I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It contains the majority of what you need to know. There are moments in the book when Nova & the Guardians appear that seem odd without having read their respective books but that does not take away from the overall story.
The first third of the book contains the main series along with the Secret Invasion prelude. The art & writing throughout the series is brilliant. The art particularly comes into it's own in the final confrontations. The story is mainly seen through the point of view of Gladiator & Crystal. There are some big surprises particularly the death of a cosmic mainstay. The ending also leads in to the next possible series.
The second third deals with Darkhawk and I must admit I didn't know much about this character going in but now I'm very interested in seeing where his character goes next. Once again the art is brilliant and the reinvention of the character & creating a new history for him is very intriguing. The main gripe I have is the ending with this contradicts the ending of the main series (or it could be the other way round).
The final third is a collection of stories. The issue about Skaar is obviously trying to connect that world to the main Marvel cosmos. The Gladiator & Lilandra issues are the most enjoyable of the Warriors four short stories and maybe it's fitting that the lost scene of the hardcover should belong to Lilandra.
Totally agree with the first contributor. Abnett & Lanning have made galactic stories their own and never cease to amaze. The sheer scope and size of this edition makes it worth every penny. Even though there are a couple of filler stories at the end, written by Christos Gage amongst others, the main storyline, including the Darkhawk segment is, to my mind one of the best examples of Marvel's cross-title epics.
Whilst it is helpful to have read some of the back story, such as Inhumans, Secret Invasion it's not necessary. If you, like me, have grown through many years with the Inhumans being used sporadically and with selective success, it is really satisfying to see them really let loose. The characters are soundly built on previous storylines, but what DnA have done is taken each character within the Inhumans royal family and stretched their core characteristics in a realisitc way, given the situatiions that they find themselves in. Using Crystal as their narrator is a stroke of genius.
All in all, a great read and at 500 pages well worth the investment if you like space opera at its best.
Having been following the story from the X-Men perspective for years, I had huge hopes for this (even though I've never been a big fan of the Inhumans).
And what a disappointment. The core story is ok I guess, but this is padded out with lots of side stories, of which the worst is Darkhawk. Please! Not on the same plane of existence as the whole Vulcan/ Imperial Guard / Starjammers theme.
And the death at the end.... I am assuming this isn't forever (in classic Marvel style, who stays dead? Even D'Ken came back from the past, albeit briefly, though Christopher Summers still seems dead).
There is a follow up story to this and I'm intrigued to see what's done with Vulcan (and Blackbolt) now (if anything) but I'm not going to be rushing out to buy it.