• Reviews 

    Review: Inhumanity: The Awakening #1

    By | December 12th, 2013
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    With Marvel’s latest event already at full steam, Matt Kindt and Paul Davidson take a look at how Inhumanity is affecting the youthful side of the Marvel Universe.

    Written by Matt Kindt
    Illustrated by Paul Davidson

    • Inhuman chrysalises have appeared across the world…some want them, some want to destroy them…and your favorite superhuman students are caught in the crossfire!
    • From the pages of INFINITY: THE HUNT comes more craziness from the Avengers Academy and the Jean Grey School – written by THE HUNT’s Matt Kindt!

    As a result of the Terrigen Bomb that Black Bolt and Maximus unleashed on Earth during “Infinity” more and more Inhumans are springing up around the world. Following up on the other “Infinity” tie-in, “The Hunt,” “The Awakening” focuses on the teenagers of the Marvel Universe and how they’re reacting to the chrysalises popping up. Or at least that’s how it’s advertised. “Awakening” actually focuses a lot more on one of the new Inhumans: Fiona.

    Now, I’m a sucker for young heroes, especially the crop that Marvel’s been cultivating with “Young Avengers,” “Avengers Arena,” and even a lot of the characters from “The Hunt” just to name a few. The great thing about these books is that they never try to be too gimmicky with the youthfulness. These kids are genuine characters, not stereotypes. Not once do any of those characters like Wiccan or Quentin Quire or Hazmat feel like an attempt by elderly executives to “just put out whatever those kids like.” Though they’d occasionally make references to current trends, they never felt like they were talking down to their characters.

    Fiona, the new Inhuman’s origin is literally told through selfies. Now, as Multiversity’s expert proponent on selflies, I’d normally be fine with this,but the way that Kindt utilizes it here is just tiring. The six page sequence, four pictures in each with comments from “fionabestieo1” and “super_troll10k” just makes the routine origin a chore. There is one interesting element to this choice, as the topic of cyberbullying becomes a major point of the book. In truth it is a very serious problem and utilizing it here as a way that some new Inhumans would be treated is very authentic. However, someone I knew took the time to post pictures of themselves being hatched out of a chrysalis, of themselves being beaten up by bullies, and of their mom walking out of the door with tears in her eyes I’d definitely comment with a justified “WTF?!”

    Plus, the entire message is sort of trampled upon when Striker from Avengers Academy tells Fiona to get over her sudden grotesque transformation and realization that she was never a human that drove her to the point of attempted suicide because that all made her famous! You know those kids who are bullied over the internet to the point that, I cannot gloss this over like Kindt did, they attempt suicide, they’re the most popular kids in the world with all the news coverage they get! Even better, it’s amusing to watch Striker give a pep talk by comparing himself to a millionaire, and bragging about how he has more twitter followers than Barack Obama (both actual things that happen.) Maybe what he’s trying to say is that she can now be a part of the world he lives in, somewhere she can fit in, but if it were up to me I would not invite the girl who took pictures of her mom crying and posted them to the internet to any of my millionaire parties.

    You know who I would invite to  my millionaire parties? @westcoastavenger69. That spectacular Twitter handles belongs to one of the issue’s two narrators, the other being @miamimutantgrrl. Both livetweet the issue’s events as if they were the Emmys and not a churned out tie-in. The banter they offer, again, fits in with the whole idea that the new Inhumans have become a big deal on the internet but… yeah they don’t actually offer that much. Kindt gets to say some off-color without the chance of being called politically incorrect because hey, @westcoastavenger69 (who I’m sure is actually just Clint Barton) said it! Other than that they either call the ongoing story stupid (not fighting that one) or just ramble about the Terrigen Mist cloud. Their one function, which I feel is the one reason they were created, comes in the form of their ominous knowledge of forthcoming events because… they’re from the future? Wait, they were livetweeting this book just a couple pages ago! Has time passed so slow in this book that everyone outside the story is now months? That makes sense considering this book felt like it took a week to get through.

    Continued below

    Really, this is just a book that doesn’t make a lot of sense. When Fiona narrates her selfies, the commentators are either hearing her thoughts and responding or talking about how popular/fine she is. Fiona also probably should’ve had some clues about her Inhuman nature because Paul Davidson’s art made her and everyone in this book look like some weird alien. He does well with male character’s faces but most of the females (especially Fiona and her mother) look really off. Not for nothing, but I think Davidson drew She-Hulk with Bob Hope’s face on one page. That’s not to say Davidson does a really bad job on this book, some sequences such as Fiona flying or Striker using his powers in a panel where he just flies away from an adoring crowd so he can… pose? I guess that fits in with the whole theme of things happening because of reasons.

    I could do a more written-out conclusion on how “Inhumanity: The Awakening” is but in the spirit of the opening two-page splash where hashtags are used indiscriminately to describe the events occuring in “Inhumanity Proper” (#Gov’t conspiracy does not function as a hashtag on multiple levels by the way), all I’ll have to say is this: #hotmess.

    Final Verdict: 3.2 – #skip #goodintentions #poorexecution #iwouldreadabookthatwasjustsuperheroestakingselfiestbh

    James Johnston

    James Johnston is a grizzled post-millenial. Follow him on Twitter to challenge him to a fight.