Only inhuman after all
The Inhumans have played an important role in the Marvel world.
THE Inhumans may not have not reached the heights of popularity enjoyed by the likes of the X-Men or Avengers, but they have played an important role in Marvel continuity, including a pivotal role in last year’s epic Infinity event.
Created by Stan Lee and John Kirby in 1965 as back-up characters in Fantastic Four #45, the Inhumans have had four short-lived series of their own over the years (the last one in 2003).
The result of Kree experiments on ancient Homo sapiens when humankind was in its infancy, the Inhumans are a new race of people who not only possess enhanced physical abilities, but – through exposure to a chemical agent called Terrigen – superpowers as well. The most famous of them so far are Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans and member of the Illuminati, and his wife Medusa.
In Infinity, the Inhuman city of Attilan was attacked by Thanos, but Black Bolt retaliated by detonating a Terrigen Bomb that not only destroyed the entire city, but also released an unknown amount of Terrigen gas into the world’s atmosphere.
As a result, every single person in the world with Inhuman ancestry (whether they were aware of it or not) were transformed into super-powered Inhumans (including the latest incarnation of Ms Marvel, Kamala Khan).
At the beginning of Inhuman, Medusa is the sole ruler of the Inhumans, as Black Bolt is missing and presumed dead after the Attilan disaster. Faced with thousands of new Inhumans appearing all over the world, she sets out to collect them and bring them into the fold of New Attilan.
Besides Medusa, Inhuman #1 focuses on three new characters – new Inhumans Kristian (powers unknown), Dante (fire powers), and Lash, an Inhuman from the hidden city of Orollan. The main protagonist of Inhuman, Lash believes that Inhuman powers are a gift that should only be wielded by a chosen few, and is on a mission to seek out those who are unworthy of their new Inhuman status.
In this first issue, Soule wastes no time in setting up the premise of the entire series, introducing the new characters while giving some useful bits of exposition at the same time. The entire issue is well paced with typically excellent Madureira artwork, but somehow, it doesn’t really stand out in the way Soule’s She-Hulk or even the new Ms. Marvel did with their All-New Marvel Now debuts.
In fact, much of it plays out like one of those “previously on…” recaps on TV shows, and the introduction of Lash and the rest of the new characters just isn’t captivating enough to make us want more.
It also doesn’t help that the whole Terrigen Bomb incident happened almost five months ago, and has since been brought up and rehashed over and over again in various books leading up to this.
As a result, Inhuman #1 feels a little lethargic, and suffers from a lack of freshness and originality. It’s not a bad start to the series, but it’s just a shame that Black Bolt and his Inhumans have started out with a whisper rather than a shout.