Review: Black Bolt #10
Where we last left Black Bolt, he had returned to Earth as a changed man, took Blinky with him after defeating the Jailer and had to meet up with Titania, the wife of the Absorbing Man and during the funeral service, Lash returns to kidnap Blinky and it is up to the Midnight King himself and Titania for a rescue mission.
Saladin Ahmed‘s Black Bolt has garnered well deserved critical praise since last year. Ahmed who has previously written novels made a big splash on the comic book scene working for Marvel with Black Bolt as part of their new Inhumans titles of the “ResurXion” line. Say what you will about the Inhumans but their books have gotten better and better with Black Bolt being one of the best if not the best of them. The book not only has taken the character of Black Bolt in new scenarios but also further develops him. The first arc of the book changed him for the better between his friendship with the Absorbing Man and Blinky, who in a way has become something of an adoptive daughter for him.
And it’s further expanded upon and empathized in issues 8 and 9 and the trend continues in this issue. The issue deals with something else from his past, the fallout of “Infinity” where Black Bolt in the end unleashed a Terrigen Bomb (long story) that created a lot of new Inhumans, basically people who had Inhuman DNA in them but never went through the process. So the narration makes it clear that Black Bolt has regrets doing that as it’s one of those things where he thought it could save his people against Thanos. It kind of did but brought along a lot of fallout and of course, Lash and his minions are among the fallout. But he fights them anyway to get Blinky back.
The book delves further into Black Bolt gaining humanity more and more when it came to Lash holding Blinky hostage. Yes, it sounds like a cliché when I type it but Ahmed doesn’t make it written like a cliché. The book makes it clear that this is a tough decision to make. He cares about Blinky, he doesn’t want her harmed so he does what he has to do but it’s not a decision you think he’ll make. Traditionally, some hero would think of a clever way to beat the villain and rescue the hostage. This is not what happens and it’s an understandable one. It’s not portrayed as a weakness which is very refreshing to see.
Lash’s plan basically involves ruling humanity, despising Black Bolt for unleashing the Terrigen Bomb. Which that second part may suggest a bit of classist in him as he sees himself superior than other Inhumans and he has created a makeshift device that’s similar in concept.
As everything escalates, the issue reaches the highest point of such when it came to the ending which I won’t give away because I certainly didn’t see it coming.
Ahmed still nails the characters in this book, either further developing than how other writers have done so before or giving them unique voices. As I mentioned, Black Bolt has been given a lot of development and that continues especially in a section connected to Inhumans: Judgment Day. It’s just as much of a touching scene as it is in that one shot and blends together very well-seamlessly even. Ahmed of course nails the action as well as he never writes a boring book. Dude just knows what to write.
Christian Ward‘s art as always nails everything. With a watercolor look, a splash of colors, it fits the tone the book is going for and something of an appropriate Sci-Fi feel to it like the first arc and can be gothic too which can appeal to me. But not only that, he knows how to convey emotions-artwise. Ahmed nails that as well mind you. With Ahmed, he doesn’t beat you over the head as to what Black Bolt is feeling and Ward’s art empathizes the facial expressions like in the first couple of pages where he looks distraught and helpless-it’s astonishingly well executed. And the one section with art by Stephanie Hans with the scenes between Black Bolt and Medusa are beautiful. Like, when has her art never been beautiful?
Black Bolt just remains to be one of the most in sync books between writer and artist I have seen.
I’m not just saying this as a Marvel fan or a fan of the Inhumans, Black Bolt is a book I highly recommend reading and this issue does not disappoint and has me dying to know what will happen in issue 11. There is a lot to love and if you’re a fan of the character or Ahmed’s work or Christian Ward’s, check it out.
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review