Uncanny Inhumans #0

Written by: Charles Soule

Art by: Steve McNiven and Ryan Lee

Publisher: Marvel

Ever since the 2013 event Infinity the Inhumans have been growing in presence within the marvel universe. With a feature film announced, appearances in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even their own comic in Inhuman, that section of the marvel universe certainly seems to be growing. Many fans believe Marvel are trying to use the Inhumans to replace the X-men, and with a title like Uncanny Inhumans it almost seems like Marvel is poking fun at that camp at this point. Regardless of how you feel about the growth of the Inhumans, Uncanny Inhumans #0 is a really great comic that offers a solid introduction into the world of the Inhumans and promises great things to come.

The story focuses on former king of the Inhumans Blackbolt, and both Soule and McNiven really do the character justice and make him feel like the heavyweight that he is. Even without using his powers, Blackbolt is really able to hold his own in some cool action scenes drawn beautifully by McNiven. When it is time for him to unleash his voice however, it’s rendered in a very cool way; nothing that’ll reinvent the wheel or anything, but it’s more than just a standard speech bubble which makes Blackbolt’s powers feel very satisfying to behold. The action set pieces in this issue to well to play on your expectations offering lots of spectacular and dynamic panels all with a very clean and bold look. In short it’s exactly what you would expect from Mcniven at his best. Another strength of McNiven’s art is how well he is able to portray Blackbolt’s subtle actions which he uses to talk. I didn’t even notice that a lot of the issue featured little to no dialogue, as McNiven was such an expert at staging his reactions and telling the story through the art alone that I was completely engrossed and understanding the story through just the art. It’s a very cinematic and grand style, but McNiven nails all the subtle moments leading to a very epic feeling comic that manages to sell you on the story as well as looking gorgeous.

Soule meanwhile does his best to get readers up to speed if they haven’t read any previous Inhumans books while still pressing forward with the story of Blackbolt as he searches for his son; it’s a very difficult task as he is trying to juggle events from Infinity, the rest of Hickman’s Avengers run and the previous Inhuman book while trying his best not to get bogged down in exposition explaining most Inhumans fans will already know, but he pulls it off for the most part so this should serve as a good introduction to the book for new fans while still telling an interesting story for people keeping up with the books. I myself have never read an Inhumans title before this book and found myself able to get invested in the story without a problem and now really want to read on and see what happens to the characters next; that said however, I have been an avid reader of Hickman’s Avengers so concepts like the incursions and the terrigen bomb were already known to me going in, so without knowing these this could lead to some confusing moments for new fans, especially since Blackbolt’s silence means he can’t explain these concepts and instead has to rely of the understanding of others in the story to explain. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, and I’d still say this issue would offer a good introduction into this corner of the marvel universe, but if you’re coming in completely fresh I’d advise doing a little bit of research into what’s been happening to the Inhumans since Infinity to get the most out of the story.

Outside of the main story there is a short back up featuring two new inhuman characters, Iso and Flint. The story is fun and I enjoyed these characters, however the story is way too short to get any sort of depth out of it. I don’t know if these characters were included in the previous book and have has a prior relationship established, but the way this story ends feels very rushed without any sort of context. It’s also a little disappointing that McNiven does not draw this section, however Ryan Lee’s art manages to be pretty fun and expressive and better suits this sort of story light-hearted tale than McNiven’s art would. If these characters feature in the book going forward or pop up again then I’d happily read more about them, but in this form the story just feels tacked on in order to increase the price. I would’ve been fine just having the main story, as having another five pages of a much lighter tale on the end almost seems to undermine the powerful ending of that story.

Overall, I was very impressed by this comic and felt it served as a great introductory issue to the current Inhumans’ story. There’s a lot of great action, the art looks spectacular and Soule and McNiven make Blackbolt a really interesting protagonist and leave his story in a very interesting place. The comic features a “things to come” with little hints as to what’s coming in the next year of the book and I must say it all looks very intriguing and definitely makes me want to stick with the book. Despite the high price, this is definitely a comic I’d recommend for anyone wanting to dive into the world of the Inhumans, with their importance in the marvel universe growing by the day, I’d suggest getting in on the ground floor while you can, as this looks set to be a very interesting and enjoyable read.