Graphic Novel Review: Inhuman: Axis

Inhuman: Axis

Inhuman: Axis - Credit: Archant

Things get hairy for Medusa in the wake of Axis...

(Panini Books)

After a somewhat pedestrian debut volume, writer Charles Soule has leapt into a sports car and jammed his foot onto the accelerator for this follow-up, which delivers on all cylinders in terms on plotting, action and characterisation.

Having established the premise of the series – old school Inhumans joining forces with those of their race awakened by the Terrigen Cloud which is drifting across the planet – Soule now has scope to build on the politics, intrigue and scheming which he seems to enjoy.

The Inhumans’ king, Black Bolt, has been kidnapped and brainwashed by his brother, Maximus the Mad, leaving his queen Medusa to rule the kingdom of New Attlian in his stead. Having determined that her husband is actually alive, she sends Inhuman police officers Auran and Frank McGee (aka Nur) to hunt him down, but when they eventually find the long-absent monarch, the consequences are chaotic for all concerned…

We also pick up on the adventures of blind bounty hunter Reader and his new friend Iso, who are drawn to the city of Attilan after crossing ancient Inhuman power network Ennilux, whose motives might not be quite as they seem.

Then following the events of the Axis crossover, which saw the moralities of heroes and villains switched by the Scarlet Witch’s chaos spell, a new, ruthless Medusa has emerged, one who is determined to protect her people from human interference at all costs, even if that means violently confronting the Assembly of the United Nations. But she reckoned without the involvement of the Amazing Spider-Man and her fellow members of the Royal Family…

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One of the other strong elements in Soule’s plotting is how he brings in narrative strands from other Marvel titles, including Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers incursion arc, and the career of new superhero and Inhuman Ms Marvel, ensuring this series feels like it deserves a prominent position in the wider Marvel Universe.

The art from Superior Spider-Man’s Ryan Stegman and newcomer Pepe Larraz also goes a long way towards ensuring the series’ success,

If things continue to improve exponentially on this book, then nothing will stop the rise of the Inhumans!