Review: All-New Inhumans #2

All-New-Inhumans-2One of the things that I enjoy about the current Inhuman status quo is how their story explores the space of hybrid citizenship and competing cultural heritage. I touched on this a bit earlier in a review of a previous Inhuman title.  While this is element shared with the mutant people to some extent in the Marvel Universe it seems to be emphasized a bit more strongly now with the Inhumans. They are a geneocracy afterall and everything about them hinges on family and heritage. All New-Inhumans #2 answers the questions of what’s to be done when rogue regime acts suspiciously in the wake of global terrigenesis. Crystal and her roving team are tasked with a diplomatic mission to the Republic of Sin Cong (our obvious Marvel U stand in for North Korea).

The mission centers on a the Commissar of Sin Cong’s curious report that no instances of terrigenesis have taken place on the nation’s soil. This admission is curious due to the global range of the T-Cloud  and has piqued the suspicion of both the Inhuman Royal family and S.H.I.E.L.D.  The Commissar’s report , seems to echo similar real world statements that persecuted minorities such has LGBTQ individuals do not  exist in certain nations with dubious human rights records. This parallel was not lost on me. Agent Daisy Johnson AKA Quake sends the team off with cautious blessing, letting Crystal know that as her inhuman Liaison to shield she was the deciding vote on a split decision on whether Crystal’s team would be sanctioned for their mission. Quake’s presence makes sense given her status as an Inhuman, and as a SHIELD agent she makes for a strategic asset. Additionally this may signal some future connections with the newly relaunched Agents of SHIELD title, and I always like to see  such inter-title ties like this. Quake’s position is interesting. As an inhuman, she shares a vested interest in the well being of her people, but as an agent of SHIELD she’ll be accountable and may be the chosen vehicle of sanction if things go south with this mission. That kind of conflict makes for rich story telling and a strong parallel for Inhumans of other nationalities who may find themselves in similar dilemmas of heritage. I’m sure we’ll see more of the latter soon enough

I am really starting to admire the Inhumans on this team. This title is rich with international  intrigue and shows the necessity of reconnaissance and espionage, in the age of international gesture and possible mass atrocities. I have always marveled how the skill-sets of the Inhuman power set are appropriately paired to their given missions. Crystals mission has both a diplomatic and espionage compliment and the team she chose for the latter were very smart.

Crystal’s overall diplomacy is worthy of mention. There was a series of panels where she appeals to the Commissar’s grossly inflated ego in order to alleviate a politically sensitive incident which maintains the cover of the diplomatic team. I must commend Soule’s consistent representation of Crystal’s character, she has always proven her political prowess to equal or possibly superior to that of her Sister, Queen Medusa She is very keen on the nuances of appearance, and has incredible foresight. I strongly suggest a reading of the War of Kings  event where she was dubbed the Kree’s “People’s Princess” due to these traits.  (Please read that volume if you have not done so already!)

The issue ends with disturbing revelation of possible crimes against humanity or Inhumanity as it were. This adds a very interesting wrinkle to the Marvel Universe, as the concept has been introduced (or lightly touched) in varying degrees and multiple incidents/contexts. I think the term Genocide was explicitly mentioned in the first issue of this title. This alone requires its own exploration and comparison  I have always enjoyed the exploits of the Inhumans and I am  very much hooked and anticipating what unfolds next. How various governments and nation react to Terrigenesis, is such a deep and winding mandate. I cannot wait to see where this all goes in the future.

I had a really nostalgic feeling while viewing the art, and was awestruck by the range of emotion  captured in the character’s faces. Upon further reflection I realized this nostalgia was due to Casseli’s work on the Secret Warriors title featuring Nick Fury and his black ops super hero team.  Both of these titles share strong espionage elements, and in my opinion made Casseli a smart choice this title

Final Thoughts

This issue made me ponder the post Dark Reign Mighty Avengers volume and the story of the redacted inhuman king “unspoken”. This story introduced the Xerogen crystals, which could pose a strategic weapon for either the Inhumans or non-inhuman community going forward.

Story: Charles Soule & James Asmus Art: Stefano Caselli
Story 10 Art 10 Overall 10 Recommendation: Buy