Featuring characters designs from Dave Johnson, “Inhumans: Attilan Rising” #1 reveals Attilan to be a critical component of Lord Doom’s Battleworld. Writer Charles Soule touches on many of the concepts in this “Secret Wars” tie-in series, giving artist John Timms a chance to draw Hulks from Greenland, some Inhumans, a Ghost Rider, some Thors and even the ghostly visage of Doom himself.
The Battleworld domain of New Attilan, which also boasts the domain of Manhattan, sits at the heart of the story. Doom visits Medusa, the regent of Manhattan, to set her upon the task of uncovering the resistance that dares rise against Doom. Soule plays up the regal-to-regal relationship, with both Medusa and Doom looking down their noses at the commoners, readers included. During that exchange, Soule clearly presents Doom’s concern with the movement but also makes it quite clear the characters do not truly feel threatened, merely bothered.
Among the other characters Soule unpacks from his recent “Inhuman” run, he brings in Naja and Flint; he also sees fit to include Mega-Rad, a Hulk with power-indicating badges that are played up for dramatic effect thanks to colorist Frank D’Armata and a tommy-gun-toting, gangster-speak-slinging Ghost Rider who goes by G-Man. Summoning a flaming coupe, G-Man gives chase to the Thor Corps, all of which are marvelously designed by Dave Johnson and gorgeously drawn by Timms. Roberto Poggi inks Timms’ work, and the two creators blend nicely one into the other, giving the artwork a level of detail similar to that of Paul Pelletier and Sean Parsons, with characters that are lively and expressive, like those of Mike McKone or Aaron Lopresti. With a wide array of body types and power sets, Timms proves to be a great asset to the visual presentation of “Inhumans: Attilan Rising” #1. The polishing layer from D’Armata gives this “Battleworld” title glamorous art that gracefully keeps the story flowing and invites the reader to come back for a longer visit.
Timms draws mostly horizontal panels with characters busting out of them, the panels themselves transforming into bands of color for backgrounds, which gives the story a widescreen feel and actively engages the readers. D’Armata uses a wide range of coloring variations throughout the issue, driving the story home as much as Soule’s words, Timms’ art and Poggi’s deep, rich shadows. Clayton Cowles’ lettering bursts out of word balloons and causes reverberations across Greenland in the opening scene, burns through the floor in G-Man’s interrogation and, when Doom appears, he speaks with the voice of a god although he is a projection.
I know Charles Soule has planned and labored hard to construct the modern legend of the Inhumans, but this issue offers so much more intrigue and opportunity for further developments free of continuity. “Battleworld” is the only continuity “Inhumans: Attilan Rising” #1 needs. Soule, Timms, Poggi, D’Armata and Cowles put a new spin on the Inhumans, on Battleworld and on Lord Doom’s inner circle with design leads from Dave Johnson. This comic feels important and, based on what’s presented here, it is important. I’m in. I was ready to let this one slip, but this is a good read that has earned my attention for the duration.