Tag Archives: inhuman

Review: Inhumans Attilan Rising #1

inhuman001aWhat has been interesting about Secret Wars thus far is the context in which the creative teams behind the individual series seem to be let loose to tell their stories.  Although the overall concept of a world controlled by Dr. Doom is a fairly stringent limitation, the stories themselves are being told in vastly different ways.  Some choose to focus on the concept, whereas others seem to want to ignore it completely.  The Inhuman addition to Secret Wars ends up mostly on the ignoring side, and it is likely to its benefit.

There are the same aspects of Battleworld which show up here.  The Secret Wars location which Dr. Doom has kept safe with his shield is comprised of different zones each which must remain separate from the other.  This aspect of the series is rolled into that of the Inhumans, though it is done in such a way to use the benefits of what made the Inhumans such a standout in recent months at Marvel.  As the new “mutants” at Marvel what is most important to the Inhumans is not accepting the new conditions blindly but rather to question them and challenge them, in this case in an insurrection.  As Marvel has been seemingly tying to establish the Inhumans as the alternate to the X-Men this fits well within that overall tactic.  There is a decent amount of action in this first issue, but it doesn’t underlie the fact that the creative team has gotten right in Secret Wars what has made them so engaging elsewhere (which is not surprising as it is the same writer for both.)

As is the case with the remainder of their stories, many will probably choose to ignore the Inhumans when choosing which titles to follow, but once again the creative team has proven that this superhero team is here to stay on the new Marvel landscape.  For those that have not been following the main series, this is as good a place to start as any, and for those that have, they will be happy to see some of the familiar faces here.  Overall, it is that the creative team has managed to keep the characters intact within Battleworld.  In other cases it is how the heroes react to being in Battleworld, but in this rare case it seems that it is how Battleworld will react to these characters.

Story: Charles Soule Art: John Timms
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read


Review: Inhuman Annual #1

inhumanann01The surge of the Inhumans has been one of the biggest developments in the past year for Marvel comics, both inside of its own continuity as well in the wider use of the characters across other mediums.  While this series has not exactly been the centerpiece for the use of these characters, at times it could have been with its character first approach to the story telling as well as introducing new and intriguing characters and story lines.  This has all lead up to this annual, the first ever annual from Marvel to feature this team.  While the momentum for the heroes is strong, annuals are a poorly defined experience in comics.  Annuals perhaps work best to encapsulate what is best about the series, without necessarily forcing readers into the stories there.  In this case it is the latter which this issue focuses on, finishing up the first year’s worth of stories from the Inhumans, all on the eve of Secret Wars.

The various story lines are all wrapped up here, as Medusa is forced to face the sect of Inhumans who feel as though the Terrigen Mists are the sign of a greater power and that they have been abused.  At the same time Lineage has taken control of New Attilan and spills his new war against humanity directly and immediately into Kamala Khan’s back yard for a degree of revenge.

The action unfolds here almost too close to what would be expected, and with the series heading into Secret Wars, a rapid resolution is needed to get all the various plot points wrapped up in time for the series to head into the crossover with its full attention.  As in most cases of speeding through its own plots, this does a disservice to the series, which has taken the time to build characters, as opposed to racing by them.  While it is to the detriment of this issue, it still manages to succeed on enough levels as to earn a passing grade.  This is after all the same series that did so well so far in its dozen or so issues to establish these characters as never before in the Marvel universe.  Despite the rushed approach here, it is still easy to care about these characters because the creative team have made them approachable in previous issues, and thus while not the strongest issue thus far, this still fits well enough into the overall narrative.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Ryan Stegman
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Review: Inhuman #13

inhuman014There is a common enough formula within comics, and especially for superhero comics.  Not every issue can contain a big spectacular action sequence, as those require several issues to build up to, and equally some issue have to be set up to allow for the development of characters and to introduce new plot points to build other stories from.  After the last issue of Inhuman which resulted in the attack of the Ennilux Corporation against New Attilan, it should not be a surprise to see that this issue is at a much slower pace, instead of the action packed previous few issues.

There is a change of focus somewhat at Marvel, at least is some fundamental ways, as the Inhumans have become the mutants, at least in certain applications.  A few years ago, a popular character like Miss Marvel would have likely been introduced as a mutant but now she is given a background as an Inhuman.  This might have some inspiration from who owns which movie rights, but it is undeniable that the Inhumans have a change of focus which examines them as people first and as superhumans second, and that is the case here.  There is therefore the need from time to time for an issue to build up the characters is stronger.  As this issue focuses on the development of certain characters, it comes at a good time, after Iso has been added to the mix of NuHumans.  At the same time, some ground is laid here for an upcoming story arc as Lineage finally begins to reveal his true intentions.

