This week it’s the Inhumans’ turn to become Uncanny, and Back to the Future gets a comic miniseries!
Uncanny Inhumans #1 (Marvel)
Yes, the Inhumans are back, and they’re getting a brand new title as part of All New All Different Marvel. Picking up where May’s Uncanny Inhumans #0 left off, the new #1 from Charles Soule and Steve McNiven is a pretty fun ride, but it’s not going to help out new readers who want to know anything about Black Bolt and Co.
As I mentioned before, Uncanny Inhumans’ first issue has some pretty big ties to the special “zero” issue that came out at the beginning of the summer. Black Bolt, Triton, and Reader travel back in time to see the beginnings of their race, only to be confronted by Kang the Conqueror. Kang’s pretty pissed that Black Bolt has gone back in time (something he expressly forbade in the zero issue), and sends soldiers and creatures from across time to attack the Inhumans. At the same time, Medusa is leading a team of new Inhumans on routine missions to help boost their publicity with the general public. But things aren’t what they seem, because when Johnny Storm visits as the liaison between the Inhumans and the public, they lock lips right as Black Bolt returns home.
Uncanny Inhumans really shines when it focuses on Black Bolt’s battle with Kang. Unfortunately, this is a very brief part of the book. More time is spent with Medusa and the new Inhumans and building the mystery of the past 8 months since we’ve seen any of these characters. Aside from a few quick references Charles Soule doesn’t craft an easy entrance point for the Inhumans at all, and the final page cliffhanger reads more like an ending to a soap opera than a Marvel comic.
As expected, the art is pretty damn spectacular. While this isn’t Steve McNiven’s best, it’s still better than most books out on shelves. Of course, the highlight is the all too brief fight scenes with Kang’s soldiers from across time, but McNiven’s facial work and figures still look good in the slower moments of the book too.
I get that Marvel’s gung ho to try and get people to care about the Inhumans more, but they need to start doing a better job of making them accessible. Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee’s Inhumans is a great entry point, so I’m surprised that Marvel isn’t copying that approach (that book is in trade right now, by the way). Putting an artist like Steve McNiven on a title like this is certainly going to sell books, but readers will all bail once he’s finished his run on the book. There’s some interesting things in Uncanny Inhumans, and I’ll probably pick up the next issue, but it’s not the slam-dunk entry point Marvel’s hyping it up to be.
Back to the Future #1 (of 4) (IDW)
The most recent of IDW’s licensing deals is Back to the Future, and the publisher is not messing around. They’ve got the book scheduled for “Back to the Future day”, created dozens of variant covers, and even have original BTTF writer Bob Gale writing the series.
Designed to showcase “untold tales and alternate timelines”, Back To The Future is set up as a cool anthology book to compliment the original movies. The first of these depicts Marty’s first meeting with Doctor Emmet Brown. Bob Gale’s writing is spot on (as it should be), and he nails the feeling of the original movie. While the premise for how these two met isn’t the best plot device in the world (and Marty signing up to work for Doc seems a little out of left field), it’s still a lot of fun to step back into that world.
While the story is fun, some of the art is a little off. Brett Schoonover’s style veers from finding a cartoonish look of the characters we know to having the characters look like Muppets, and it gets a little distracting. While it’s not something that completely ruins the book, it definitely looks a little rushed at times.
Back To The Future’s debut issue has some minor problems, but it’s still a pretty fun book. Bob Gale seems to be having a blast getting to fill in the stories not told in the movies, and I loved the way he frames this issue’s tale. There’s also a cool back up tale depicting Doc’s time helping with the Manhattan Project, which is also just as fun as the main story. This is a book that uses it’s license well, and doesn’t just try to cash in on the name on the title. Back To The Future is going to be a pretty big hit, so you should grab one now before they’re all gone.