Inhumans: Once and Future Kings #2 Review
Writer: Christopher Priest
Artist: Phil Noto
Publisher: Marvel Comics
What You Need to Know:
Before the era of House Boltagon, reigned a king whose transgressions were so great his name was stricken from all of Inhuman history. His crime was the enslavement of humanity by transforming them in Alpha Primitives. When the Alpha’s rebel, Blackbolt and Maximus save their ruler from assassination, a mysterious Alpha named Elisha appears and warns the brothers that their duty will become trespass and the king will not stand for humiliation. They will soon become a threat in which the king will deal with by deadly means. Medusa who is fleeing from her own assailant has been labeled as a traitor and flees with the others into the world of humans.
What You’ll Find Out:
The king genuinely seems perplexed by the actions of Blackbolt and Maximus and continues to defend their rightful place as heirs to the throne. Eager to see them returned to Atilan, he dispatches the Seeker and Karnak to track them down.
Medusa, Maximus, and Blackbolt have taken refuge in New York City with the Alpha Primitive Elisha as their guide who continues to goad them, particularly Maximus’s sense of superiority, challenging their beliefs about their world and the monarch they have pledged fealty.
Back in Atilan the king continues his inquisition by continuing to visit members of their family. Despite Gorgon’s denial of knowledge or his cousin’s reasons, the king attempts to reaffirm loyalties and appoints the young warrior temporary viceroy and begins to manipulate perception in his favor.
Elisha delivers the runaways to a man named Bentley Wittman who is steadfast in challenging their loyalties and confronts them with the truth about the king’s enslavement of the human populace and the inevitable war to unseat him.
What Just Happened?
Christopher Priest continues to build the world in which intertwines human and inhuman alike in the second installment of Once and Future Kings, providing a unique untold story of the days before the reign of Blackbolt and Medusa, and the duplicity of Maximus. Though we have barely begun to explore this period of inhuman history, it’s clear that a buildup is happening which provides the circumstances surrounding the revolution of how events unfold with the deposed Unspoken, and Blackbolt’s unique respect for human lives.
The story provides a sincere balance between reality and mythology as the narrative transitions to and from Atilan and New York. We see the Royals out of their element for the first time and their own interpretation of what it means to be human.
The best part of Once and Future Kings is that it is a standalone story which the reader doesn’t need any prior introduction whatsoever to any previous Inhuman context history. Priest’s individual tale and setting grants the reader with all the framework needed to immediately enjoy his own adaption. Combined with the talented art of Phil Noto, who has won fans in both DC and Marvel titles, Once and Future Kings should be approachable and enjoyable to even the most skeptical among the Inhuman detractors.
Final Thought: Inhumans: Once and Future Kings has been hailed by some who have typically rejected any acceptance as a unique title that gives a truly original view of the earliest days of the Royal family. It has the perfect balance of lore and logic and I believe may offer a new bridge in place of the ones that have been burned, fueled by spite.
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