Charles Soule kicks off this issue by introducing a team of Inhumans we can sympathize with, and the effect feels almost like reading Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men #1 (2004). Naja, Frank, Inferno, and Flint are Inhumans with varying levels of experience with their superhuman abilities: Inferno and Flint have only just recently gained their powers. Frank, partially due to his appearance, fulfills a mentor role like Phil Coulson or Nick Fury, teaching these young superhumans how to fight.
The opening fight scene looks gorgeous, especially Naja, a character with a semi-reptilian appearance. Ryan Stegman draws amazing details: Naja’s torso looks like it has weathered, leathery texture. I love Stegman’s panel where our four Inhumans realize just how many goons from Ennilux, a corrupt corporation, they are dealing with. Stegman is a master at using panel layouts to move the story forward, even without text.
One of Stegman’s most beautiful panels is a close-up of the two most prominent Inhumans: Medusa and Black Bolt. Medusa has returned to New Attilan after shaking her hardened, inverted state from the AXIS event. Besides Medusa, the central character in this issue (and the current arc) is Iso, a young Inhuman girl who is on the run from Ennilux. Colorist Richard Isanove gives these characters signature looks: Iso’s gunmetal blue hair, Black Bolt’s glowing blue plasma-like energy radiating from his head, and Naja’s head and body.
I like what Soule does here: instead of the main conflict being Ennilux’s hunt for Iso, Medusa’s indignance at Black Bolt’s assumption that things can return to normal — i.e., with him on the throne — is fantastic writing. Also, Naja and Iso have potential for solid, long-lasting friendship, a la Kitty Pryde and Magik.
I am so impressed with what Soule, Stegman, Isanove, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles are creating here. This is entertaining, perfectly paced writing and attractive, memorable art.
The Verdict: 9.0/10