I am thinking outside the box this week and want to talk about a book that has literally just dodged being cut from my pull list. This week we’re talking about Marvel’s book Inhuman, issue number 8: “Comes the Light” by Charles Soule with art by Pepe Larraz.
This issue was, thankfully, the climax of a two-part story. The beginning of the story, honestly, was not that great, and it followed a line of not-so-great issues. This was definitely the deciding issue on whether or not I kept buying this book. The first part of the story introduced two new characters who, basically, are Inhuman cops. One was born in the Inhuman world and one is a Nuhuman who used to be a cop. This was an “odd couple” kind of story that I couldn’t possibly care less about; the fact that they were looking for Black Bolt was the only intriguing part.
Black Bolt’s situation with Maximus was surprising and, frankly, a little lame. I didn’t agree with it, but the fallout of their encounter with the Inhuman police is what made me stay. The Inhuman died, killed by Black Bolt, and the Nuhuman did what he would have done before being changed—he goes and breaks the news to his partner’s family, then sets out for vengeance. With a few new allies, Gorgon and Inferno, he goes hunting for Black Bolt and Maximus. Luckily he finds them and they manage to free Black Bolt and “kill” Maximus.
There are three things that managed to save this book for me. The first of Inhuman’s saving graces is how Nur (Frank McGee, the former cop Nuhman) has responded to becoming a Nuhuman. He hasn’t quite accepted it, correcting people who call him by his new name, but by offering his services as a police officer to the fledgling state, he certainly hasn’t rejected it either. He is an interesting character. Similarly, another positive in the portrayal of Nur is how he handled his partner’s death. Like I just said, he hasn’t fully accepted his new existence as a Nuhuman, but for him to act how he does, I thought it was an excellent writing choice for Charles Soule to make. One final thing worth a mention is the darkness of the finale. This story ends with Black Bolt destroying the fingers of Maximus with a single word. It was pure brutality, and a satisfying darkness that is rarely seen in Marvel or DC.
The writing in this issue was crisp and vibrant and the story had a clear purpose that seemed lacking in previous issues. I really hope that this book stays at this calibre, but I worry it won’t. It stays on the fence for me, but it lives through at least one more arc. The art has been consistently solid and doesn’t need to change or improve; it can remain simply as it is.
3.5 out of 5. Not great, but good enough to survive.