The Inhuman Royals have returned with the Prima Materia in tow. Fearing the retaliation of the Progenitors, they have made their base in the Grey Area of Earth's Moon in a tower created by the future Moon King, Flint.
Maximus, now calling himself the Mage, claims to have had a change of heart after his encounter with his future self. Medusa has brought in Reader, Panacea, and Nur to help. Their best guess at how to fight back at the Progenitors is through the Astral Plane, which they hope Reader will be able to access. The question becomes who to send in to the Astral Plane to fight these gods.
Al Ewing, Kevin Libranda, Mike del Mundo, Marc Deering, and Jose Villarrubia continue Ewing and Libranda's Royals directly with the opening to this miniseries. We pick up on the main characters of Royals shortly after the events of that series. It does provide a fairly succinct recap of that comic for those who didn't follow it. As such, Judgment Day recreates the feeling of some of the better Marvel graphic novels from years back.
The premise of warring with the Progenitors is definitely an intriguing one. It, cast against Medusa's feelings of loss, failure, and weakness due to her illness and the death of Gorgon, makes for a really good jumping-off point for an Inhumans epic.
The new Maximus the Mage presents something of a riddle. It is Maximus, so there is always the possibility that he has an ulterior motive hidden away beneath his seemingly benign surface. As always, he will certainly be an enjoyable player in this drama. I do like the idea that the Prima Materia didn't give him anything but instead took away his madness. In a sense, Maximus may finally be "complete" now.
Black Bolt does show up over the course of the story. He is quite awesome, and it does reference his solo adventures with Absorbing Man.
The comic isn't all just setting up the story; there is a conflict towards the end to keep things exciting and the readers on their toes.
Libranda's artwork is quite good. He showed a skill at displaying the Inhumans back in Royals, and his style remains quite good here. He takes some notes from anime art, particularly in the large eyes of the characters and whenever he has a character display some more overt emotion. Del Mundo handles the flashback sequence as well as the parts in the Astral Plane, and his surrealist art makes for a perfect choice. He gives the Astral Plane a fitting sense of warped reality, and the flashback is a beautifully bizarre and colorful two-page spread.
Villarrubia's color art remains quite good too. It's bright and the neon highlights of the costumes create an appropriately alien feeling.
Inhumans: Judgment Day #1 is a stellar start to this story. The stage is set, the players are presented, and the conflict is epic. The characters get their moments to show what all this means to them, and the resulting tale is compelling. I highly recommend this one. Give it a read.
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