The latest issue of Inhumans is one of two stories, and it is two stories which are cleverly balanced against one another, despite not directly dealing with each other. Since its relaunch Inhumans has been one of the most interesting series in Marvel. It is a fairly common theme in comics to have a group of outsiders and to have them desire some kind of assembly to make them feel more comfortable amongst themselves. This is the case with the X-Men but it is also the case with the Inhumans, though the approach here seems to be more that of a true diaspora. Instead of people finding out that there are others like them and seeking some acceptance, the people here already knew that there were others like them, only they can’t figure out how to get back together.
So far in this series, Medusa has been undoubtedly the breakout star. As she struggles to find acceptance for new Attilan, she takes center stage both inside and outside of the comic. While she is central figure here, the role that Axis played upon her is also not used as a detraction, but rather as an attraction. The past two issues could have turned into an all-out slugfest but it did not. What this series really needs is a pull to keep the stories interesting, and it has that in the Reader and Xiaoyi, the only problem being that they are not enough of a draw to keep most fans coming back. What is enough of a draw though is a battle of Medusa versus Spider-Man, and so this is where the balance comes in. The battle between the two heroes is a bit artificial and out of place, but it still provides the draw for the reader to be introduced to the more compelling story behind the scenes.
This issue does what it must. It provides a bit of fluff to draw in the reader but also keeps the main story going in the background. This duplicitous approach is perhaps needed, but is also indicative of what some comics need to do to survive. Evidently though, Marvel is very interested in the concept of the Inhumans, and they will be doing everything that they can to keep the idea alive and relevant. This issue does that at the very least, providing both some mostly meaningless fun but also the necessary gravity for the series to keep going strong.
Story: Charles Soule Art: Ryan Stegman
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Read