This series maintains its same level of quality here, even if it is not as pulse pounding as some that have come before.  This simply serves as an intermediate issue, though one which is necessary for the series to catch its breath after recent events.  It still serves as an example of the focus put on characters as opposed to other series which rely more on a concept, and it is that which this series is best known for.  This is not the issue that fans will remember fondly, but rather the one that sets up ones that will become memorable.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Andre Araujo
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read



April is WTD Certified for What the Duck?! Variant Covers

Sure, the highly anticipated Howard the Duck #1 from Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones hits comic shops in March, but Marvel is keeping the celebration going all the way into April! Marvel has unveiled WHAT THE DUCK?! Month – a series of 20 special variant covers for April featuring that fabulous fowl, Howard The Duck! Now is your chance to see some of the most popular artists in the industry provide their own spin on that magnificent mallard!

Today, Marvel is excited to reveal the following WTD Variants by some of Marvel’s greatest cover artists:

  • All-New Hawkeye #2 – WTD Variant Cover by Francesco Francavilla
  • Amazing Spider-Man #17 – WTD Variant Cover by W. Scott Forbes
  • Rocket Raccoon #10 – WTD Variant Cover by Rob Guillory
  • Uncanny Inhumans #0 – WTD Variant Cover by Christian Ward

Look for these additional WTD Variants to grace the covers of these exciting Marvel comics throughout the month of April:

  • All-New Captain America #6
  • All-New X-Men #41
  • Ant-Man #4
  • Daredevil #15
  • Deadpool #45 (a.k.a. Deadpool #250)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #26
  • Hulk #14
  • Inhuman #14
  • Legendary Star-Lord #11
  • Ms. Marvel #14
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. #5
  • Silk #3
  • Spider-Gwen #3
  • Superior Iron Man #7
  • Thor #7
  • Uncanny Avengers #4

Women of Marvel Variants Come to Your Favorite Marvel Comics This March!

This March, Marvel is celebrating Women’s History Month by gathering some of the best and brightest female artists to tackle some of Marvel’s most iconic characters for a very special variant cover theme. Today, Marvel is pleased to present your new look at a selection of March’s Women of Marvel Variant Covers!

In the release Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said:

2014 was a huge year for Women of Marvel, both in our comics and behind the scenes. Marvel now has more titles starring female leads than ever before, the Women of Marvel panel is one of the most highly attended at conventions, and the weekly Women of Marvel podcast continues to grow.  In 2015, we intend to continue that tradition, and March’s Women of Marvel variant covers — featuring 20 of the best female artists in the industry – is just the beginning.

From the biggest names in the industry today to the superstars of tomorrow, you won’t want to miss a single one of these jaw-dropping variant covers coming to these exciting March titles:

  • All-New Captain America #5 by TBD
  • All-New Hawkeye #1 by SHO MURASE
  • All-New X-Men #39 by FAITH ERIN HICKS
  • Amazing Spider-Man #16 by MING DOYLE
  • Ant-Man #3 by KATIE COOK
  • Avengers #42 by TBD
  • Black Widow #16 by VANESA DEL REY
  • Captain Marvel #13 by AUFA RICHARDSON
  • Deadpool #43 by TBD
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #25 by ERICA HENDERSON
  • Inhuman #13 by JILL THOMPSON
  • Legendary Star-Lord #10 by SANA TAKEDA
  • Ms. Marvel #13 by TBD
  • New Avengers #31 by SARA PICHELLI
  • Rocket Raccoon #9 by JANET LEE
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 by COLLEEN DORAN
  • Superior Iron Man #6 by TBD
  • Thor #6 by TBD
  • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 by GURIHIRU
  • Uncanny Avengers #3 by AMANDA CONNER
  • Uncanny X-Men #33 by STACEY LEE

Review: Inhuman #11

ih11ccovThis series continues to prove that it has what it takes for a long run, despite the relative unpopularity of the main characters.  So far in this series an underlying theme has been the diaspora, in trying to find out where the Inhumans can call home after theirs was destroyed and thrown into the New York harbour.  While this theme is still underlying most of what is written, the story took a turn in the previous issue with the return of an Axis infused Medusa, keen on a different level of diplomacy.  While the degree of Axis influence seems to vary between other heroes (for instance it is the main inspiration for Superior Iron Man), here it seems to have worn off after a couple of weeks and an honest heart to heart with a stranger in a bar in Chicago.

