Millions of years ago, the Kree came to Earth and experimented on early humans, giving some special powers that set them apart from the rest of humanity - they were called the Inhumans. Over time, while some Inhumans chose to live together in cities like Attilan and Orollan, others drifted away and mixed in with the rest of humanity so Inhuman DNA became fused with human DNA. Toward the end of Marvel's Infinity Event, Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans, detonated a terrigen bomb that blew up Attilan, the Inhuman floating city, and brought about the terrigen mist, a transformative roving gas cloud that activates Inhuman DNA in dormant humans. Now, new Inhumans are popping up all over the world! Phew! Lengthy explanation aside, is this comic any good? Actually, yes, it's pretty decent! Writer Charles Soule explores the mist's movement as it leaves North America and spreads to Scandinavia, transforming people in Norway, before introducing the bad guy of the series: Lash. Lash is an Inhuman from Orollan who believes Inhumans should be as few as possible, that they are sacred beings with sacred powers and shouldn't exist as a growing population like Black Bolt believes. Lash is following the terrigen mist and executing any new Inhumans to emerge from it. Black Bolt is still missing but his queen, Medusa, is on the trail of the new Inhumans, hoping to save them from Lash - and this is where we meet Dante, our human protagonist from Chicago, a part-time musician, whose pregnant sister is widowed and whose mother is dying. Dante is changed by the mist and then meets Lash, followed shortly by Medusa. If things feel a bit X-Men-y in general (like new mutants appearing in the Marvel Universe alongside these new Inhumans), it gets more so once Medusa tells him a war is coming - and he needs to pick a side! Soule does a fine job with the material and gives the reader a good start to the series, despite joining the title late when original writer Matt Fraction left over different creative visions with Marvel editorial (the split was amicable, Fraction is still with Marvel). The hardest thing Soule's got to do is differentiate the Inhumans from the Marvel mutants and I don't think he's necessarily done that yet. He does briefly touch on Inhuman history so the reader is aware of a pre-existing society that's fractured and has different sides with conflicting ideologies, but so far new readers would be forgiven for not being entirely sure what the difference is between an Inhuman and a mutant. Joe Madureira's art is also very good - very dynamic panels with suitably dramatic figures and vivid colours from Marte Gracia. Street Fighter fans will notice that his character design for Lash is very similar to Akuma's, and his Inhuman Dante figure is a bit generic (too much Human Torch influence). I like his Medusa though and I'm glad she's the heroine of the series - her character has a lot more potential than Black Bolt's, despite being less powerful. Inhuman #1 is a good start to an interesting new series. It introduces the players and sets up the storyline very nicely as well as informs the reader about everything they need to know about Inhumans in general. There's also a couple of great action scenes and lovely art from Madureira. Not too shabby, Marvel! Published by Marvel, Inhuman #1 by Charles Soule and Joe Madureira is out now
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