Page 45 Review by Stephen
"Hnh. Almost amusing. The silent king cannot keep his word."
Very good, very good! If I'd written a line like that I'd have taken the rest of the month off.
Paul Jenkins & Jae Lee's self-contained INHUMANS s/c or h/c comes highly recommended as an introduction to this royal family but also to all - not just Marvel superhero fans - as a very clever, considered and beautiful series about society. Some of it smacked of Neil Gaiman. No word of a lie.
This is much more Marvel-centric and quite specific in its context but certainly one of the best most recent examples with a cracking punchline bursting with attitude which was set up very early on indeed. Comeuppances are so very satisfying.
From the creative team behind the DEATH OF WOLVERINE, the first chapter shone under its clear blue skies, crackling temporal energy and the sound of a whispered word. No clues as to whose required. I personally missed Justin Ponsor's colours after that opening salvo, but it's still all much more attractive than this stiff and ill-composed cover.
The silent king is Black Bolt who cannot speak a word for fear of levelling a mountain - the very essence of the strong, silent macho man - and he's certainly going to be biting that stiff upper lip raw now that he's been deposed and his ex, Queen Medusa, is dating the Human Torch. It's a startling development given The Torch's history with Medusa as a member of the Frightful Four and with Medusa's sister Crystal as an ex-lover. Also given that Medusa is one of the most reserved and dignified characters in Marvel's stable, while Johnny Storm is its mad, rutting colt.
It all came crashing down for Black Bolt in the highly recommended Avengers crossover INFINITY VOL 1 and INFINITY VOL 2 from which to you can move straight on to here. Here is mere moments before SECRET WARS - before the death of everything.
Events first brought to light in NEW AVENGERS VOL 1: EVERYTHING DIES are about to come to a cataclysmic head as the two main Marvel Earths (regular and Ultimate) are about to collide, wiping them both out along with their universes. That is why Black Bolt's palm is glowing: the final Incursion is imminent and there is one thing above all which he must ensure - that his son Ahura survives. Now, how would you ensure someone survives the end of the universe, do you think? I'd probably take them outside of time itself.
"If I do this thing for you, if I take your son back into the timestream with me, saving him from what is to come, then he is mine.
"Even if the death of the universe is somehow averted, know that Ahura will belong to Kang always."
Yes, it's Kang The Constantly Conquered.
Chapters two to five take place after SECRET WARS when, umm, the death of the universe was somehow averted. Whoops.