Review: INHUMAN #1

Written by Charles Soule
Art by Joe Madureira and Marte Gracia
Published by Marvel Comics
Release date: April 2, 2014

inhuman1Everyone knows about the announcement that assigned writer Matt Fraction would no longer be writing for the story, despite art already starting. Charles Soule picked up the book, all to our benefit. With Madureira’s art and Gracia’s colors, Soule delivers a clear plot and interesting premise that trots the globe with danger and mystery.

From the opening summary to character-laced exposition, the book clearly goes back over the plot points of Inhumanity from this past winter, for those who may not know about the Terrigen bomb that saved humanity. From there, readers quickly cross the globe to see how different parts of the world are being affected by the bomb. It’s an intriguing thought, to see an area other than New York affected by events over America. We’re also introduced to another concept: other Inhuman tribes.

With the Inhumans’ kingdom falling from the sky, the king — Black Bolt — is missing and Queen Medusa is now stepping up to serve and claim her new group of people. The premise Soule introduces is that there are choices for these new people emerging from their cocoons with powers, other than learning from Queen Medusa. There is a character from one of these tribes quickly introduced named Lash. However, Lash’s intentions are very unclear, with ominous motives and actions forcing the reader to immediately pass judgement.

Marte Gracia does a great job of adding multiple layers of depth to Madureira’s detailed art. While it’s not always clear what medium types he’s using for coloring on every panel, there are some pages where marker lines are used to provide great shadowing and angled lines. It helps many of the skin tones and lighter colors glow and shine. These little details — combined with Soule’s straight forward storytelling — help you quickly gain an emotional connection with the new family of characters introduced.

Many will believe that Medusa is the lead character of this series. She acts more as a familiar anchor while the central story, a battle of knowledge and choice for all new Inhumans, unfolds for the character named Dante. I believe it is Dante who will more likely have a story changing choice to make later in this arc, while Medusa provides a moral anchor — good or bad — for this choice.

If you didn’t already know: along with his daytime job as a lawyer, Soule is also a musician. There is a nice musical touch added to Dante as he interacts with his sister, that makes him that much more easier to relate to, despite not being introduced at the beginning of the issue.

While the bigger picture of what is ahead might not be clear for this series, what is clear is how straight-forward it is for new readers. Through multiple outlets — summaries, exposition, artwork, even a map at the end — readers are given a clear background of why events are unfolding the way they have in this book. There is a mystery for future issues provided through the tribal Earth-born Inhuman Lash. There is the everyman connection through Dante and his struggling family. Finally, for long time Inhuman fans, you have Medusa continuing her reign as queen and owning every panel she appears in. Despite a fourth quarter change in the line-up, Inhuman is set up to be a solidly plotted and delivered story for their spring All-New Marvel Now! line-up.

The Verdict: 8.0/10

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