“Secret Invasion: Inhumans” was immediately recognizable as one of the stronger “Secret Invasion” spin-offs as it set about directly addressing the question that has been in the front of people’s minds ever since Black Bolt was revealed as a Skrull: What happened to the original?
Having answered that question, the series turned its attention to the matter of what his people will do to try and rescue him. It’s all been pleasingly driven — at least until this issue. With only one more issue to go, a lot of time is spent contriving reasons to scatter the characters around the galaxy rather than keep them pursuing their main goal, and after a tight couple of issues it feels a little like the plot has taken an unexpected left turn somewhere. The addition of Ronan the Accuser and the Kree to the plot only serves to complicate the cast, and references to “Annihilation” are a little confusing if you haven’t read the series.
Pokaski does offer some good character material for the most prominent Inhumans, with Crystal and Medusa indulging in a little sisterly disagreement and a Triton-based subplot being brought to the forefront as the cliffhanger, but it seems a little out of place in the context of a limited series. Perhaps the idea is to make the series matter in the Inhumans’ wider arc, since they are currently without their own title, but really the story focus should’ve always remained on the group’s attempts to recover Black Bolt rather than sub-quests and in-fighting. After all, the writing is strong enough that the series doesn’t need to rely on any huge status quo changes to keep itself fresh, and since the title is “Secret Invasion” it feels as if it should stick to the crossover at hand.
Despite this slight detour, the next issue should wrap the plot up one way or another. Given Black Bolt’s current situation, the rescue attempt could still go either way, and I suspect it all depends on whether or not the Inhumans will be appearing in the main “Secret Invasion” series or not.
In any case, the series is more than justified by the fact that it openly attempts to tie up one of Secret Invasion’s dangling plot threads, and it does so in a way that makes for an entertaining read. Three issues down, it’s safe to say that this is probably the most successful of the various spin-off series, with some engaging writing and some brilliant cosmic artwork from Tom Raney. I’m not usually an Inhumans fan, but this has me hooked.