Black Bolt #5 Review – This Is How You Do Inhumans Well, By Doing Something Different

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Summary
Black Bolt is a weird and wonderful book that feels truly unique on the shelves, which is exactly how an Inhumans book should feel.

Black Bolt #5 continues the quirky, wonderful and different comic series, as Black Bolt, freed of the prison that has tormented him since the start by his faithful hound Lockjaw, has to decide does he run, or does he save the despots and thugs that have become his friends inside.

Black Bolt #5 Review
Black Bolt #5 cover by Christian Ward

And this is why this story is so great. It’s a really different story. A bizarre character study, of a quirky creation of comics, and a look so unlike anything else around at the moment. This is exactly how Inhumans tales should be done, as the characters of the Inhumans are meant to be something odd and different and almost unknowable, and should always be treated a little different than your usual superhero fair.

Through sparing dialogue and narration, that doesn’t overly tell everything but conveys this sense of the strange while still bringing a sense of empathy, Saladin Ahmed does a great job of bringing the reader inside of Black Bolt’s head but still making him seem weird and other, and something we’re only just scratching the surface of. Even when he does tell us explicitly what’s going on, we feel like we already know, as he’s brought about this sense of understanding in the character.

Black Bolt
Black Bolt #5 artwork by Frazer Irving

Black Bolt #5 is itself an absolutely stunning book, with art split this issue between Frazer Irving and Christian Ward, two artists with powerful and intensely different styles to the general ‘house style’ of most superhero books. It keeps the world feeling like something strange and unusual and special, which is something that’s been lost with the Inhumans now for a while.

Lockjaw, of course, is adorable in both artists styles, and provides the feels through almost as little information being outright shown as we get from Black Bolt. This creates an added level of connection between the pair which hasn’t been explored: both live in a world that may never really truly understand what they feel and want to say. They’re both prisoners of their lack of ability to communicate through the commonly used means.

Black Bolt
Black Bolt #5 artwork by Christian Ward

And what’s more, the inmates of the hellish prison, including Crusher Creel, that Black Bolt has found a surprising camaraderie with, continue to be incredibly interesting and intriguing, and I really do hope they all stick around after the end of this story, as I’d love to continue to learn more about these guys.

Black Bolt #5 continues to be quirky, weird and absolutely special, and is a Marvel book that is well worth checking out.

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About Joe Glass

Joe Glass has been contributing to Bleeding Cool for about four years. He's been a roaming reporter at shows like SDCC and NYCC, and also has a keen LGBTQ focus, with his occasional LGBTQ focus articles, Tales from the Four Color Closet. He is also now Bleeding Cool's Senior Mutant Correspondent thanks to his obsession with Marvel's merry mutants.

Joe is also a comics creator, writer of LGBTQ superhero team series, The Pride, the first issue of which was one of the Top 25 ComiXology Submit Titles of 2014. He is also a co-writer on Stiffs, a horror comedy series set in South Wales about call centre workers who hunt the undead by night. One happens to be a monkey. Just because.

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