Written: Al Ewing
Artist: Kevin Libranda
Colorist: Jose Villarubia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What you need to know: Having survived the living judgement of Ronan the Accuser, the Royals have arrived on the desolate lifeless Hala. Marvel Boy executed his true plan, planting the seed of the PLEX and reviving the Kree Supreme Intelligence and has restored the dead realm. The KSI has instructed the Inhumans that the key to saving their race from extinction will be found in the origins of Kree evolution and Terrigen’s original, purest form, Primagen as well as the mystery surrounding the Skypspears that have arrived from unknown places and reasons. Meanwhile a thousand years in the future, the last Inhuman and Accuser race to stop the return of the terrible beings that founded the Kree, the Progenitors.
What You’ll Find Out:
The Inhuman Royals have arrived on Centauri-IV where Medusa seeks the council and aid of the other Inhuman Royal queens in her quest for knowledge of the Skyspears. Gorgon has been imprisoned by the Snark’s who have developed a means of absorbing the abilities of the Inhumans through Kymellian Sorcery and begin with Gorgon’s hooves and his earth stomp. Medusa, Maximus, and Marvel Boy examine the Skyspear that has landed on Centuari-VI and Medusa sees the error her fellow queens are sure to make in continued experimentation in which the Skyspear will only bring genocide. Medusa unleashes Maximus who takes control of everyone in exchange for her indulgence in his interests in the Prime Materia. Back in the arena, the Snarks launch a surprise attack which gains them Crystal, Flint, and Swayne, who are about to have their powers wrested from them in the same manner Gorgon did.
What just happened?
El Wing continues to do an exemplary job of wielding two stories on a pathway to a singular nexus. In the first few pages we continue to follow the story in which the events occurring during the present time unfold one thousand years in the future were the tale is told through the first-person perspective of Maximus himself as he and Nor-Varr (Kree warrior Marvel Boy) rush to deny the return of the deadly Progenitors which as of now we only know have nefarious intentions. However, Ewing has not revealed their motivations. In the present, Ewing returns the Skyspears to prominence after their introduction in the previous Uncanny and All-New Inhumans series and weaves them along with the concept of the prime materia into the greater context of the ancestry of both the Inhumans and the Kree. El Ewing masters the perfect balance of narrative that provides understanding to the new concepts which he begins to establish as fundamental Inhuman history and a pace that avoids the trappings of cramming in too many nuances all at once. Each new detail is explored and folded into the overall greater story as they are unveiled.
When I read that Thony Silvas would be stepping down as the book’s primary penciler I was worried because I felt his artistic flair was one of Marvel’s strongest assets and thought that with so many resistant readers that it might hurt the books overall potential reach to finally permit acceptance. I was delighted to see that Kevin Libranda is also brilliant and continues to provide the Royals book with the strong artistic trend readers have come to enjoy. Libranda has style reminiscent to manga and captures action and expression impeccably. Each character’s emotional standpoint captured in dialog is matched illustratively so well that you can get a distinct sense of the setting and overall tone. His depiction of the setting which Medusa uses Maximus’s mind control gift coupled with his inherent duplicity was just one overall standout points in his artistic delivery.
The book overall continues to examine new ground which rests more on dialog and thus action so far has been relegated to the confrontation with Ronan. I believe that with the introduction of the coming “Snark War,” we will see the Inhumans back in fighting postures soon enough.
Final thought: Royals continues to be a strong book which I continue to challenge is Marvel’s dark horse. El Ewing makes the smart decision to remove them the same setting of all other characters despite all the efforts to interweave them into prominence over the past few years and send them off and isolate them to prove its ability to stand alone without the presence of other Marvel mainstays. He goes further and uses this unique opportunity to redefine the nature of the Inhuman existence by exploring their origin and by all accounts introducing a new and fascinating threat that will soon have greater influence beyond just the Inhumans but substantial impact on the Marvel universe and many stories in the future.