Hey Kids, remember back in the Fall of 2012 when Marvel started rolling out new #1 Titles that gave a number of characters in the Marvel U a “Soft Reboot” under the banner MARVEL NOW? Guess What? They’re doin’ it all again, Baby!
It’s the ALL NEW MARVEL NOW! Over the next few months, I’ll be taking a look at the first issue of each new title as it hits the comics stands. (This only applies to REAL #1 Titles – None of this .Now stuff.) Wanna know if this series seems like a keeper or is destined for the quarter bin of our interest? Sit back and enjoy my analysis. You just might learn something.
I’m not going to lie, I had no interest in reading this book when it was annouced early last fall as one of the first titles to be revealed as part of the ALL NEW MARVEL NOW! When I found out that there would be a moment in the Infinity event to trigger a new event series called Inhumanity that would lead into this book, I became even less interested. When they further annouced that the book would be postponed and Matt Fraction would not be writing the series, my interest became none existant. Inhuman seemed like a lot of hoopla that would eventually result in nothing special. But since I commited myself to reading all the new #1 issues for ALMN and because the creative team of Charles Soule, Joe Madureira and Marte Gracia is no small potatoes, I sat down and gave Inhuman #1 a read. Underwhelmed is probably the best word I would use to describe my reaction.
Our story begins in Norway on the night the Terrigenises cloud made its way across the Earth and began cocooning those with hidden Inhuman genes. Kristian, a brash, young academic who’s had a bit too much to drink, makes his way outside and finds himself engulfed in the mists and eventually in a big green cocoon. This is when Lash, an Inhuman not of Blackbolt’s kingdom, appears. It looks as though first he is there to help this new Inhuman with his transformation. Turns out not to be the case as their meeting ends up fatal, but not before Lash gives a brief history lesson about how the Inhuman race is split between those who live under King Blackbolt’s reign and see the Terrigen mists that give them transformative powers as a birthright and those that live on Earth and believe that only a select few are worthy of receiving the change from the mists. Lash is on a mission to stop the large amount of new Inhumans from ever seeing the light of day. Meanwhile, Queen Medusa of the Inhumans searches for her son and husband, both of whom have been lost since Blackbolt released the Terrigen bomb that brought the Terrigenises cloud to Earth (which happened back in Infinity). She finds Eldrac, a large Inhuman that’s mouth is a gateway transport to take a person where they need to be. She enters and ends up in Illinois, right around the same time as Lash. They’re both here because of the birth of a new Inhuman. Before this, he was just a drummer named Dante who was trying to scratch out a living to help out his pregnant, widowed sister and his ailing mother. Now, he’s become something much more.
If you read the paragraph above, you now realise how convoluted the plot of this new series is. I just scratched the surface on the multitude of plot going on in this book. Charles Soule is given twenty pages to tell a story that needs at least sixty to make any lasting sense. I know that there’s a brief description at the beginning to bring you up to speed on what’s happened before this and Lash’s “History of Inhumans 101” lesson in the middle of the book but there is far too much happening in this first issue for a new reader to just jump in and get invested. I don’t think I can blame Soule for this as it seems to be more of an editorial mandate. “Marvel’s Lastest Epic Begins Here!” is printed in big, bold letters on the cover. It appears Marvel wants this comic to be a big deal. The thing is that if you gave this book a natural progression, letting a story come as opposed to forcing it, people will want to check it out. The problem is that you’ve tied it to not one, BUT TWO comic event books from the past year. This will shy folks away from it. Now you’re marching it out be an EVENT of it’s own. This book will never live up to the hype. And with a pacing like this, it won’t appeal to readers who have read everything let alone thoses that haven’t.
Then there is the hope that Inhuman will trade on Joe Madureira’s name alone. I hate to break this to you but it’s not the 90s anymore. While the art in this book is by no means terrible, it’s not Joe Mad’s best. Even if people come out to see his art for this issue, that won’t keep them around for long. The fact of the matter is that each member of the creative team has produced better work elsewhere and any reader who’s a fan of them will be thinking of that work when they read this book and comparing it to that. This book needs an overhaul. It needs to be streamlined in it’s plot layout as there’s too much going on for anyone to latch onto. I have no interest in the main character because I’m not entirely sure who the main character is. That is a major problem if you want someone to be invested enough to pick up issue #2.
There have been a number of great titles that have debuted in the past few months that any Marvel comics fan should check out. Inhuman #1 is not one of them. Unless you’re a big fan of Joe Mad, I strongly reccommend avoiding this book.
Check back here for more ALL NEW MARVEL NOW first issue reviews. Until then, stay in the NOW!
If you’re gonna geek out GEEK HARD!