I really think it was a mistake to put Joe Madureira on this title. His slow speed, combined with Matt Fraction dropping out to be replaced by Charles Soule, has lead to this title coming out a lot later than it should have, with pretty much all of the momentum and excitement gone. This should have been available right after Infinity, but now? The cover says that it’s Marvel’s latest epic, but that’s not true, Original Sin is Marvel’s latest epic, and it starts in only a few weeks.
But with that said, this comic is actually pretty good, and it sets the stage for what should be an interesting story. It’s just a shame it’s probably not going to have the impact it should. The issue begins in Bergen, Norway, where a young man named Kristian gets into a bar-fight, and talks to his friend about how he knows he’s destined for something different. It turns out he is, as Bergen is hit by the Terrigenesis cloud, and Kristian begins to transform. His cocoon is picked up by another Inhuman called ‘Lash’ to takes him out into the wilderness to wait for Kristian to hatch. Lash talks to the Coccoon, and reveals that he is an Inhuman from the hidden city of Orollan, which was Thane’s home in Infinity. In Orollan, there wasn’t much Terrigen Crystal to go around, so only a select few were exposed to it. Lash is angry at Black Bolt for how profligate he was with the Terrigenesis, and disagrees vehemently with the decision to expose the whole planet to it. He doesn’t see Terrigenesis as an Inhuman right, but as a privilege. He proves this by killing poor Kristian as soon as he hatches, as he’s come out as a weak and pitiful freak. So much for Kristian’s special destiny.
Elsewhere, Medusa is woken up by her handmaiden, and told that they’ve found Eldrac, the Inhuman Door that sent her people across the planet. Medusa asks Eldrac to send her where she needs to be, assuming this will send her to either Black Bolt or her son, but nope, she’s sent to Illinois.
It’s here that we are introduced to another new Inhuman, Dante, a struggling musician trying to help his sick mother and pregnant sister. Just as Dante is about to leave, the Terrigenesis hits both him, and his mother. Lash appears in order to judge these new Inhumans. Dante’s mother didn’t survive the process, and is unworthy, and it looks like Dante is too, as he emerges unchanged. Lash prepares to kill him like he did Kristian, but instead, Dante reveals his new powers, he can set himself on fire. He manages to fight off Lash, with the help of the teleported in Medusa, who, as the issue ends, welcomes him to the Inhuman race, and tells him that it’s time to pick a side.
I thought this was an intriguing opening issue. The scenes with Kristian and Dante experiencing their Terrigenesis were a bit generic, the stuff you’ve seen in a 1000 issues of X-Men when new Mutants are discovered, but there is an added edge of horror there, and already Charles Soule has introduced 2 recognisable groups of Inhuman viewpoints that should make for interesting clashes, and from Fraction’s one-shots, we know there are more factors involved. I liked the twist of Kristian immediately being killed too, it surprised me.
I know I criticized Joe Mad earlier, but he is a good artist, and this book looked good, with a similar look to his previous Ultimates 3 work. He has a unique style and since this isn’t really a superhero comic, it fits, and Medusa’s hair has never looked so good. I do hope people still check this book out, and that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, Soule is really being allowed to shake things up for the Inhumans here, and this is something new for the Marvel Universe.