Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5

Much like "Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard," the Inhumans-centric tie-in mini provides a side story of sorts to what's happening in "Guardians of the Galaxy," leading up to the Galactic Council meeting in recent issues of that series. Here, the Fault is shown in a slightly different light due to its effects on the Kree; The focus is also on Medusa as the leader of the Inhumans and Kree, and her use of Maximus to create state-sanctioned acts of terrorism.

The ties to the rest of the "Realm of Kings" story occur when Triton returns from the Fault with his Kree crew all mutated as a result of their trip there, merging into a giant tentacle monster. This provides the issue with an action sequence and a reason for Medusa to want to work with the other governments to defend the universe against the threat the Fault poses, especially if a large group of her subjects are subject to mutation as a result of exposure to the Fault. It's a well-executed action sequence, but also not memorable.

The real draw of the issue is the focus on Medusa as leader of the Inhumans and Kree, willing to manufacture threats in order to unify the people and make sure they trust their government to protect them. It's a different approach than Black Bolt would have taken and is greeted with resistance, but it makes sense and demonstrates how concerned she is for the stability of her rule, and how much the death of her husband has affected her. She also addresses the ongoing idea that the people support Gorgon because of his warrior skills in an effective and surprising scene.

The art is somewhat lacking with Pablo Raimondi only doing the first six pages before Tim Seeley takes over with a similar style, but one that still has a noticeable shift. Both artists have detailed, solid line work, but both also deliver somewhat stiff figures that look too posed, too heavily rendered. Raimondi's pages have characters that don't look like they exist in the same setting in places, like they were cut and pasted into panels together. Seeley is looser, but his thin lines sometimes disappear, giving the art an incomplete look. His tentacle monster, though, is very well designed and looks terrifying. He also brings a nice energy to the art.

This is a good conclusion to this mini-series, one that sets up events seen in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and puts the Inhumans and Kree in the right place for "The Thanos Imperative." The end of the issue is especially strong, as Abnett and Lanning move past the somewhat cliched morality debates and emphasize Medusa's role as leader.

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