Oh the Inhumanity!! (Death of the Inhumans #1 Review)

Writer: Donny Cates

Artists: Ariel Olivetti

Cover Artist: Kaare Andrews

Variant Cover: Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson, Javier Garron & Romulo Fajardo, Greg Hildebrant, Kaare Andrews

Colors: Jordie Bellaire

Letters: Clayton Cowles

Death of the Inhumans #1 cover by Kaare Andrew

Blurb

After a recent period of growth & change for Inhumans of the Marvel Universe and the Inhuman Royal family, something has begun hunting them down across the cosmos, planning to kill them all…

 

Summary with limited spoilers

The comic opens with the king of the Inhumans and recent star of his own solo series Blackagar Boltagon, aka Black Bolt, looking over a vast number of murdered & mutilated Inhumans floating in the vacuum of space. Cut into one of the corpse is a message, “join or die”, the progenitors of the Inhumans, the ancient space race the Kree appear to once again be after their creations. Such a sight weighs heavily on Black Bolt, who feels responsible for the safety of all Inhumans, as his lover & Queen, Medusa, approaches him. The Inhuman royal family has arrived at a small, nameless planet, so that they might discuss these recent attacks with the other four tribes of Inhumans from across the universe. However as they enter the meeting hall, a grisly sight comes upon them, as all four queens and their escorts are dead, murdered like the Inhumans Black Bolt had come across previously, once again the message “join or die” is left for Black Bolt and his family. One soul survivor remains, who reveals that the Kree did this because the four Inhuman tribes voted to surrender to the Kree, who found such an act insulting. Furthermore, the one responsible for all these deaths is a new Kree-created, Super-Inhuman, Vox, who possess the powers of every Inhuman. And the message “join or die” was not meant for the four tribes, but for one king, Black Bolt. As the survivor then passes, Inhuman royal family member Triton finds a bomb on the victim, it detonates and kills him, as the rest of the royal family barely escape, though Medusa is gravely wounded, impaled through the torso with debris from the explosion. But the situation is much worse, as Vox and the Kree begin to attack the Inhumans’ home, New Arctilan…

 

Opinions on story and art

This comic frustrates me, that I’ll admit right off the bat. I have loved and adored what Marvel’s done with the Inhumans franchise within their comic line these last few years. Both of Charles Soule’s “Inhuman” & “Uncanny Inhumans” I found engaging and enthralling, as I did Al Ewing’s “The Royals”. Not to mention other books like Warren Ellis’s “Karnak”, and Saladin Ahmed & Christian Ward’s “Black Bolt” series, Marvel has crafted some wonderful Inhuman stories as of late. So to read a series dedicated to killing most of these characters off, hurts me. Now on a technical level, there is very little I can find wrong with either writer Donny Cates’s scripting or dialog, or Ariel Olivetti’s art. Though I do have a few points of contention, such as the inclusion of royal Inhuman Gorgon, who died at the end of the last Inhumans ongoing series, the previously mentioned “The Royals”, sacrificing himself so that the rest of the family could return to their proper part of the galaxy. Also Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus the Mad, is shown to be vulnerable to Vox’s replicated Black-Bolt screams, even though it’s been established multiple times that Maximus is the only one completely immune to his sibling’s ability. All of this seems to show little interest in prior Inhuman stories, save for canon-fodder in the story, such as the four Inhuman queens from Ewing’s Royals, or Flagman from Soule’s Uncanny Inhumans. All of this is either the sign of an inattentive editor, or a creative team who don’t appear to care about the franchise they’re writing. The book does have some stellar coloring throughout courtesy of Eisner-award winning colorist Jordie Bellaire, alongside superb lettering from Clayton Cowles, so the book’s formatting is excellent. However all of the narrative contents fail to engage me. All of this being said, for those who’ve hated the increased attention given to the Inhumans over the X-Men these past few years, this comic will be a very cathartic read. The dramatic moments are well-handled, and everyone present within the story acts in-character. 

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Ian Cameron

Ian Cameron

A comic-loving doofus eager to see the worlds on the page reflect the wonderfully diverse world we all share!
Summary
This miniseries is not for fans of the Inhumans. If you’ve been enjoying any of their recent series or their development, you will be very turned off by this comic. But for a comic titled “Death of the Inhumans”, it certainly doesn’t false-advertise. It delivers on what it promises, in a very brutal, dreary way.
Good
  • The art is very atmospheric, and captures the horrors of the Kree attacks very effectively
  • The colors convey the mood & tone of each sequence very efficiently
Bad
  • The numerous continuity errors and the deaths at the end of the issue create a very cruel tone for anyone invested in the Inhumans, the likeliest target audience for an Inhumans event maxiseries
  • The art, while overall effective, does seem to struggle with close-ups of characters’ expressions from time to time
6.5
Fair
Art - 8
Writing - 7
Plot - 6
Character Development - 5
Written by
A comic-loving doofus eager to see the worlds on the page reflect the wonderfully diverse world we all share!

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