Marvel’s Avengers & X-Men: AXIS event has been a right headache for me. The whole “hero morality-inversion” really messed things up for a lot of characters, and none more so than Queen Medusa of New Attilan, the leader of the Inhumans and NuHumans. She became war-like and aggressive, deliberately courting disaster from the world powers while her people suffered and it was the only thing in Charles Soule’s recent issues that I didn’t like, the rest of the story and the art being pretty high on my list.
Last week’s Inhuman #11 brings an end to the whole inversion thing and it feels like such a letdown since for Medusa things are over in a snap and she’s back to her old self. Which just makes the whole inversion thing for her seem really contrived and pointless in the end. Thankfully, the arc with Reader and Xiaoyi was given the focus this time and ended up being really well done. And of course, Ryan Stegman and Richard Isanove’s art continued being great, so that was something to look forward as well.
Among the many things that happened on this title last month, one was a certain fight between Medusa and Spider-Man, which ended up being as entertaining as it was brutal and hard-fought. And we also found out that Reader was indeed a hero when he saved Xiaoyi from the Capo of Ennilux and the two of them went on the run. Now, in Inhuman #11, we see how it all pans out for these characters.
The scenes with Medusa were fairly good in this issue and I certainly liked the direction that Charles Soule was taking with all of it. But then, I just can’t seem to get myself behind the whole concept of the morality-inversion, especially since it has been fairly irritating in the last few issues of Inhuman since Medusa came back from the big fight against the Red Skull. And with that AXIS event ended, that means the inversion thing is done too and it is handled in a rather anti-climactic manner rather than something of import.
I mean seriously, Medusa at one point wanted to invade New York City and then march to the United Nation to make some demands of her own. That’s seriously messed up is what it is. And now she is back to her old self, with full knowledge of what all “she” did in that meantime when she was a villain instead of being a her. It adds some interesting nuance to the story, sure, but since it is dealt with in such a matter-of-fact voice, that means little, honestly.
The bulk of the story is taken up with following Reader and Xiaoyi around as they try to escape all the men that the Capo of Ennilux has sent to him. Both of them are able to take over and carry through almost an entire issue, and that’s really great since Inhuman #11 also marks them becoming even bigger players in New Attilan’s game of politics with the American government and the United Nations as well.
These two characters in particular have rather grown on me, I’ll admit, and it is rather fun to see them in the lead as well. A nice welcoming distraction from what is happening with Medusa, and I really realized that Charles Soule had also been laying down the seeds for something much bigger later, and I definitely want to find out what, not to mention the fact that a… certain someone makes an appearance towards the end of the novel. That blew my mind.
Ryan Stegman is the artist here with Richard Isanove on the colours, VC’s Clayton Cowles on the letters, and Ryan on the cover as well, as is usual. The artwork was a bit rough in this issue, especially where Medusa is concerned since her current look with her hair really doesn’t suit her and it gives her a rather insectoid appearance as well, something that is really odd. But, I won’t deny that Ryan and Richard are great with the action scenes and with characters’ body language in general. That’s part of the fun of flipping through the book to find out something relevant!
This is fairly good, but it could also be a bit better I think. Some great moments here, but the execution is slightly lacking.