Written by: Matt Fraction
Art by: Oliver Copiel
Marvel Comics’ big summer event Infinity, has repercussions, like any good comic book event. Now to say Infinity was a “good” comic book event is technically another review but in short it was a good cosmic event with a rushed and over simplified ending. But, the finality of part of the Infinity storyline is the destruction of the home of the Imhumans, a group of alien gods. Matt Fraction, the man that made the Iron Man comics cool again, brings us this new series titled Inhumanity.
So, it’s not truly important to this review why or how the home of the Inhumans was destroyed but what is important is that the minute the destruction happened the Inhumans that were in hiding on Earth were all revealed and some were quite traumatized by the epic explosion that filled the skies of Earth, the end of their home, a home eons older than civilization on Earth. Black Bolt, the King of the Inhumans and his brother were the core of why their kingdom was destroyed, it was purposeful, and part of a huge plan and the beginning of a new story that wasn’t completely revealed in the Infinity saga. That leads me to the core pro and con of this first issue of Inhumanity.
Karnak, an Inhuman empowered with a second site was able to see everything, why the destruction happened and why. In this first issue he reveals it all to the Avengers and the Queen of the Inhumans: Medusa. Along with the how’s and why’s of the destruction of the Inhuman kingdom Karnak also shares the history of the Imhumans and how they came to interact with humanity. There’s a lot of exposition and flashback storytelling in this issue, in fact that’s the entire book. There’s no real action in this issue at all other than some battles in flashbacks. Karnak’s explanation does accurately feel grave and melodramatic and complex, all things necessary for the beginning of a new long running series. With that said the story also feels unnecessarily convoluted at times mostly due to some poorly written sections rather than due to the complexities of the story.
The core of the story is that a bunch, maybe thousands, of new super powered individuals has appeared on Earth. The obvious benefit is that the story allows opportunities for Marvel to easily launch new heroes and characters. The House of Ideas though has recently done this before to limited success. It all seems too similar to the mutant reboot in the X books where suddenly mutants began appearing all over the planet. Hopefully this Inhuman story will succeed where the mutant story failed.
In a story like this one you’d expect some sudden reveals and maybe a twist or two and while they are here the messy storytelling often crushes the reveals. It’s not terrible but just a little laborious to get through. Looking at an entire comic of one guy telling a story no matter how important the story is can get tiresome and it definitely does here. With that said all of this information seems to be required in order to follow the story that is coming in future issues. The only thing I can say is that the story needs to kick in soon, things need to start happening; another issue of exposition and cosmic complexity will surely run off potential readers.
The artwork here is a mixed bag that actually seems to get better as the book progresses. In the early pages the drawings feel a little too childlike and cartoonish. Karnak, with his giant helmet has the silhouette of “The Brain” from old Hulk comic books. If you’re going to make a tiny man with a huge head, either by helmet or an actual head, you need to make it matter. Instead Karnak seems silly and some of the surrounding artwork matches his look. The coloring does help, and further into the book things like facial details and shadows help to negate the cartoonish look that launches the book. All of this variety of art leads to a truly inconsistent experience overall. The art needs to settle into one style or another for future installments of the series, hopefully it will either go for a more photorealistic style or modern adult comic book style. Going with a classic cartoony art style doesn’t match the serious cosmic drama that seems to be unfolding.
Overall Inhumans #1 isn’t a complete storytelling experience; there’s some good and some bad. The good is intriguing enough to make issue #2 worth a look. A lot is happening here and hopefully it will begin to separate itself from the similarity of the mutant reboot that occurred in the X books.
Overall (Not an Average) 6/10
The Story 6.5/10
The Art 5.5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 6/10