This week on The Marvel Rundown nothing is new…so that means we can just hang up this column and leave it out to dry…right? Wrong. There is a lot going on in All-New, All-Different Marvel and taking opportunities to check back in with comics that have been running for a few months is a good way to get a read on Marvel’s pulse.
Before we get down to business, there’s no way that I can’t call attention to last week’s best Marvel book, Mockingbird #2. The first issue was already an impressively plotted, uniquely drawn and written comic– but this one brought in some additional elements and sustained the quirky personality. If my first recommendation wasn’t enough, hopefully this second will entice you to take a look at the series written by novelist Chelsea Cain with art from Kate Niemczyk.
One comic in particular has been improving since it’s debut: The Uncanny Inhumans. The comic written by Charles Soule (Daredevil) and drawn by a rotating cast of artists including Steve McNiven (Civil War) and Brandon Peterson (Ultimate X-Men) has finally lived up to its status as the flagship title of the Inhumans line. This book has not yet been swept up into a huge event like the X-Books have. It even featured the return of The Quiet Room, last seen in the excellent Inhumans: Attilan Rising comic by Soule. By getting back to some of those elements and taking time to familiarize readers with the cast, this comic has excelled.
The Uncanny Inhumans #7
Writer: Charles Soule Artist: Brandon Peterson
Colors: Java Tartaglia Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Initially, one of my main problems with this series was trying to wrap my head around all the status quo changes and brand new characters. A few months and issues have gone by since then though, and I feel like I have a slightly better grasp on at least a few of the newbies now. In particular, the character of Reader has had lots of nice moments, which leads me to believe that Soule has created an Inhumans character that can become a permanent fixture in the larger Inhumans canon.
As mentioned above, the return of The Quiet Room is a nice choice by Soule. Hopefully whoever continues with the book after his run will continue to use it. Soule has been using his Inhumans run to throw a lot of new characters, locales, and ideas at the wall to varied but largely positive effect. As time has gone on, it has become easier to see what might stick.
Frank McGee, otherwise known as Nur, is the star of this issue. While he first appeared in Soule’s 2014 Inhumans run, this is my first exposure to the character. The script provides a decent amount of backstory for new readers, which helps the character establish himself faster in the context of the story around him.
Brandon Peterson’s pencils are perfect for an ultra-slick detective story like The Uncanny Inhumans. The amount of detail he renders on every character makes this comic an enticing read. Backgrounds are generally more sparse, but Peterson’s detailed anatomical line work helps draw the eye away from the emptiness behind the characters. The meticulous way that he draws all the individual hairs on dogs and all the age lines on demons and monsters make him an exceptional choice for this ensemble book.
This comic is really only half a detective story, as political intrigue involving a corporation starts heating up later on in the issue. The affair really does feel like a Peter David (X-Factor) comic book with confident writing that propels the story just enough to keep things feeling fresh and interesting here. The baton is passed just far enough to keep readers guessing on what is happening next. For new readers that are unfamiliar with the Inhumans characters, this might not be a bad place to start. Soule crafts a clear narrative here and constantly explains some of the most confusing aspects of the issue. There were numerous points in reading this that I forgot I was reading an actual comic book, that’s high praise for a story with so many technical aspects.
All of this and then there’s next month’s issue #8, which teases more to come from the new Inhuman coupling between Medusa and Human Torch. Things are looking bright for The Uncanny Inhumans. Just look at issue #8’s Mahmud Asrar (All-New, All-Different Avengers) cover for visual proof of that.
That’s it for this week, but next week is very, very busy with the finale of Pleasant Hill and the debut of a Doctor Strange crossover– see you in seven days!