Wow! A brand new series for us to buy. How convenient that the last Marvel big event mini-series just ended. Now I can get on to learning about something really exciting like—the Inhumans? Oh, come on. I mean there are some interesting Inhumans I’ll grant you that, but this is an entire race of people and not all of them are winners. It’d be like learning about the sacking of Rome by studying every year Rome was not sacked. Sure you’d get the general idea and the lead up but you really just want to see ballistas and barbarians.
“Inhumanity” suffers from a few comic industry syndromes. First, there was no build up to pique my interest. Things would be quite different if Inhumans began to intersect with other books earlier and ignited a desire for me to see these stories. Instead, Thanos came to Earth and said, “F&%$ those Inhumans.” So now we’re being subjected to the tales of Inhumans past. And I mean all of them, this issue is just a verbal history of the entire affair as told by Karnac, the least interesting of the Inhumans.
There’s a specific purpose to this story, it serves as the explanation as to why millions of humans on Earth have Inhuman DNA and why they turned into full Inhumans once exposed to the Terrigenisis bomb that was hidden inside—ahhhhhh! Oh sorry, hackneyed plot devices give me night terrors. Yes, this weird series of events unfolded in “Infinity” and to deal with it, “Inhumanity” has an entire issue where Karnac explains The Inhumans backstory. And it is incredibly boring and unimportant backstory too. It’s about political division that happened in the first years of the Inhuman civilization that nobody except Karnac knows or cares about. Honestly, why spend an entire issue explaining this civil war if no consequences will come out of it. If it had happened a week ago then maybe it would be important. It’d be like Iran being cross with Greece for that time Alexander the Great went stomping through their land with great big elephants. Perhaps that’s why they felt the need to keep interrupting Karnac with interesting characters that everybody wants to see.
Every one of your favorite characters makes an appearance in this book, and they look damn good doing it. But really, they only serve to interrupt the boring monotony of Karnac yammering. Every few panels, just when I thought about skimming, Tony Stark shows up to throw out a quip. Getting bored? Just wait a page and Beast says something science-y, classic Hank. A story shouldn’t need someone to jangle some keys every few minutes. But man do things look good in this book. The art by Oliver Coipel looks so beautiful. Every character that shows up looks good enough for a poster. I’m saying every single panel with them is breathtaking. If someone only wanted to buy the book for the art I would not blame them but they won’t be getting anything more than that.
Telling a story of just backstory for an entire issue is ill advised but there are ways to get around it. First off, get a more compelling character to tell the story. Don’t try and tell me that Karnac is an interesting fan favorite, if he was there wouldn’t be sudden appearances from the entire cast of the Avengers. Perhaps his brother, Maximus the Mad could have told the entire story. At least he would have made it interesting. Or maybe Black Bolt could have told the story—also interesting.
There was a time in “Invincible” when Mark had to read through a chronicle his father had compiled. It detailed all the various ways to defeat Viltrumites and it didn’t come across like somebody was dropping a textbook on my testicles. What mainly helped them was that Robert Kirkman broke up the entries so there was a progression in story between the history lessons. Story progression is one of the keys to keeping a story interesting and technically nothing is advancing if it already happened.
I want to stress that the problem with this issue was that it existed in the first place. It could have been skipped altogether and saved us all time and money. We didn’t need the information it provided and there was no entertainment to be had in the space it wasted. So yeah, there’s reason to buy this book but for God’s sake don’t actually read it.