UNCANNY INHUMANS #0
Written by Charles Soule and Ryan Stegman
Art by Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, Justin Ponsor, Clayton Cowles, Ryan Lee, and James Campbell
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: April 1, 2015
This new series ties into the elaborate world Charles Soule has been building in the pages of Inhuman. New Inhumans, or NuHumans, have been emerging around the globe due to the effects of Terrigen Mist. Black Bolt went missing and was presumed dead, and Medusa ruled New Attilan, the Inhumans’ capital, on her own. Black Bolt recently returned, but Medusa does not see him as fit to be king or her consort.
While Medusa has been the primary character in Inhuman, here Soule moves Black Bolt to center stage. Soule acquaints new readers with a significant character in Black Bolt and Medusa’s lives: Ahura, their son. The plot also involves Ennilux, a mysterious Inhuman-run corporation that is hunting down new Inhumans while they’re in a literal cocoon state of Terrigenesis. We only get a small taste of what Ennilux is up to in this issue, but it’s clear that the corporation will play a major role. I like that Soule introduces both Ahura and Ennilux here with enough detail to show why they’re relevant to the story, without weighing us down with information.
Black Bolt gets to show off his power set in this issue, which is a great way for new readers to discover both his abilities and his stoic, intimidating presence. Because this issue reads like a Black Bolt solo story, it’s reminiscent of two other Marvel heroes who are the strong and silent type: Wolverine and Captain America. Soule reunites with his collaborators from the recent Death of Wolverine event: Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, and Justin Ponsor. These three stellar artists make Black Bolt look fantastic, especially in close-ups of his face, and when he is posed standing over a bunch of hired thugs.
From the first page, Ponsor sets the stage with a misty turquoise cloud that envelops a city in a valley. I wish McNiven had chosen to do more wide-angle landscape views, because this lush opening panorama looks fantastic and instantly pulls in the reader. McNiven also excels at capturing Medusa’s displeased facial expressions when she confronts Black Bolt.
We get one additional surprise: a backup story written by veteran Inhuman artist Ryan Stegman, featuring two characters we’ve come to know and love in that title, Iso and Flint. Both are young, new Inhumans learning how to use their powers. Flint has not had much panel time compared to his peers, so it’s a nice surprise to see him get focused development.
This issue serves as a prologue to upcoming Inhuman-related stories, and effectively piques our interest. Black Bolt is a fascinating character because of his frightening power set, his mantle of responsibility, and his complicated relationship with Medusa. Soule highlights all three of these facets in one straightforward solo story. McNiven, Leisten, and Ponsor keep up the visual tension, whether it’s a big fight scene or a hushed conversation. Soule is a master storyteller, and Uncanny Inhumans is a captivating story.
The Verdict: 9.0/10