Review: Royals #12

Mitch Nissen Mitch Nissen
Expert Contributor
December 26th, 2017

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: Royals #12
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Review of: Royals #12
Price:
Epic

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On December 26, 2017
Last modified:December 26, 2017

Summary:

Al Ewing, Kevin Libranda, and Javier Rodriguez bring Royals to a close with an incredible finale in issue 12. Epic in scope and cosmic beyond measure. Royals is the most mind blowing Marvel comic in years. This is the “Days of Future Past” for the Inhumans. If only it was the beginning of more to come rather than possibly the end of a five year era for these once fringe characters.

Review of: Royals #12
Price:
Epic

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On December 26, 2017
Last modified:December 26, 2017

Summary:

Al Ewing, Kevin Libranda, and Javier Rodriguez bring Royals to a close with an incredible finale in issue 12. Epic in scope and cosmic beyond measure. Royals is the most mind blowing Marvel comic in years. This is the “Days of Future Past” for the Inhumans. If only it was the beginning of more to come rather than possibly the end of a five year era for these once fringe characters.

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The Royals, Marvel’s premiere Inhumans book, has just wrapped with issue #12 this December. And with its end maybe the end of the Inhumans as we know them. ComiConverse contributor Mitch Nissen takes a look at this final issue and a look back at the Royals series.

Review: Royals #12

Since the aftermath of Marvel Comic’s 2013 event, Infinity, Marvel has been building upon the Inhumans, crafting them into their corner of the Marvel comics universe. Writer Charles Soule acted as the shepherd for the Inhumans until earlier this year.

Writer Al Ewing took over the Inhuman royal family, taking them into the far reaches of outer space where few Marvel characters have gone before. The title was called Royals and was set up to be the grand rebirth of the Inhumans or the grand finale. With no Inhumans books being solicited for the coming months, the Black Bolt ongoing series being the exception, this looks to be the Inhumans’ send-off.

Synopsis

Royal #12 opens with the royal family rocketing through deep space on their way back to Earth. The cosmic beings are known as the Progenitors, entities with power beyond the scope of imagination, are hot on the Inhumans’ heels. Maximus has a plan to outrun them, but the plan requires the use of the Prima Materia, an immensely powerful cosmic form of Terrigen.

Story continues below

Maximus inhales the Terrigen mist and inadvertently bridges minds with his future self from 5,000 years beyond. At that moment in the future, the Earth is in ruins due to the attack of the Progenitors. Maximus, Flint, and Marvel Boy take their last stand against the cosmic destroyers, dying one after another. As the future Maximus’ final act he reveals everything that is to come to the Maximus of the past, including how Maximus and everyone else will die.

Back to the present time, Maximus snaps out of the neural bridge babbling about the future and the end of everything. As they approach Earth Medusa declares that they will fight the Progenitors and lay judgment upon them.

Credit: Marvel Comics

The Breakdown

Royals are like no book I’ve ever read from Marvel before.

Throughout the entire series of Royals, each book has opened with a prologue set 5,000 years in the future. In these prologues, we glimpse an extraordinary and dystopic future and are told that Maximus is the last surviving Inhuman. After the prologue we jump back to the present, the two plot threads growing closer to converging with every issue.

This two-fold storytelling approach has lent the series its unique style and has kept the intrigue of the series high. Combine this with a truly cosmic and existential script the likes of which only Al Ewing could write and what you have is a Marvel epic unlike any other.

In issue #12 Ewing flips the prologue/main story dynamic. The present-day storyline is set as a framing sequence around the future plotline where all the previous cryptic prologues come to apocalyptic fruition. Since issue #1 Ewing played a long game with these prologues, the overall reception of Royals hinging on what would happen of it. And Ewing brings the plot threads together beautifully.

Al Ewing has set up a prophetic history for the Inhumans in spirit to how Chris Claremont defined the X-Men with stories like Days of Future Past.

Very few writers today have the vision of Al Ewing and the courage to bring it all together.

Story continues below

For such a wild and high concept story as Royals, the task for the art team must’ve been daunting. Luckily Marvel had assembled a great organization with more than enough talent to pull it off. Kevin Libranda leads this final issue with Javier Rodriguez contributing the framing story. Kevin Libranda and Alvaro Lopez supply the inks and Jose Villarrubia with Jordie Bellaire add the gorgeous colors.

Credit: Marvel Comics

The artwork is nothing short of spectacular. Libranda, for most of the series, contributed the framing sequences set in the future. Here Libranda is given the lion’s share of the issue delivering crisp linework and genuinely imaginative visuals. Libranda’s art is dynamic and action-packed.

Javier Rodriguez, who came aboard at issue 8 after a spectacular run on Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme, has contributed wonderfully unique imagery in every issue and continued to do so here. The number of different elements Rodriguez incorporates into his art is astounding and a feast for the eyes, just as it was in Doctor Strange.

And the colors by Jose Villarrubia and Jordie Bellaire are spectacular. Vivid, vibrant, and otherworldly. Combine everything with Libranda and Lopez’s inks and what’s created is one beautiful looking book.

Despite trouble in securing a stable art team for the first half of the run, Marvel comics should be proud of Royals and what it accomplished for these characters. For someone who has been following the Inhumans since Secret Invasion and War of Kings, it’s my opinion that Royals is the best Inhumans story since War of Kings.

Al Ewing completes the royal family’s space odyssey as they head back to Earth. But the story still has one chapter left in January’s Inhumans: Judgement Day. The foreboding title seems to imply that this section in the Inhumans saga may very well be the last story with these characters for some time. Or it could mark the beginning of a new era. We’ll have to wait and see.

What did you think?

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

Royals #12

  • 4

Epic

Al Ewing, Kevin Libranda, and Javier Rodriguez bring Royals to a close with an incredible finale in issue 12. Epic in scope and cosmic beyond measure. Royals is the most mind blowing Marvel comic in years. This is the “Days of Future Past” for the Inhumans. If only it was the beginning of more to come rather than possibly the end of a five year era for these once fringe characters.

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