Graphic Novel Review: Inhuman: Genesis

Inhuman: Genesis

Inhuman: Genesis - Credit: Archant

The dawn of a new era for Marvel’s superpowered offshoot of humanity...

(Panini Books)

For decades, the Inhumans were portrayed as an aloof race of genetically-manipulated, superpowered beings who lived in an isolated monarchy which had little interaction with the majority of the Marvel Universe. Gradually though, the Inhumans began extending their influence, first by taking control of the Kree Empire, and latterly, working closer with the likes of the Avengers on Earth.

But the status quo was irrevocably changed during the Infinity crossover event, which saw Inhuman leader Black Bolt apparently sacrifice himself by exploding their evacuated floating city of Attilan above New York, releasing the Terrigen gases which grant all Inhumans their powers…

Black Bolt knew that centuries ago exiled Inhumans interbred with normal Homo Sapiens, ensuring generations of people received the immensely powerful Inhuman gene, which could then be triggered by exposure to Terrigen, even hundreds of years later.

Now new Inhumans are springing up in the wake of the Terrigen cloud which is moving across the planet, ordinary men, women and children who were completely unaware of their genetic heritage, but are now finding themselves mutated into new and powerful forms as a result.

It has been suggested that Marvel is looking at these new Inhumans as a stand-in for the mutant race, and there is certainly evidence to back this up in movie spin-off TV show Agents of SHIELD, but also in the comic line, which has introduced new Inhuman characters or revised the backgrounds of others to make them part of this race.

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Whether this is in some way the result of Fox Studios’ hold over the X-Men franchise, and all of its related characters, is certainly open to speculation, but nothing has been confirmed either way.

Instead, what we are seeing in the comics is the rise of a whole new breed of super-powered characters, who owe little to the Inhuman heritage, but instead are focused on coming to terms with their new appearances and abilities.

This collection of issues from the new Inhuman title introduces us to a core cast of “NuHumans” as they are dubbed, including the fire-powered Dante (aka Inferno), who is our main point-of-view character, and the rogue Inhuman Lash, who is tracking down and killing those newly “hatched” Inhumans who he deems unworthy of their abilities.

It’s a steady start to the new series and direction for the Inhumans, but takes a while to get going for the first few issues before really finding its feet. It’ll be interesting to see where this title develops in the months to come, especially given the cliffhanger ending at this collection’s finale, but whether these mutant substitutes really come into their own will only be seen in time.