Friday, August 4, 2017

Inhumanity - Out Of The Negative Zone!

The Inhumans had been introduced in the pages of the Fantastic Four with a great deal of drama but then fell by the wayside when menaces such as Galactus and Doctor Doom reveal themselves, as well as allies like the Silver Surfer and the Black Panther. There seemed to be little room to follow the adventures of this whole new race of characters who seemed to be crying out for their own feature. Johnny Storm is hopelessly in love with Crystal, the youngest of the Royal Family and to that end eventually goes on a quest with his comrade Wyatt Wingfoot to find her. They run across many strange things including the potent Prester John, but eventually they do find the Great Refuge thanks to the help of the dimension-jumping dog Lockjaw.

The story of the Inhumans unfolds a few pages at the time as they plot ways to escape the "Negative Zone" which had been placed over the Great Refuge by Maximus the Mad.  The secret to their escape is the powerful voice of Black Bolt who finally screams out and breaks the Neative Zone, but at the same time lays waste to Refuge itself. The Royal Family then decides oddly to leave their subjects and strike off into the broader world while the Refuge is rebuilt.

While the Fantastic Four battles menaces such as Sandman and Blastarr, the Inhumans re-establish contact when Crystal finds them. Reed Richards is lost in the Negative Zone (the names "Sub-Space" and "Negative Zone" get switched at some point in this storytelling). Triton, the aquatic Inhuman is selected to rescue him which he does.

Triton then helps the Fab 4 battle both Blastaar and Sandman and together they fend off the threat. (This by the way is the first issue of FF I ever saw; it was owned by my cousin and the cover still resonates in my imagination.)

With the Inhumans now free but still in hiding, the Fantastic Four ironically run across the menace of the alien Kree race in the shape of the enigmatic Sentry-459.

The defeat of the Sentry leads to Ronan the Accuser coming to Earth, and the Kree are established a powerful ongoing threat to the Earth. But it turns out that the Kree and the Inhumans are linked as we'll learn next time.

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