This week Marvel finally gets the ball rolling on Inhuman, and Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino rock Oliver Queen’s world in Green Arrow!
Inhuman #1 (Marvel Comics)
Inhuman #1 is the long delayed start of Marvel’s “next big thing”, and when I say it’s been delayed, I mean it’s been delayed. At times it seemed like the book would never come out, and for once, it has nothing to do with Joe Madureira handling the art duties. After original writer Matt Fraction jumped ship over “creative differences”, new writer Charles Soule was brought on board to shed more light on the fallout from Black Bolt’s Terrigen bomb that blew up waaay back in Infinity. However this caused the book (which was originally scheduled for January) to be pushed back 3 months so Soule could get a start on writing. After such a long wait, is Inhuman worth it?
Kind of? If you’re a fan of the Inhumans, you’ll probably enjoy it, but don’t expect to see favorites like Black Bolt (presumed dead), Karnak (definitely dead), or even Lockjaw (can never die).
Look, I’ve never been an Inhumans guy, so a lot of this is kind of wasted on me, but I’ll admit that there is some cool stuff in this issue, which primarily focuses on the effect of the Terrigen mists on the citizens of the Marvel Universe. You see, millions of years ago, a group of Inhumans left their secret city and hid amongst humans. After decades of living amongst us, many of their descendants have no idea of their true heritage until they get a whiff of Black Bolt’s secret gas and gain superpowers.
Enter Lash, a rogue Inhuman who has been hunting down the new inhumans and seeing if they are deemed “fit” for his race. Taking Darwinism to brutal levels, he makes his decisions before the newly inhuman individual figures out what has happened to them. Lash’s back-story is pretty cool, and I liked that we have a villain who actually has a good reason for his actions. At the same time Medusa, the former Queen of the Inhumans, is searching for any sign of her missing husband, which brings her face to face with Lash at the site of the newest Inhuman named Dante. After showing off his new fire powers, Dante and Medusa escape from Lash, and Medusa recruits him to join her tribe.
Charles Soule does a pretty good job at presenting a good introduction of this new start for Marvel’s Inhumans. However, it’s a little difficult to figure out who the main character of this series will be. Is it Lash? We certainly got a lot of his history in this issue. Medusa? She’s the most well known (and alive) Inhuman at the moment. Dante? He’s clearly going to be our entry point for the Inhumans and their history. We’re never really with any one of them long enough to know for sure.
A lot of Inhuman reads like Marvel’s pitch for the Inhumans to take the place of mutants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite this, Soule makes this story work way better than it has any right to be. Dante’s background is interesting and I like his powers, but like I said before, I’m still not entirely sure if he’s our main character or not.
No one will probably be buying this issue purely for Charles Soule. In fact, a vast majority will be getting it for Joe Madureira’s art, and they’ll get their money’s worth. While it’s not as good as his work on Battle Chasers or his Savage Wolverine issues from last year, it’s still Joe Mad, which means it looks great. Of course, the one downside is the fact that Madureira has never been one to stick to deadlines, and I don’t feel like Inhuman will be the book to make him commit.
Inhuman is an all right introduction to the new status quo of the Inhumans, but it’s still not worth the wait. In fact, the delay on this book seriously hurt it, mainly because Infinity feels like forever ago, even though it’s been over for only a few months. Not only that, but Infinity‘s follow up event Inhumanity has petered out (not that anyone noticed), so all of the hype that this book had back in December is pretty much gone. That’s a real shame, because Soule is a very talented writer (and multitasker) and Joe Madureira is Joe Freakin’ Madureira. This book should be huge, and a lot of people didn’t even know it was out today. Hopefully it picks up in future issues, but for now, all I can muster is an “eh, it was okay”.
Green Arrow #30 (DC Comics)
Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino bring us the latest installment of “The Outsider’s War” in Green Arrow #30, and holy crap, does it rock. All of the pieces are finally starting to fall into place, with Oliver, his father, and Shado all bringing the fight to LaCroix and his clan of warriors. Jeff Lemire ‘s script is full of big revelations and awesome fight scenes, and Sorrentino’s artwork is so good it hurts.
The main crux of this issue centers on Oliver and his father, who has been alive for years and responsible for making Oliver into the hero he is today. Seeing these two interact is the highlight of the issue. Oliver is justifiably angry with his father, and seeing him take his father to task for abandoning him is fun, but having him do it while trying to take down LaCroix and save Shado’s daughter? Pure gold.
At this point, there’s really not much else I can say about Green Arrow that I haven’t said already. It’s one of DC’s strongest titles, and delivers awesome action month in and month out. Lemire and Sorrentino are one of the dream teams in comics, up there with Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, and Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. They’re that good together. If you’re still not reading Green Arrow, pick up the latest trade and see what you’ve been missing.