While the diaspora theme has been interesting in this series, what has really been noteworthy is the strong writing especially as it relates to the characters.  With Black Bolt absent from his throne, it falls to Medusa to rule in his place.  Her depiction has been a standout in this series, as she deals with being the apparent loss of her husband, the constraints of womanhood and monarchy and the need to lead her nation to a place of stability.   ih11intWhile this character seemed to take a vacation for the one Axis issue, she is already back here.  What is more, the interesting characters on the run from Ennilux, only introduced two issues previous, are already engaging enough to carry most of the story by themselves.

This series continues to be an unheralded standout for Marvel, one that many people aren’t talking about, but one that people should be, especially with a new focus on the Inhumans companywide.  This entire issue was engaging and fun, and never in a superficial way.  Everything that was here had its place, and the issue flowed so smoothly that the somewhat surprise ending came all too soon.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Ryan Stegman
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

BitchPlanet02_CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.


Top Pick: Bitch Planet #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue was the best debut of 2014, mixing action, entertainment, and political/societal commentary wrapped up in a women’s prison exploitation story. The second issue has been one of my most anticipated reads since.

The Dying and The Dead #1 (Image Comics) – A new series from writer Jonathan Hickman is a western meets revenge story. The look fits his previous work, especially East of West. The first issue is more than enough to make me want to return for the second issue, especially knowing Hickman is a master at long storytelling.

Find #1 (Comixtribe) – This one shot is absolutely magical, evoking the wonderment I felt as a child. Just a perfect all-ages title and the best debut of 2015 so far.

Munchkin #1 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios) – If you’ve ever played the game this comic is based off of, you’ll know why it’s on the list. It also doesn’t hurt there’s an exclusive card for the game available in each issue’s first printing.

Quantum and Woody Must Die #1 (Valiant) – Valiant consistently knocks it out of the park, and this first issue is the insanity I expected. Just pure action and humor as only Quantum and Woody can deliver.


Top Pick: Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: The Jungle Book: Fall of the Wild #2 (Zenescope) –  The first miniseries in this trilogy was a standout, the second less so.  The first issue of this third series looks like it might recapture some of what made the first series so good.

Gotham Academy #4 (DC Comics) – This series was one of the biggest surprises of 2014 and although ostensibly aimed at teens, is an all-ages read, and should be on a lot more pull lists.

He-Man Eternity War #2 (DC Comics) – This series has been below most people’s radar, but this isn’t your childhood He-Man.  The writers continue to use the traditional characters as a base for a new and exciting take on fantasy and sci-fi.

Inhuman #11 (Marvel) – Marvel’s focus on Inhumans in comics and on the big screen continues here. This series has been unexpectedly gripping with its diaspora theme and well written characters

Thor #4 (Marvel) – There are surely those that are still holding out for the return of male Thor (who has never really been gone yet), but the new direction in this series has been fun so far.


Top Pick: Batman #38 (DC Comics) – The “Endgame” arc in Batman has been stupendously creepy and expertly done thus far, and there is absolutely no reason to believe this next issue won’t be more of that. Snyder and Capullo understand the comics craft more than a lot of creative teams doing work today.

Bitch Planet #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue of Bitch Planet received loads of critical praise focused mainly on its elegant yet ridiculous take on feminism within the context of female prison exploitation fiction. A second issue to flesh out the characters and larger conflict comes highly anticipated.

Harley Quinn #14 (DC Comics) – The three issue arc focusing upon a team-up with Powergirl that just concluded in Harley Quinn dragged on for way too long despite all of the fun it brought to the table. A fresh storyline sounds great, which is what this issue promises: one about a new love interest for Harley, to boot.

Multiversity Guidebook #1 (DC Comics) – Despite what our esteemed editor in chief would have you believe, Multiversity kicks ass thanks to Grant Morrison’s expert knowledge of both DC Universe continuity and superhero worship. An expansive guide to the vast multiverse of DC from him, along with some bonus narrative, should be a real treat.

Sex Criminals #10 (Image Comics) – The delays for Sex Criminals have been absolutely brutal, but the end result of the effort put into each issue has been consistently fantastic. This issue marks the end of the second arc, leading into a third that will hopefully release on a reasonable schedule.


Top Pick: Betty Page: Queen of Curves (Rizzoli) – This fabulous collection of Bunny Yeager’s photographs of the iconic Betty Page is a coffee table book for the ages. I love coffee, books, and Betty’s classic look on the cover–along with a leopard, no less, so this will have a place of honor in my living room.

Cisco Kid  TP  Vol.  I 1951-1953 (Classic Comics Press) – I’m a fan of this golden era of Westerns and used to watch the Cisco Kid TV show featuring the excellent actor Leo Carillo as Pancho (Mr. Carillo had also worked as a cartoonist). Love the classic look of the drawings here and looking forward to more!

