PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of DEATH OF THE INHUMANS #2 from Marvel Comics. Available August 1st, 2018, the creative team for this series features writing from Donny Cates, art from Ariel Olivetti, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and lettering from Clayton Cowles.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s review of…
DEATH OF THE INHUMANS #2
Main Cover Artist: Kaare Andrews
In Shops: Aug 01, 2018
JOIN OR DIE!
Attilan died screaming without its king. Now Black Bolt sets out for vengeance against the Kree – and leads the last of his people to their deaths. For the Kree have a weapon of their own…one that will teach the Silent King what it truly means to be voiceless. The massacre continues as Donny Cates and Ariel Olivetti bring the Inhumans to their lowest point in history.
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
Death of the Inhumans #2
Death of the Inhumans #2 see the Kree using their super soldier of death, Vox, unleash a mass destruction on New Arctilan. What Marvel Comics has promised us is a story which will change everything. However, what this story really is about is punishment. It’s Marvel telling the Inhumans they failed. They failed as a franchise, they failed a television show, and failed to eclipse the Marvel Mutants (regardless of what you believe).
In the end, I never cared about the Inhumans and no matter how hard Marvel tried, I still couldn’t care about the Inhumans.
When the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) took off, Marvel Studios realized they had no access to their mutant franchise, the X-Men, and related characters. As a matter of fact, they were restricted from such words such as “mutant.” Some things, however, fell through the cracks – Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver for starters. As they introduced those two characters [in film] and skipped around their mutant origins, the comics took a drastic change for them as well. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver suddenly found themselves no longer mutants and no longer the estranged children of Magneto. They had become Inhumans.
Marvel Comics was beginning to push the Inhumans. It started with the huge ‘Inhuman’ event and then went into a series about the new Inhumans, from the event with a title of the same name. Next came The Uncanny Inhumans, Karnak and Mosaic; books featuring certain characters as leads and the failed IvX (Inhumans vs X-Men) which prosed the problem of the Terrigen Mist becoming deadly to mutants. Marvel was forcing the X-Men out and trying to replace them with Inhumans. It didn’t stick. Now the closure of a $71.3 billion deal has brought the X-Men movie franchise home to Marvel Studios and now Marvel Comics can cast the Inhumans aside.
That is what I think of this miniseries as a whole, as a huge “Bai” from Marvel Comics.
Again, an epic story of cosmic proportions by Donny Cates. This boy is getting around the Marvel Universe! The plot isn’t so bad though. We discover that the Kree sent out an exploratory mission eons ago. That mission has returned but they returned to find their homeworld destroyed, the Supreme Intellegence dead, and the once great Kree Empire in ruins (all due to the events of Guardians of the Galaxy/X-Men Black Vortex). The new Kree have created Vox, an Inhuman solider who has none of their emotional or human traits and is just the embodiment of Death. Vox comes to New Arctilan on the moon and cleans house. Lock Jaw and Maximus die as well (won’t lie, shed a tear for Lock Jaw, I have a dog named Lock Jaw). Anyway, he murdered hundreds of Inhumans and even severely wounded Medusa, who as she lays dying begged Black Bolt to tell her that he loved her. Begged him to utter it in his own words and not just sign it to her. Touching stuff!
So in this issue, we have Karnak who is sent to the Kree Commander to relay a message from Black Bolt. This is where we learn that the Kree intend to rebuild Hala and enslave the Inhumans as their intended soliders and slaves. The Kree Commander explains how they dispatched Ronan as leader of the Kree and have begun to forge a new life. When asked to kneel, Karnak doesn’t. Karnak does his best to fend off Vox, but Vox is able to subdue the Inhuman who can see the flaw in all things. As Black Bolt arrives, we have another touching moment. As Black Bolt walks through the halls of the Kree base, he begins speaking every name of the fallen Inhumans, making it a song about death.
It comes down to just Black Bolt vs. Vox, as Vox holds Karnak as a shield. Black Bolt signs to Karnak to have Vox take him instead, which Vox has Black Bolt trade places with Karnak. And before Karnak’s very eyes…Vox slits Black Bolt’s throat!
Wow…I had to go back and reread that page again. It seems Marvel has given Cates the green light to clean house. I can see where Cates has come to weave a story around trying to sweep this property under the rug. That can be the actual benefit of having a writer such as Donny Cates pen this final swan song to one of Marvel’s most well-known, redheaded stepchildren.
Ariel Olivetti is no stranger to drawing the Marvel Universe either with such work on Alpha Flight v2 in 1997, Cable v2, Daredevil 369-375 during 1997, and even Incredible Hulk 601-605. He’s worked for Marvel since 1995 with Avengers the Last Story. An up-and-coming artist who helped replace the talent lost to Image Comics at the time. He’s also done work for DC with books like The Kingdom in 1999, as well as Lobo and Martian Manhunter in 1998 & 1999.
His work is diverse at best as he draws in a very clear motion style. Meaning that it doesn’t matter how much shading or heavier inking is applied to his pencils, you never lose sight of what he is trying to convey in his panels. I call this kind of artwork “clear.” Also, he isn’t afraid to use facial expressions to tell the story. With characters like Black Bolt, who doesn’t speak, this is insanely important. You can almost see the sarcasm etched on Karnak’s face as he speaks to Kree Commander.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
It’s an end. Perhaps not the most befitting end, but really, who ever stays dead in the Marvel Universe? Black Bolt may not even be dead. Perhaps Vox didn’t cut deep enough? Perhaps he is saved in the end? Perhaps some MacGuffin comes down from the Heavens and stops this “join us or die” genocidal attitude? The point is, it’s a swan song but maybe not the best befitting characters of this age. Having been around since Fantastic Four #45, one would imagine perhaps Marvel could have waited for the Fantastic Four to return to the Marvel Universe and include them, thus making the life of the Inhumans seem full circle.
In actuality, Cates is making the Inhumans pay for the X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy’s own crimes and trespasses against the Kree Empire.
3.5 out of 5 Stars
A decent read. I enjoy Karnak as a character, as well as the emotional spin Cates is putting into this book. The first issue it was the death of hundreds of Inhumans including Lockjaw and Maximus, also topped off by the pleas from Medusa for Black Bolt to verbally confess his love for his wife when he cannot. This issue is no different with the conversation between Karnak and the Kree Commander, as well as both Karnak and Black Bolt’s fight with Vox, to the slowly walking Black Bolt through the halls of a Kree base, simply speaking the names of his fallen Inhumans. It’s just gut-wrenching and almost makes you believe it’s a story meant to be more than a simple cleaning of house.
Also, the whole backstory of Vox and this new splinter cell of Kree are interesting and it begs one to wonder, what could these Kree mean for Carol Danvers? And what if they end up out of this miniseries alive to spread their war throughout the Marvel Universe? They claim they are waging war with Earth, mankind, and all the Inhumans whom they grant protection to, which a picture of Moon Girl on the Kree Commander’s viewscreen leaves a simple, hard lump in one’s throat.
Not quite worth your money. You’ve heard of movies people wait to download or watch on Netflix? Well, wait for this trade! You’re not missing much, especially if you have zero invested in the Inhumans.
DEATH OF THE INHUMANS #2 can be purchased on ComiXology and available
at your local comic shop and online retailers on Wednesday, August 1st!
Be sure to follow the creative team!
Writer – Donny Cates
Letterer – Clayton Cowles
Publisher – Marvel Comics