In Review: Inhuman #9

The issue didn't focus on what I wanted, but I'm completely taken by Reader and Xiaoyi.

The cover: Medusa’s hair looks like serpents from the mythological Medusa. I’ve never seen her strands drawn this way before and it looks pretty cool. It’s like ponytails from Hell. She looks pretty wicked as her hair is ready to take a bite out of some prey. I wish it hadn’t been so darkly colored, but it still looks pretty cool. Good introduction to the character and her abilities from Ryan Stegman. Overall grade: B+

The story: I’ve been following this series since it began, but haven’t been following any of the characters’ appearances in other books. Doing so might have helped understand what’s up with Medusa. The cover gives a tease that she’s feeling a bit meaner, but nothing prepared for her acting like she does in “Ennilux” by Charles Soule. The story begins in Turkey, on the Anatolian Plateau. Reader, an Inhuman who is blind, is leading a NuHuman Xiaoyi to safety. They encounter four people who want the young girl for their own means, but they’re quickly defeated. The young NuHumans that I’ve been enjoying are pushed aside to show that Medusa and her people are having further difficulties with the humans of New York. Her actions on Page 15 really shocked me, and the final page was like a nail in her morality coffin. Big changes are coming to this book quickly. Most of the book deals with Reader and Xiaoyi, who get to Ennilux. It is an extremely interesting setting and has an unexplored backstory that could be a series unto itself. Reader thinks he’s doing Xiaoyi a favor, but he finds out something else. Xiaoyi’s predicament is frightening and I was so relieved to see the bottom of Page 18. I was really worried! I’m a little frustrated that the story doesn’t focus on the New Mutants…er, NuHumans, and so much time is spent on Medusa’s new goals. I wish the story were being told entirely from the NuHumans’ perspective, then there would be bigger surprises from their leader when she appeared. Still, fun to read, and I will be back next month. Overall grade: B+

The art: Really intricate visuals created by Ryan Stegman on this book. The first page alone is such a step above most super hero books. The two Inhumans look incredible, as does Forey and the background. They’re just standing, awaiting the reveal of a threat and it looks awesome. When the first villain appears in the top right panel on Page 3, I was reminded of the work of Geof Darrow. Xiaoyi is absolutely stunning with the markings around her face. She’s beautiful! And looking so good, so young, made her peril later in the book all the more heartfelt by the reader. Page 16 is an absolute terror to endure. Nothing graphic is done whatsoever, but Soule’s story, complemented by Stegman’s art had me cringing at what was about to occur. I’m not thrilled with Medusa’s new duds, as she looks like she’s about to step into Dark Horse Comics’ X, rather than deal with Marvel characters. It’s drawn well, but not a design I like. Page 11 is a wonderful introduction to Ennilux. That one page holds so much promise, Stegman is setting up stories to be told at a later date should Soule want to go there. The tunnel on Page 12 is so simple a design, but it looks amazing. The character that appears at the top of 13 created the prefect reaction. This character looks grotesque, but a reader cannot take their eyes off his design. I stand and applaud all that Stegman did on this book. Overall grade: A+

The colors: I was really taken by the detail that Richard Isanove put into Stegman’s art. The first page is beautiful for the coloring. It’s in a desert, and the characters are not wearing garishly bright colors, but everything is just extraordinary to look at. I love the blue sky against the pale mustard ground. The sky is even more of a standout on Pages 2 and 3. The ground goes gorgeously violet on Page 4 making the energy involved really strong. The sky is also a standout at New Attilan. I’ve been to New York a few times and the sky never looked that pretty. Also impressive are the colors on Page 11, and the beautiful blue on 12. Orange has never looked so ghastly as it does on the character on 13, and Isanove should have been paid on the spot for what he brings just to that character. Excellence on every page. Overall grade: A+

The letters: This is an odd credit, and I wish their names had been completely given, but the lettering is provided by VC’s Sabino & Cowles. They’ve created the scene setting, dialogue, some swearing, and sounds. There aren’t too many sounds in this book, as the story doesn’t require them. I wanted the character that appears on 13 to have a different font for his speech to make him more frail, but what is done is okay. Overall grade: B

The final line: The issue didn’t focus on what I wanted, but I’m completely taken by Reader and Xiaoyi. Overall grade: B+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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