Review: Inhumans: Judgement Day #1

Mitch Nissen Mitch Nissen
Expert Contributor
January 31st, 2018

Grew up reading comic books in the 90's. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel's cosmic universe are my favorites.

Review: Inhumans: Judgement Day #1
Comics
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The fate of Marvel Comics’ Inhumans is revealed in Inhumans: Judgement Day #1. Writer Al Ewing and artists Kevin Libranda and Mike Del Mundo send the Inhuman royal family off in style in this beautiful series finale.  ComiConverse contributor Mitch Nissen breaks down the details.

Review: Inhumans: Judgement Day #1

Spinning out of the 2013 Marvel Comics event Infinity, the last five years have been the most successful period for Marvel’s Inhumans property in these characters’ 50-year history. What started off as a single title, 2014’s Inhuman, the comic eventually branched out into a line of books with the Inhumans being center stage in many Marvel events and major story arcs.

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Inhumans: Judgement Day is, in reality, Royals #13 and the final issue of that series. The book draws a significant chapter in the saga of the Inhumans to a close, tying up storylines from Uncanny Inhumans, All-New Inhumans, Inhumans Vs. X-Men, and all the way back to Inhuman.

Delivering judgment is writer Al Ewing, artists Mike Del Mundo and Kevin Libranda with colors by Jose Villarrubia.

Synopsis

The Progenitors are coming. The Inhumans make their last stand in the Gray Area of Earth’s moon. Thanks to Maximus’ vision of the future the Royal family has one chance left at defeating their infinitely more powerful opponents. The salvation of the Inhumans and that of Earth falls once again to Medusa. Physically weakened, emotionally exhausted, and dying, Medusa’s only hope of defeating the Progenitors lies in the power of her mind and her spirit.

Credit: Marvel Comics

The Breakdown

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Al Ewing has a daunting task with this one issue. The writer has to tie up plot threads and loose ends from across several Inhumans books as well as his own. And this book also has to serve as a grand finale to the five year Inhumans saga that started with Jonathan Hickman’s Infinity event.

In many ways, Ewing’s run on Royals was always building toward these ends. The riddle of the sky speaks, the search for more Terrigen, and the final battle against the creators of their creators. All of these plots come to a head here. But most significant of these culminating scenarios and the heart of the issue is solving the schism between Medusa and Black Bolt.

The heart and soul of the Inhumans have always been the King and Queen. For much of this five-year arc, Medusa and Black Bolt have been at odds with each other, separated for one reason or another. The damage to their relationship seemed to grow greater with each year. Ewing’s most remarkable accomplishment with this issue is bringing both characters closer to a resolution.

Their relationship to each other goes beyond being merely husband and wife or king and queen. Their connection runs far more profound than any one word can define. It’s a genuinely heartfelt sentiment that perfectly encapsulates the dynamic of the two characters. This is what makes them so special and unique among all of Marvel’s couples. Bravo to Al Ewing for illuminating this for all to read.

The Art

Kevin Libranda, who began showcasing outstanding work in the final issues of Royals, delivers even more exceptional job here. His pencils and character renditions have never looked better. The highlights of Libranda’s work on this book include the arrival of the Progenitors spread as well as the final four pages of the book. Libranda’s Medusa is stunning.

Mike Del Mundo shoulders the majority of the book. Del Mundo’s signature ethereal style is employed during the flashback pages and during the astral plain section. While Libranda’s work feels concrete, Del Mundo’s work possesses an otherworldly quality, perfect for the subject matter. Libranda and Del Mundo’s art contrast one another yet in terms of the story complement each other well.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Libranda contributes thirteen of the thirty pages, and Del Mundo contributes seventeen. Ewing manages to divvy up the spectacular panels reasonably evenly between the two artists. And while both artists pull off some fantastic splashes, the hidden strengths of their art lie in characters’ expressions. So much of the power of this issue comes from the wide range of emotions on display. Libranda and Del Mundo instill Ewing’s script with life and feeling, elevating the book to new heights.

Completing the book is colorist Jose Villarrubia. Villarrubia’s work on Royals #12 showcased some of the best use of color in all of comics in 2017. Villarrubia continues providing an equal caliber of colors for Libranda’s portions, the images leaping off the page.

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And Mike Del Mundo’s colors are simply out of this world.

While relatively light on action, Inhumans: Judgement Day possesses powerful weight and emotion. Ewing delivers a solid script, further enhanced by the fantastic art team. If you have been following the Inhumans books since 2014, Judgement Day feels like a fitting capstone to this five year Inhumans saga.

For fans of these once-fringe characters, this was a time for feasting. Now, due to one reason or another, the feast is growing thin but thankfully hasn’t reverted to famine just yet. While this era for the Inhumans appears to be drawing to a close, the Black Bolt ongoing and the upcoming Lockjaw mini-series remain as the only books featuring members of the Inhuman royal family.

Yet there is hope beyond this. Ewing purposefully leaves a few strings left dangling, either to be resolved in the Black Bolt ongoing or picked up by another writer in the future. Is this a hint that the Inhumans may be continuing in a new title later this year? Or is this merely wishful thinking?

In any event, I hope Marvel hasn’t given up on the Inhuman Royal Family just yet.

What did you think?

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Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche

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