2012)
The fully-restored Phoenix Force begins its journey towards Earth.
Avengers vs X-Men #0 (2012)
The Phoenix Force returns at full power.
X-Men Legacy #258 (2012)
Havok, Marvel Girl and Polaris return to Earth.
FF #21 (2012)
Black Bolt orders the separation of Crystal and Ronan, much to their regret, as part of a truce with the Supreme Intelligence.
Avengers #1 (2013)
A new, Earth-born Smasher is revealed to have replaced her deceased counterpart in the Shi’ar Imperial Guard.
Infinity #3-4 (2013)
When Thanos discovers the existence of his son Thane, he comes to Earth in search of him; Black Bolt activates another Terrigen Bomb which unleashes the Terrigen Mists across Earth and activates all Inhuman hybrids, including Thane.
Revolutionary War: Death’s Head II #1 (2014)
Dr Evelyn Necker reasserts her allegiance to AIM.
All-New X-Men #23 (2014)
Corsair (Christopher Summers) is revealed to be alive.  

Guardians of the Galaxy #14 (2014)
The future Guardians of the Galaxy (Earth-691) – with Vance Astro back among their number – continue to experience temporal instability.
X-Men #18 (2014)
Deathbird returns when the X-Men discover her floating in space, having been experimented on and her paralysis technologically ‘fixed’.

X-Men #19-22 (2014-2015)
Deathbird is revealed to be pregnant with Vulcan’s child; the Kree captured and experimented on her, infusing the unborn Shi’ar/mutant hybrid with Kree DNA.
Cyclops #4 (2014)
Corsair is revealed to have been resurrected (at the insistence of Hepzibah) as a techno-organic cyborg and must ingest nano-machine pills to survive.
Guardians of the Galaxy #23 (2015)
The Symbiote race are first referred as the Klyntar.
Spider-Man and the X-Men #4-5 (2015)
The pregnant Deathbird is infected with an alien Symbiote (Klyntar); she’s defeated by Spider-Man and the X-Men and taken into custody.
Avengers #35 (2014)
A new Nightside is revealed to have replaced her deceased counterpart in the Shi’ar Imperial Guard.
Drax #6-8 (2016)
Drax is finally reunited with Cammi Benally when she and fellow mercenary Planet Terry are hired by Pip the Troll to being him in.
Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 (2016)
It’s revealed that Jack Flag has returned to Earth.

Mighty Thor #15 (2017)
A new Hobgoblin is revealed to have replaced her deceased counterpart in the Shi’ar Imperial Guard.
Free Comic Book Day: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (2017)
The Fraternity of Raptors are revealed to have become free agents, minus their android armour.
All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #11 (2017)
Talon-R of the Fraternity of Raptors is revealed to be Robbie Rider, formerly of the Nova Corps.
Guardians of the Galaxy #150 (2018)
Adam Warlock is reborn in the Soul World and emerges from a cocoon in Reality-616.
Darkhawk #51 (2018)
Darkhawk clashes with the Fraternity of Raptors again, this time led by Lord Talonar (Robbie Rider).
Death of the Inhumans #2-3 (2018)
Ronan apologises for coming into conflict with the Inhumans on more than one occasion after his separation from Crystal; Block Bolt accepts his apology and puts the injured Ronan out of his misery.
Mr and Mrs X #1-5 (2018-2019)
The genetic material of Lilanrda Nermani and Professor X is revealed to have been used to create a child, initially taking the form of an egg; the child is born, taking the name Xandra Neramani.
X-Men #1 (2019)
Vulcan is among the mutants inhabiting the Krakoan habitat called the Summer House on the Blue Area of the Moon.

New Mutants #2-7 (2020)
Gladiator passes the role of Majestor of the Shi’ar to Xandra Neramani, making her Majestrix; Deathbird is brought in by Gladiator as an advisor and gives birth to the child she conceived with Vulcan.
X-Men #10 (2020)
Rather than being one of the resurrected mutants of Krakoa, it’s revealed that Vulcan actually survived his confrontation with Black Bolt and fell into the Fault; he was found and dissected by aliens who ‘fixed’ his mind, subduing his true self and bringing a new, more optimistic persona to the fore.
Venom #200 (2021)
The Fault is briefly reopened, but is sealed again by Venom’s Symbiote Hive to prevent the Cancerverse from re-emerging.
X-Men Red #1-3 (2022)
Vulcan’s true persona inevitably begins to break through as his more murderous side takes hold and he insists he should be Majestor of the Shi’ar Empire; Vulcan is killed by Tarn the Uncaring.
X-Men Red #9 (2023)
Following his resurrection, Vulcan is reunited with Deathbird and insists on seeing his child; Deathbird only reveals that the child is is a safe location, far from Vulcan, the Shiar Empire and herself.

See how this story fits into the wider Marvel Universe continuity with these reading orders:

Reading Order ©OmniverseComicsGuide 2023

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