Film Fax #139 (Film Fax) – Any volume that contains news of Bela Lugosi and Bobby Rydell between the same two covers has me at first glance. Add to that the 1950’s robot history included here and Miss NASA 1960’s and I’m in retro pop-culture heaven!

New York Burlesque: Photos by Roy Kemp (Schiffer Publishing) – With today’s renaissance of burlesque as an art form from New Orleans to New York City, where this timely volume is set, Mr. Kemp’s photographs will provide a historical context that’s as informative as it is sexy and fun.

Sleepy Hollow #4 (Boom! Studios) – I’ve watched the show since the very beginning and am new to the comics, so I have bit of catching up to do here.  As someone who loves an archaic turn of phrase and obscure expressions, Ichabod’s mid-eighteenth century lamentations on modern society make me swoon.

Review: Inhuman #10

Inhuman 010The 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

Animals in the Hair – Finding Female Strength in Unconventional Places

wolfmoon - cov altThis past week in comics there was an interesting coincidence and anomaly.  On two separate comic book covers there was the image of a woman whose hair came alive and took the form of animal.  On the cover of Inhuman #9, Medusa’s hair comes alive and forms snakes, and on the cover of Wolf Moon, an unidentified character’s hair comes alive and forms a wolf.  In both cases it is the female character alone on the cover that is the focus of the artwork.  While in both pictures, the association is an obvious one – snakes for Medusa, and a wolf for a werewolf – there is more to be read into this than what first meets the eye.

As a visual representation and as an artistic motif, the use of animal associations is nothing new.  Through the association with animals, humans have for millennia defined themselves as a species other than what we are.  This is a common theme in literature, art, and even shows up in colloquial language (“sly as a fox” “eating like a pig”).  Through the association with a certain animal, a human derives some of their traits, while equally animals can derive the traits of humans in the same process.  Lions aren’t really the kings of the jungle, they are more like one of many apex predators of the savannah, but the combination with so many royal emblems and insignia since at least the Mesopotamian era give both monarch and beast similar traits, and gives the animals a human title where there is none.  Through the use of either allegory or association, subjects of artwork use animals to depict what we respect and fear about these beasts.

inhumanWhat is interesting here is not the use of the animals, but rather the use of the hair.  As a society and culture, hair is most associated with women as it forms an important aspect of their beauty.  In this case though, this aspect of the beauty is being replaced by something else, a symbol of strength and power.  In the field of comics which is often criticized for its poor representation of women and of female beauty, this is an interesting and almost unnoticed coincidence from this past week, as female hair, which is usually just a representation of female beauty, in this way becomes a representation of female strength.  While it is worth remembering that the medium as a whole has some ground to make up in terms of female physical standards, it is also worth noting that there are those in the field that use what they have in unconventional ways and that was the case this week with these two unintentionally related covers.

Review: Inhuman #9

inhumanThe latest issue of Inhuman has the unfortunate condition of tying into a company-wide crossover.  It seems as though every time recently that a crossover is forced on a series that the series ends up being muddled by the experience, and that is the case again here.  In this issue Medusa has returned from the events in Axis, and she is changed by the Axis influence of having more of an edge to her character.  While this is evident throughout, it equally doesn’t affect the issue as much, because the focus is elsewhere.  Instead it focuses on the Reader and his ward Xiaoyi who he is escorting to the Ennilux.  As he ventures across the wastelands of Asia with her, he finds that they are being pursued everywhere and does what he can to protect her.

In terms of a company-wide crossover, this is perhaps a better approach than what is usually done.  Instead of being thrown in neck deep into an out-of-place and unwanted story line,  the damage is minimized as much as possible here.  The two appearances of Axis Medusa before the end are more like interludes, and especially the first one is played for comedic value instead of focusing too much on the influence of this new Medusa.  This is to the benefit of the series and this issue, as so far the character has been a standout for this series in her present incarnation, and changing the formula unnecessarily could run the series somewhat off the tracks.

Unfortunately this is where this issue ends.  Instead of focusing on other stories, it focuses on a changed Medusa, or at least one somewhat different from previous issues, and if this carries on it might have a negative impact on coming issues.  At the same time though, the novel approach to the crossover here works and minimizes the damage, especially with the other story focusing on the other two characters on the run.  It is there where this issue finds its strength and it is well enough played, although this is the weakest issue in the series thus far.

Story: Charles Soule  Art: Ryan Stegman
Story:  7.9 Art: 7.9  Overall: 7.9  Recommendation: Read


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