Review: Karnak #1

Karnak #1 CoverTHE FLAW IN ALL THINGS “My curse is that I see the flaw in all things. Systems. Philosophies. Structures. People. Everything. Never forget who I am. I am Karnak of the Inhumans.” You may not know who Karnak is now, but you will when Warren Ellis and Gerardo Zaffino are done with you. Phil Coulson goes to Karnak to help with a SHIELD case with Inhuman implications and what he’s going to find will terrify you.

Out of the numerous announced comics as part of Marvel‘s All-New, All-Different relaunch, Karnak with Ellis writing was one I was more intrigued about. I enjoyed Ellis run on Moon Knight, and that’s impressive for me, as I generally find him to be one of the more overrated writers out there.

For a high-profile writer, and a rather anticipated comic, I’d say this debut comic was a disappointment in that I expected better, but it’s not a bad first issue. Ellis isn’t giving us something new as much as it’s a redux of what he did with Moon Knight, a focus on the character, quirks and all. That’s not a bad thing at all, it just feels like we’ve been here and done this before. Not so all-new, all-different. Add in the fact that so far you could replace Karnak with numerous other characters (Shang-Chi or Iron First could be similar comics) and it definitely doesn’t feel like anything special or exciting.

The art by Zaffino is interesting and I found myself both liking and disliking it at the same time. Particularly what bothered me was a weird pattern we see throughout the issue that feels like a boot imprint. It’s a pattern and choice I don’t quite understand I found it rather distracting.

The issue isn’t bad at all, and I want to see what the second issue is like, despite a weird stopping point. There’s absolutely some potential in the fist issue and where it all goes is key, but the comic overall doesn’t feel like it’s special or new. Hype has definitely hurt the comic, but expectations are what they are. In this case, the comic didn’t meet them, and feels like something I’ve seen before.

Story: Warren Ellis Art: Jorge Zaffino
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read