Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Comic Book review: Inhumans: Attilan Rising

The Inhumans have long stood among the strangest of Marvel’s organized costumed supers, living in a secret society which utilizes hyper-advanced technology, and subjecting themselves to the gene-altering Terrigen Mists as a coming-of-age ritual. It is curious, then, that the Battleworld series focused on the Inhumans turns this familiar formula on its head. In this strikingly different version of the Inhumans tale, Black Bolt is host of the Quiet Room, a bar which permits many of Battleworld’s denizens entrance for drinks and company, provided they do not start any quarrels within its walls. In truth, the Quiet Room is a front for Black Bolt’s growing rebellion against Baron Medusa and her Doom loyalists.

Medusa, meanwhile, has access to the highly-advance technologies commonplace in previous Inhumans comics. She is devoutly loyal to Doom’s law – more so than many of Battleworld’s other resident Barons. And she is ever-suspicious of the Quiet Room, believing that it more than what it appears. Sending in one of her most trusted spies, Kamala Khan, Medusa hopes to expose any dissenters and quash their aspirations before they can move against her.

On Black Bolt’s side are his ever-trustworthy compatriots Karnak and the 1602 version of Matt Murdock, as well as a patrol that consists of young Inhumans, a Hulk, and G-Man, a Ghost Rider who appears to hail from the Marvel Noir universe. As luck (or perhaps a lack thereof) would have it, G-Man and company’s activities are what first tip Medusa off to the possibility that Black Bolt may be plotting against her, but there are plenty more twists and turns that come to play throughout the course of this story.

Inhumans: Attilan Rising begins with a style not unlike the Marvel Noir stories. The dangerous game of ‘cat versus mouse’ that Black Bolt and Medusa are playing builds the suspense as the sell one another bold-faced lies. The first two chapters are something of a slow burn, taking additional time to craft this unusual vision of the Inhuman conflict. But by the conclusion of issue three, Inhumans: Attilan Rising picks up its pace and its intensity, and delivers a few key powerful twists that significantly improve the quality of the narrative. Inhumans: Attilan Rising’s slow start should not discourage readers from seeing the five-issue series through to its conclusion, because the explosive series of events that make up its finale are well worth the price of admission.

My rating: 8.5 (out of 10)

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