Written by: Charles Soule
Art by: Pepe Larraz
First things first, let’s all give Ryan Stegman a round of applause for this incredible cover.
Inhuman #7 is about the chains that binds us. Those attached to our families, our loved ones, our morality and to ourselves. More importantly however, Soule wants to explore how these chains can be exploited. Emblemized through the fantastic cover by series regular Ryan Stegman (who takes a break on interiors this issue), we explore these same metaphorical chains as our hero, Black Bolt, is depicted writhing within them on said cover. Inhuman #7 takes a departure from the regular exploration of the Inhuman society which is common place throughout this series in order to explore the intricate and complicated relationships between the central characters within the titular race. We pick up with Queen Medusa, desperate to find her husband, Black Bolt, and through him find sanctuary, meaning, and order within the chaotic society ever-present within the walls of Attilan. Our primary focus this issue is between Medusa and her multitudes of turmoil through running a kingdom singlehandedly and the cruel fate of Black Bolt brought upon by his corrupted, maniacal, and incredibly intelligent brother, Maximus.
Soule’s writing shines throughout any and all of the exchanges between said brothers this issue. The moral, ethical, and physical choices presented before Black Bolt by his sadistic sibling are too painful for any one being to endure, let alone one that packs the punch of an atom bomb in every breath. Even though Black Bolt is restricted to being dialogue-less (due to the nature of his character), Soule’s first full outing with the character is not wasted in any sense of the word. He allows his emotion, desperation, and exhaustion permeate in every scene he is present in. This sullen depiction of Black Bolt allows Maximus’ glee at his own pure sadism shine even brighter in all of it’s disgusting debauchery. Seriously, any scene the two share in this book is pitch perfect and features some of the best dialogue presented in modern Marvel comics.
While Ryan Stegman graced us with the wonderful front cover for this issue, he took a break this issue, allowing Pepe Larraz to fill in. While the brief departure of Stegman is disappointing for any fan of his artwork, Larraz does not slack in any way, shape, or form. He captures the bombastic quality of Stegman’s pencils without coming off as pure imitation and he allows his own artistic brilliance to shine through with the simple but devastating facial expressions of Black Bolt. While his layouts remain a little standard, he completely gets the job done and doesn’t come off as just a fill-in artist; he carves his own niche.
I have been a huge fan of this book since issue #4 debuted and I will continue to be as it remains on the shelves. I cannot recommend this one enough as I feel it’s the best thing Soule has coming out in his myriad of titles.