- Writer: Charles Soule
- Penciller: Steve McNiven
- Inker: Jay Leisten
- Colorist: Justin Ponsor
- Letterer: Clayton Cowles
I’ve got to hand it to Marvel Comics, they’re really giving it their all to make the Inhumans into a thing. And unlike that Mean Girls meme, there’s still a very good chance that the Inhumans are going to be a thing.
If they can keep up the quality of Uncanny Inhumans #0, then maybe the Inhumans will have the impact that Marvel so desperately wants them to have. This is a tense, emotional issue that establishes Black Bolt’s place in the world ahead of Secret Wars. And while a lot will change at Marvel in the upcoming crossover, this issue is likely a glimpse at what’s to come.
The Inhumans have been all over the place in the past few months, to varying success. The flagship series, Inhuman, stumbled out of the starting gate when promised writer Matt Fraction walked off the book. Soule was brought in to pick up the slack and keep the series on track, but personally, I didn’t care for Soule’s Inhuman. It wasn’t my cup of tea. Still, personal opinions aside, the series is going strong with stories about Queen Medusa and the Nu-humans, and it has already been announced as coming back to Marvel after Secret Wars.
On the silver screens, both big and small, the Inhumans are part of Wave 3 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a movie planned for 2019. And the Inhumans have taken over the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and are, quite frankly, the coolest part of that show.
So it makes perfect sense for Marvel to launch a second Inhumans comic. The X-Men have had multiple comics for years, why not spread the Inhuman wealth? With Medusa and company locked up in Inhuman, there is more than enough room for the silent king, Black Bolt, to get his own series. There are a lot of Black Bolt fans out there, and Soule and McNiven really get to the heart and power of the character in this issue.
With incursions and secret wars threatening the Marvel Universe, Black Bolt wants to make things right with his family, even if they absolutely hate him for his actions several months ago, when he teleported his people to parts unknown and exploded a Terrigen Bomb in the heart of Attilan. Now the world is crawling with new Inhumans, some of whom are being kidnapped and exploited by evil-doers — and this issue opens with Black Bolt kicking a few of their evil-doing butts, in grand style.
The issue really picks up when Black Bolt visits his family. First up is his wife, Medusa, and their marriage is definitely on the rocks these days. It’s a powerful scene when Medusa, full of rage at her husband, lets him have it, while Black Bolt is forced to silently take the abuse. But even then, their relationship is a thing of beauty, because even while angry at him, Medusa can understand every subtle tic. And soon Black Bolt is on a quest to find their son, Ahura, who was sent away several months ago.
The Inhuman teleporter sends Black Bolt to a mysterious castle in the middle of the desert, which is defended by both medieval archers and early 20th century artillery. Strange, yes? Well Black Bolt doesn’t so much fight his way through them as simply wash over the defenses like a one-man tidal wave, and with McNiven’s pencils and Ponsor’s colors, it is a thing of terrible beauty.
I won’t spoil the identity of the castle’s resident, only that it’s a classic Marvel villain, with whom Black Bolt has a truly captivating conversation. If you, like me, are a fan of villains who have more depth and character than just a raging lunatic, then this is a great scene. And Ahura is definitely at the castle, in the care of the villain, so father and son get a few scenes together as well. Even though he can’t speak, Black Bolt’s presence is more than enough to command a scene.
As #0 issues go, Uncanny Inhumans is off to a great start. Whether or not this quality can be maintained in the actual series is obviously not yet known. But if they can keep the focus on Black Bolt this strong, if they can hold this kind of emotional depth, then Marvel might just be able to make the Inhumans a thing.
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