Saturday, January 13, 2018

Beware The Inhumans!


This is exactly the kind of collection I adore. What we have here is a sprawling array of comics from across several years which relate the core misadventures of Jack Kirby's Inhumans following their initial outings in the pages of the Fantastic Four and after their brief ill-fated back up series in The Mighty Thor.


The tome begins with Medusa's one-off try-out in the pages of Marvel Super-Heroes #15. This is the book that launched Captain Marvel and showcased the initial adventures of the Phantom Eagle and The Guardians of the Galaxy. Like those two latter creations, this glimpse did not result in a solo book. The story by Archie Goodwin and Gene Colan is pretty good.


Second up is one of my all-time favorite Marvel yarns, the debut Hulk King-Size Special by Gary Friedrich, Marie Severin and Syd Shores which pits the Jade Giant against the denizens of the Great Refuge. It's a truly giant tale.




Then it's back to the Fab 4 when the Inhumans return to home and confront yet again the menace of Maximus the Mad. By this time Crystal has joined the team to give Sue Richards a reprieve following the birth of Franklin Richards.


We have a few pages from FF #5 in which Crystal must return to the Great Refuge, much to the chagrin of Johnny Storm.


His heartbreak gives way to a wild search which is the feature of the ninety-ninth issue of the Fantastic Four's venerable run.


Then it's a new series as one-half of the new comic Amazing Adventures. The Inhumans under the complete control of Jack "King" Kirby occupy ten or so pages of the title with the Black Widow getting the balance. This dual act continues for many issues.




Jack steps away after four issues, leaving his creations and leaving Marvel behind to discover a dazzling new Fourth World.


His successor Johnny Romita teams with Stan Lee and they together tell us a story which reveals that modern mankind's society's pollution is slowly killing Crystal. To Johnny's despair she must return home to the Great Refuge yet again.


Meanwhile Roy Thomas and Neal Adams team up to continue the Inhumans feature in the pages of Amazing Adventures.




This continues for quite a time until Neal Adams steps away to be replaced by Mike Sekowsky, another stalwart talent from the halls of DC.



Sekowsky draws two dazzling issues in which the Inhumans defeat the schemes of Magneto and wrap up their solo feature.


Roy Thomas and Neal Adams are together again in the Avengers when the Inhumans are drawn once again into the sprawling Kree-Skrull War.


The collection closes with a hilarious set from Not Brand Echh #12. This funny bit by Arnold Drake and Tom Sutton imagines what a proposed Inhumans series might be like if it were done in the classic comic strip styles of Prince Valiant, Peanuts, Pogo, and others. One of the best bits in run.



And that's the lot. A beautiful package with a grand range of classic talent. Missing from this tome are Triton's solo adventures in the pages of the Sub-Mariner and the Inhumans turn in the final issue of Silver Surfer. I understand the former being missing, as Triton is alone and is in several issues, but I would expect to see the Surfer issue as it follows up on the Hulk annual in many respects.

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3 comments:

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  3. I agree that the Silver Surfer issue should have definitely been included, as well as Hulk 119-120 (featuring Maximus and his followers). The omission of these isues is even more curious given the fact the this volume is 70 pages shorter than volume 1 (The Origin of the Inhumans) so they clearly had room to incude these issues. Particularly disappointing considering the fantastic artwork in the Silver Surfer issue.

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