Back in July 2013, Marvel announced that their next huge crossover event would be ‘Inhumanity’, which chronicles the fallout of Black Bolt’s actions at the end of ‘Infinity’ that resulted in the birth of a whole new generation of Inhumans. However, the event’s flagship book, ‘Inhuman’, was postponed in December 2013 and writer Matt Fraction was replaced by Charles Soule shortly after that. But now that first issue has finally hit the shelves of our local comic shops and we get to dig deeper into the lives of various Inhumans, new and old, all over the world.
‘Inhuman’ #1 opens with the Terrigen Mists reaching Norway. As the mysterious cloud crawls through that country leaving cocoons in it’s wake, it continues to spread westward from New York City out to Illinois. It’s there that two sides of the Inhuman culture meet as Queen Medusa and mysterious warrior Lash descend upon the small Midwestern town to try and sway a new Inhuman named Dante into joining their sides.
The first thing that stands out is the artwork in this book. Joe Madureira has a terrifyingly beautiful style that gives a very dark, sinister tone to the panels. When his characters get mad, you feel that anger in their eyes, especially when it comes to Lash. In some panels, he almost reminds me of a ‘Tekken’ or ‘Street Fighter’ character. But then on the flip side, his take on the Medusa is gorgeous. Whereas some of the other figures are rigid and tough, the Queen of the Inhumans has a softness about her, while still maintaining an intimidating edge. I’d say that even though the face may look peaceful, the different ways that the artist positioned the former FF member’s dangerous hair probably contributes to that.
But another contribution to the excellent artwork is colorist Marte Gracia. From the greens of the Terrigen Mist to the red of Medussa’s hair to the orange/yellow of Dante’s fire, there is some really excellent coloring going on in this book. Gracia compliments Madureira’s work nicely and enhances the emotion in each character’s eyes.
Now, when it comes to the story in this issue, it didn’t really pop out to me as much as the artwork. It’s cool to see the effects of the Terrigen Mists outside of New York and so far the new characters introduced definitely have some potential, but nothing really stood out to me story-wise. The whole thing moved too slowly for my liking and there was a tad too much exposition when it came to Lash. Of course, some of that is unavoidable as the writer has to explain these things for new readers, but it’s like they pulled a ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and explained the origins of this story a couple of times, which is definitely unnecessary. That being said, this series has the potential to get better now that the point of view and the characters’ intentions have been firmly established.
The one thing working against ‘Inhuman’ #1 was all the hype and delays. It even says on the cover that Marvel’s latest epic begins here, but the first installment didn’t feel too epic. Although, just because issue one was a bit underwhelming doesn’t mean that things can improve later on. Hopefully it picks up as the series continues because the reinvention and expansion of the Inhumans is an interesting premise that deserves to be presented in something awesome.
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Joe Madureira & Marte Gracia