Comics and Cosplay
Review: Growing Pains Trouble Inhuman #4

Marla Desat | 29 Aug 2014 16:00
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assassins inhuman 4

It's Medusa who carries the core story of Inhuman #4, and the story is solidly grounded by her. Faced with three traitors, Nuhumans who tried to kill her, Medusa decides how she will handle those who don't want to be part of her growing city of Inhumans. Medusa is the most interesting character in the series so far. She is a confident, compassionate, and powerful royal leader when meeting with outsiders, rebuilding her city, and dealing with assassins, but also privately anguished over the disappearance of her partner and King, Black Bolt. Medusa only shows her grief when in the company of trusted advisors, choosing her public words about Black Bolt very carefully. The sudden arrival of an old nemesis with an unusual proposal at the end of the issue sets up a very interesting conflict between Medusa's role as a Queen and her personal life.

Issue #4 also brings in a new artist, Ryan Stegman, with a sharper style that gives the book a grittier look than the first three issues drawn by Joe Madureira. Stegman's art style is similar to Madueira's but his panel layouts step back further from the action, giving a larger sense of scale particularly in Xiayo's story. Color artist Marte Garcia, who has worked on all four issues, helps maintain the feeling of continuity despite the change in artist.

medusa inhuman 4

While Marvel hasn't confirmed rumors of an Inhumans movie, Inhumans have definitely moved into the comics spotlight. The Infinity and Inhumanity crossover events, and now the Inhuman ongoing series have all increased the visibility of this part of the Marvel Universe. The Inhumans have been around since 1965, appearing in Fantastic Four #45 (though Inhuman Royal Family members Medusa and Gorgon appeared even earlier). It makes sense that Marvel wants to further develop the Inhumans now, as a potential tie-in to the Cinematic Universe. With the X-Men held by Fox, the Inhumans means that Marvel bring characters to the big screen with fantastic, inborn powers while nimbly sidestepping the word "mutant".

Bottom Line: If you're looking for something with solid standalone stories, Inhuman isn't your series. If you want to stick with the world of the Nuhumans, check out Ms. Marvel, who was recently confirmed to be an Inhuman. If you want to get in the ground floor of a brand new team of heroes, and you don't mind Marvel pulling out the classic comic tropes to keep you picking up issues (mysterious new characters, huge ensemble cast, vague unknown threats), Inhuman will deliver. The series is going through growing pains right now, gathering and explaining its new cast of heroes, but the premise is solid and Medusa keeps it all together.

Recommendation: Once all the introductions are done, Inhuman has all the parts it needs to be a great superhero book. Until then, it's a little shaky, but Medusa will keep me coming back.

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