Last year Marvel launched one of its biggest events of 2013 (well, there were like three huge events and they pretty much followed each other), Infinity. The Builders went insane or something and sent out their armies to cleanse the galaxy. Thanos took advantage of the situation to lay siege to Earth and his forces went up against Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans. The end result was that although the Mad Titan was defeated, Black Bolt was forced to destroy his city and this in turn let loose the Terrigen Mists on Earth. Out of this spins Marvel’s latest event, Inhumanity.
Inhuman #1 has had a bit of a troubled history. Matt Fraction was originally the writer but then it was revealed that he and editorial didn’t agree on what direction to take so his scripts were scrapped and Charles Soule, the crazy mad-man of comics was brought in. Crazy mad-man as in he sunlights as a lawyer and moonlights as a comics writer on like a dozen titles. Which is helluva scary. Either way, the first issue of this new event series arrived yesterday and it proved to be better than expected as far as the writing is concerned, since I didn’t like the art so much, being a bit too T&A for my tastes.
The Terrigen Mists are meant to unlock genetic potential in humans, a legacy of experiments carried out by the alien Kree on prehistoric humans which resulted in the birth of the Inhumans, who later split into two tribes, the pure Inhumans and those who went away to mingle with Earth’s other human tribes. And now, the Terrigen Mists are loose on the planet, and have already caused quite an upheaval in the superhero world. The All-New X-Men and Superior Spider-Man books have already seen this, even as we got two one-shots last year to the same effect. In the new series here, Charles Soule explores what Queen Medusa of the Inhumans is doing to save all these new Inhumans, who have no idea who they are, what they are. And matters are complicated by a lone ranger, a man belonging to a long-split group of Inhumans, who is going around collecting the new Inhumans.
The issue is quite thin on the characterisation since the story skips around between different cast members, not all of whom are permanent as such things go. Queen Medusa’s entry into the story is puzzling as well since there’s no setup of it, of any kind. There was Matt Fraction’s Inhumanity #2 last year which was a very Medusa-centric issue and at the end of it I noted some concerns about the switch between writers and Medusa’s story being left by the wayside. That does seem to have happened but thankfully it is not drastic.
Either way, and despite not being all that big a fan of Soule’s other work that I’ve read so far, I quite liked this issue. The story seems incredibly focused at the moment so the scope is quite small, but there are lots of interesting things to see here and I’m really looking forward to seeing how everything goes upside. I’m particularly looking at brand-new Inhuman Dante and his normal sister Gabby for this, to see where Charles Soule takes their stories. And whether he is going to bring in the other surviving Inhumans into the story or not.
The bottomline though is that right now Inhuman #1 is simply a decent issue in terms of the writing. The narrow-focus means that it doesn’t feel like an event comic, certainly not without any real big-name characters appearing here and significant portions of the issue given over to exposition. But there are a few things to keep one interested nevertheless.
Joe Madureira does the pencils here with Marte Gracia does the colours and VC’s Clayton Cowles handling the letters. The art didn’t exactly wow me here. As far as male characters are concerned, Joe’s character work is strong, but whenever it comes to female characters especially those like Medusa herself, the characterwork goes toward the bombshell-type body, which just put me off. And the ostensible villain here, Lash, didn’t really stand out. He was big and muscular and that’s it. Nothing really defining. Marte’s colours however are pretty spot on and they fill in for some of my disappointment with the pencils.
Overall though, this doesn’t quite feel like an event comic. There isn’t any hook to bring a reader back for a second issue, but as with any event comic, one the story gets its hooks into you, you are going to come back eventually. So hopefully the second issue improves significantly.