Inhumans, Once and Future Kings #1
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Phil Noto
Cover Artist: Nick Bradshaw and Jim Campbell
Throughtout the Inhuman mythos, we have heard mention the whipsers of “The Unspoken”. The tale of this unknown person is finally being told. Before Black Bolt was king, before Maximus went mad, and when Medusa was a rebellious teen, this is the beginning of the Once and Future Kings.
What you need to know:
We all know the history of the Inhumans. At the dawn of mankind, The Kree captured early humans and experimented on them in order to make a race of warrior slaves. Soon abandonned by the Kree, they separated themselves from the rest of mankind and lived in secrecy and called themselves The Inhumans.
When we first meet the Inhumans, Maximus has overthrown his brother, banished the royal family, and is on the hunt to find Medusa, to make her his queen, but what happened before this? What happened between Black Bolt’s father, King Agon’s rule, and when Black Bolt took the throne himself? The mystery of this period of Inhuman history is finally being told and we’re finally to learn who exactly this “Unspoken” is. After hints throughout many Inhuman stories, we finally get answers.
What just happened:
This is a story of a corrupt King, one who has taken the throne after the tragic death of King Agon. Agon’s two sons, the princes of Attilan, Black Bolt and Maximus are in his care, and tutelage. This King repeatedly mentions this “moral theory”, a theory that some are born to lead while others are born to serve. This theory does not sit well with young Black Bolt, who shows distaste for how the slave caste, known as Alpha Primitives, are treated.
The Alphas have revolted, lead by one named Dkamas. While Maximus rushes into battle to protect the king, Black Bolt flees. He flees not because he’s a coward, but to find the limit of an advanced weapon used to suppress their gifts, while Maximus stayed behind to protected the injured king from being killed. When the coup is over, it was Black Bolt who the king thanked, not Maximus, who had protected his body. Overlooking the attack, we see a stranger in modern human attire, upset over the outcome.
As the King recovers in a bath of Terrigen Crystals, he discusses the attack with his trusted advisor who he calls Seeker. The Alphas were equipped with technology above them, and they need to find who supplied them with such technology. Meanwhile the King tells Seeker to send for the girl who he heard about from Maximus, the girl of fire, meant to be the wife of a King. A rambunctious teenage Medusa, who wants nothing to do with the King, was summoned against her will.
Black Bolt and Maximus are seen approaching the memorial service of the fallen Dkamas. Without so much a word, Black Bolt knows that as a future king, he needs to show solidarity with all his subjects even those of the lowest caste. The modern stranger appears to them again telling them that they made a mistake by saving the King’s life, they embarrassed him, and by doing so, he will rewrite history. He will take glory for winning the revolt for himself, saying he saved the young princes’ lives, and will humiliate them even further, by taking Medusa for his own. This stranger in the baseball hat calls himself Elisha, but he was once an Alpha Primitive himself. As Elisha promises, the King shows up at the ceremony, as an act to show the Alpha’s that he grieves along with them, placing the blame of Dkamas’ death on Black Bolt.
Meanwhile, Seeker has brought Medusa to meet with the King. As a way of courting a less than thrilled Medusa, once again the King mentions “moral theory”. This time it is not about some being born to rule, but instead a hint that a Queen should “speak her mind.” As the King leaves the room, Seeker tries to extort Medusa, with a recording of her speaking against the King. In return, Medusa can save herself by not refusing Seeker’s advances, as he sexually assaults her. We see Medusa and her living hair attack Seeker without any fear or hesitation, the guards are helpless against her as she leaves. While exiting she runs into Black Bolt and Maximus, who she wasn’t very fond of to begin with, and blames them for her situation. Elisha shows up with a young puppy Lockjaw, and the 5 of them teleport to a place Elisha calls “Wonderland.”
Christopher Priest brings us a whole new side of the young Inhuman Royals, one that we have never seen before. This is their story that has never been told. Everything we have ever heard of or read about the the Royal Family, are starting to make sense. We see a young teenage Black Bolt always trying to do the right and noble thing, Maximus is fearless and very cunning, while Medusa is just as wild in thought as her fire red hair is in action. This is their beginning as much as it is the tale of the Unspoken. With this only being the first book of their story, we can already see so much of the heroes we already know. Maximus is in love with Medusa, Black Bolt is focused on all of his people, and Medusa has no tolerance for pretty much anyone! When you read this book, it is very important to not only pay attention to the words, but to the art of Phil Noto. You can see a sublte hint of jealousy in the eyes of Maximus, without a single mention of it. Priest and Noto are the perfect team for this cryptic royal history. It’s my hope that all the mysteries and questions we’ve had bout the Inhumans, will finally be answered! And to lighten the mood, there is an adorable bonus story about Lockjaw and his pal, The Thing! at the end.