This week Marvel and DC get into the “Zero Issue” game with Uncanny Inhumans and Convergence! Are they any good? Read on and find out!
Uncanny Inhumans #0
Marvel REALLY wants you to care about the Inhumans. So much so that they’re putting Charles Soule and Steve McNiven, the creative team behind last year’s hit Death of Wolverine, on a brand new zero issue designed to catch you up to speed in time for the new Uncanny Inhumans series….that’s launching in about 3 months after Secret Wars.
Anyway, Uncanny Inhumans #0 does an admirable job of introducing readers to the Inhumans and Black Bolt, their leader; even if it relies a little too much on previous Inhumans stories to truly be a jumping on point. Black Bolt has been travelling the world, protecting the burgeoning Inhumans who are still in their stasis cocoons. After rescuing another batch of proto-Inhumans, he gets a distress symbol from the Illuminati of New Avengers, alerting him that another incursion is about to hit. When he visits his estranged wife Medusa, Black Bolt reveals that he’s going to meet with Kang The Conqueror, the man who can prevent this incursion, and also has their son. After battling through Kang’s forces, Black Bolt meets with his son and gives him the Terrigen Mist, unlocking his powers. Kang then offers to help our world against the next incursion, but Black Bolt must allow his son to stay with Kang forever.
That’s the gist of the whole issue. Charles Soule does a good job of showcasing the ins and outs of the Inhuman world (which he should, as the writer of Inhuman), but this whole issue is a little strange. Is it a set up for Secret Wars, Uncanny Inhumans #1, or both? That’s never really made clear to the reader, and as great as Soule is writing Black Bolt and especially Kang, that’s a big strike against this book.
One strike that’s definitely not against this book is the art. Steve McNiven is one of my favorite artists in comics, and he definitely does not disappoint here. His depiction of Black Bolt’s super sonic speech is awesome, and when he uses his powers on Kang’s fortress it’s easily the highlight of the book. McNiven’s powerhouse visuals show no time of stopping anytime soon, and elevate this book to another level.
I know that Marvel is REALLY pushing the Inhumans now as a “replacement X-Men”, but if they want new people to start jumping on board the Inhuman train, they need to do a better job of making these characters accessible. Uncanny Inhumans #0 certainly looks and reads nice, but man, I couldn’t tell you what exactly the whole point of this issue was. Hopefully when the first issue of Uncanny Inhumans hits, I’ll have a better idea.
DC and Marvel are both featuring huge events that focus on their multitudes of Multiverses, and DC fires the first shot with Convergence #0, a special introductory issue to set up next week’s big Convergence event. Featuring the comics debut of Jeff King (with an assist by Dan Jurgens) and art by Green Lantern artist Ethan Van Sciver, Convergence #0 lays the stakes out for the big DC event, and reveals some pretty interesting things about the New 52’s history.
This entire issue focuses on Superman’s latest battle with Brainiac, but something’s wrong with the Superman foe. He keeps talking about a “master”, and changing appearance at times during his battle with Superman. Eventually Superman discovers that Brainiac has been travelling through the DC multiverse collecting different cities for his own collection, with mysterious plans for these bottled worlds.
Writers Jeff King and Dan Jurgens lay out the stakes pretty clearly here: Brainiac is doing bad things, and Superman is going to stop him. However, the two writers present this in a pretty cool way, and I love the way they write Brainiac. He’s both extremely cold and arrogant, but also extremely entertaining.
Convergence #0 also marks the first interior art by legendary Green Lantern artist Ethan Van Sciver in quite some time, and it hasn’t aged a bit. This is a good thing, as Sciver’s art is some of the best in the business, and definitely gives Convergence the epic feel that the story requires. It’s great to see Sciver step out of his comfort zone as well when he depicts Brainiac’s many different forms throughout the years.
Convergence #0 probably won’t convince you to pick up the DC event if you weren’t already planning to, but I will say that it did a great job of making me even more interested in the upcoming event. There’s some very cool moments peppered in this comic, and it looks like DC might have something pretty cool planned for the month of April.