Review: INHUMANITY #2

INHUMANITY #2
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Nick Bradshaw
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 29, 2014

INHUMANITY2013002_DC11_LRMedusa, Queen of the Inhumans, stands before a broken people charting an unknown path. Will she rise to the challenge and rally the Inhumans once more?

That very question is what Matt Fraction explores in Inhumanity #2, further priming the Marvel U for the upcoming Inhuman by Charles Soule and Joe Madureira. Fraction’s Medusa is confused, yet strong, rallying because she has to for her people. Her royal nature is written well by Fraction, with the burden of fixing the current state of the Inhumans weighing heavily on the Queen. Fraction quickly takes Medusa and her people from grieving and mourning to acting, and as the issue progresses the strength of the Inhumans starts to show. These are a proud people and Fraction writes that well. He places some well timed comedy in the issue to keep the story from being a completely somber look at the broken kingdom, but for the most part this is a serious look at the state of the Inhuman union. Fraction’s take on Medusa and the Inhumans in this comic reminds me of many incarnations of the X-Men. Medusa is a leader striving to protect her people in a world that is afraid of them, currently without a home and a wave of new members who, themselves, are confused and have unpredictable powers. Though the concept is similar it does feel different enough due to the cast involved, but the plot outside of Medusa’s role is fairly standard and one we’ve read before many times. One of the strengths of last issue, Karnak’s prophetical ramblings, is noticeably missing in this issue to differentiate what is happening in Inhumanity from events readers have seen in the past.

Nick Bradshaw, the primary artist on the issue, provides art that is well crafted, but doesn’t capture the tone of the story all that well. The art is never poor, but the emotional aspect of Medusa’s decision to rally is nowhere to be seen in this art. The first part of the issue, dealing with a broken Inhuman nation, lacks the emotional impact to give this story a lot of weight. The comedic portions of the comic are pitch perfect, as they are more in line with Bradshaw’s work and style on Wolverine and the X-Men, but the serious and emotional beats are just off somewhat and don’t hit home. The colour work by Antonio Fabela & Andres Mossa is bright and dynamic, making the Inhuman diversity leap from the page (and Medusa’s hair looks wild) but it also takes away from the serious elements of this story. Medusa is torn and trying to be strong for her people, and that just does not come across in the art.

Inhumanity #2 pushes the crossover event forward and drives the story closer to Inhuman, but in the end the struggle Medusa is going through does not come through with much emotional heft. The Inhuman race is in a time of turmoil and it was entertaining to read them progress forward, but it does feel like this comic just didn’t hit the mark to fully flesh out this story. Inhuman fans will definitely enjoy the focus on Medusa and the build-up of what is to come in the following issues of Inhumanity.

The Verdict: 6.0/10

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