Review: UNCANNY INHUMANS #1

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UNCANNY INHUMANS #1
Written by Charles Soule
Art by Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, and Sunny Gho
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 21, 2015

The Inhumans are a group of Marvel characters who have played second fiddle to humans (such as the Avengers) and mutants (such as the X-Men) for decades. Since 2013, Marvel has featured Inhumans more prominently. Most important of all are the race’s king and queen, Black Bolt and Medusa. In this series debut, Charles Soule introduces us to the two monarchs and the characters who surround them.

This issue is split up into two scenes with opposite tones. The first is Black Bolt on a time-traveling adventure with two Inhumans loyal to him, Reader and Triton. It’s a serious story with exposition that explains the Inhumans’ origin. The second scene is Medusa with four “NuHumans,” or Inhumans whose powers recently manifested: Iso, Inferno, Flint, and Grid. Medusa’s scenes have a lot more humor, and are much more fun to read.

If you’re a fan of younger superhero teams such as the Jean Grey School’s X-Men or the Young Avengers, you’ll enjoy the interaction between these NuHumans. As Medusa takes the NuHumans out on essentially a field trip to fight aliens in Central Park, the mentor/student dynamic reminds me of Storm and less experienced X-Men. I appreciate the visibility of the diverse cast’s ethnicities and backgrounds: Iso is from China, Grid is from India, and more.

Steve McNiven and Jay Leisten’s highly detailed costumes look stylish and athletic. Flint has a rocky body composition similar to the X-Men’s Rockslide, and Leisten’s precise lines and Sunny Gho’s shading give him a formidable presence. I especially love the bold purple Gho chooses for Medusa’s costume. The most impressive panel is when Medusa and Johnny Storm embrace: the luminescent sheen of Medusa’s scarlet hair is masterfully done by Gho.

This series debut might be a difficult jumping-on point for new readers. We meet a flurry of characters in rapid succession: Reader, Iso, Flint, Inferno. Despite the very full cast list, Soule pulls us in by making Medusa a sympathetic leader. McNiven, Leisten, and Gho’s gorgeous illustrations impress us on every page. I’m excited to see where Soule takes this cast.

The Verdict: 7.5/10

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