Death of the Inhumans #1
Written by: Donny Cates
Art by: Ariel Olivetti
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Published by: Marvel Comics (July 4, 2018)
There is a war on Black Bolt’s doorstep and as the King and leader, he must be the one to address it. Black Bolt must take on a new and powerful enemy who has left a trail of dead Inhuman bodies in his wake. The Death of the Inhumans is now upon us.
The book begins with a history lesson on the Inhuman species. With the Kree having “scattered seeds of war across the stars” for their war against the Skrulls, they hunted early humans and manipulated their genetics to create something more useful for their causes. With these experimentations spanning over generations, a new group of powerful beings were created. They served as soldiers, spies, assassins and ultimately, slaves. However, when the warning came from the Kree’s Supreme Intelligence that foretold the end of their species because of those being born from their genetic meddling, the Kree abandoned their research.
But as we’ve grown to know very well, history often repeats itself…
The Royal family is aboard the Royal Inhuman Vessel and Black Bolt is searching for the names of the 11,038 free Inhumans that have been found dead. He knows that someone is sending him a message by taking all of these lives so mercilessly, and the King’s heart grows heavier and heavier with each name he jots down. Seeing the weight her husband bears, Medusa comforts him. She reminds the King that while he is right to mourn the fallen, he needs to dry his tears and bury the good man with the good heart, because the people need their King.
When they arrive to a remote planet to meet with the other Queens to vote for or against war, Black Bolt and his compatriots find that there is no need to vote, as the war might already be lost. The message “Join or Die” is painted with blood across a hanging banner, while the bodies of the four Queens are mutilated and strung up for all to see. Black Bolt cannot hide his shock and further anguish, struggling not to make a sound. When Titan finds that one of the envoys is still alive, the pair meld minds and Triton finds out what truly happened to the four Queens and their envoys.
New Arctilan (Enter Vox)
Medusa knows that there is something gravely amiss and urges the King and the rest of their Inhuman family to head back to their home. Of course, Medusa is right. Their new enemy and murderer of the four Queens and the 11,038 other Inhumans, Vox, is now on their home world. Taking out all those who attempt to stop him, Vox demands Maximus to send his brother a message. But even without the cooperation of Maximus, Vox still manages to deliver a powerful message to Black Bolt who arrives to his home just a few minutes later.
The King then thinks of Rome and remembers that while it was not built in one day, it did burn in one…
Death of the Inhumans is dark; darker than I was expecting despite the title and the premise surrounding the book. For those who are fans of the Inhumans, this comic might come as a shock because the first issue is pretty no-holds barred. There are some gruesome looking scenes throughout and it makes for quite the read. There is an ever-present haunting and ominous feeling throughout the pages that Donny Cates writes perfectly. It is almost unsettling to see the emotion from Black Bolt throughout the book as the Inhumans are rarely shown to be emotional or particularly sympathetic, but it certainly brought something different to the story.
The introduction of new villain, Vox is quite ominous – an element that is captured well by Ariel Olivetti’s art and Jordie Bellaire’s colours. The darkness and shadow of the black in contrast with the red bolts along the chest of Vox’s suit make for a very imposing figure. I’m already wondering just how the meeting between Vox and Black Bolt will go when it happens.
Cates succeeds in reminding us about the flaws of the Inhumans, particularly those who are part of the hierarchy and to see Blackagar’s reaction to the killings of the free Inhumans – the ones who did not belong to any of the five tribes – was particularly stirring. Pairing this typically unseen behaviour from of the Inhumans leader with the death of some familiar characters right off the bat, this book definitely serves as a punch to the gut for those who are fond of the characters and world of the Inhumans.
Death of the Inhumans #1 gets a well deserved 4 sonic screams out of 5.