Marvel is adamantly trying to push the Inhumans as their premiere X-Men team, even stealing the adjective from their former property. Frankly, who could blame them with the Inhuman film coming in-house from Marvel studios as part of phase three. Marvel is even trying to rival the amount of Inhuman and X-Men titles being published with the introduction of this second ongoing known as Uncanny Inhumans with Steve McNiven artwork to boot. The publisher is even gearing up for a third title with Attilan Rising. Of course all of these stories are written by the one-man work horse known as Charles Soule – so hopefully each will be fulfilling a different sort of niche within the stable of Marvel Comics.
Soule starts his story in Portugal with a group of locals taking out the cocoons of the Inhumans. This story starts to diverge from Inhuman (the previous ongoing) when Black Bolt takes center stage. Anybody that needs to test the mettle of the writing from Soule need look no further than the scene with Black Bolt and Medusa in this issue. It’s the kind of confrontation that I have been waiting for during an extended period of time. For those that may be new to the Inhumans, Black Bolt is mute. Therefore, the hero needs to say a lot with his own actions. Soule and McNiven come up with numerous ways for their leading man to interact with their surroundings. Soule even introduces a fascinating new way for Black Bolt to interact with his environment within this tale. He perfectly utilizes the changing nature of the Marvel Universe to start showing the new Inhumans team start to change to their environment.
On a side note, I’m looking forward to the way that the comics will reflect the recent events of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. into the continuity. With so many Inhumans starting to spread their wings amongst that show, it’s fantastic to see the two starting to intersect with each other. It also seems that reading Soule’s Inhuman will enhance your understanding of this story as well. The new characters in the back-up tale are heroes from that series, but there is a deeper tie between Uncanny Inhumans and Inhuman that will likely bleed back into this story eventually. There’s a lot of crossover between these various properties, but it’s still up to the reader to decide whether or not they are interested enough to follow every little piece of the Inhuman lore.
Something should be noted regarding how Soule seems to so perfectly be able to write for McNiven. He pairs down the dialogue, and plays up the big expansive moments as such. This is good cinematic comics that would be excellent to give readers who are also trying to get a read into who the Inhumans are. This all seems especially appropriate right now as we are at the very cusp of Secret Wars, which this issue tackles head-on. McNiven’s art has a special sort of poignancy within this tale as well – noting the bleak interactions of Black Bolt and others.
The storyline written by Ryan Stegman and drawn by Ryan Lee is a good way to expand on the franchise, sort of teasing readers what they missed in Inhuman. The tale includes a few extremely notable characters for those with a watchful eye!
Inhuman is the book centered around the Royal Inhuman family that I’ve been waiting for. Black Bolt and Medusa are the Kate and William of the Marvel Universe even if they are a little…Inhuman!