Comic book superstar Donny Cates’ Death Of The Inhumans story comes to a close with issue #5. With it’s conclusion, a new era for Inhumans begins. One that isn’t trying to replace the X-Men anymore.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Black Bolt and the remaining core members of the royal family, along with Beta Ray Bill, charge into the Kree stronghold to avenge their fallen family members. One final confrontation between Blackagar, Vox and his army where all of the Inhuman race is on the line.
Death Of The Inhumans had a lot of steam heading into it’s final chapter, unfortunately the ending fizzles out. The first half of this issue is on par with the rest of the series. It’s got dire stakes, desperate heroes, and a menacing threat. That isn’t the case with the second half.
Once the royal family begins it’s assault on Vox’s fortress, Black Bolt secludes himself and takes care of everything with one final scream. It’s all over in a mere three pages and then the issue ends. While it’s a well crafted issue, this finale is a major letdown.
I’m not going to pretend that I know what happens behind the scenes at the Marvel offices, I’m no “insider.” However I will share that in comparison to the other four issues, this felt rushed. It could’ve used another issue to flesh out the confrontation, or maybe even just a few more pages. Donny Cates hasn’t had a problem finishing stories in his other work, so one would assume there was an editorial influence on how this panned out.
That being said, Death Of The Inhumans completes it’s mission in course correcting the Inhumans corner of the Marvel universe. The finale may have been lackluster but the bigger picture implications are exactly what the characters and fans needed.
There’s also plenty to love about this issue. Donny Cates has a great handle on all of the royal family, their interactions as they prepare for battle are fantastic and heartfelt. The scene with Beta Ray Bill not understanding Inhuman sign language is truly hilarious and perfectly timed.
Artist Ariel Olivetti keeps your eyes well-fed throughout with some beautiful work. The sequencing for Black Bolt’s sign language to the rest of the group is phenomenal. Olivetti’s work with Black Bolt during this series has been the best since Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee’s Inhumans.
Jordie Bellaire’s coloring sets the tone of the issue and heightens it during action sequences. Both Olivetti and Bellaire unleash an onslaught of emotion on the reader in what is a heavy and taxing journey for our heroes.
Death Of The Inhumans #5 suffers from the standard and pace set by the preceding issues. This is by no means a bad comic book; it’s gorgeous and one hell of a read. It just falls short in the end. It’s like some of those earlier Tom King Batman arcs where there was a ton of palpable build-up but the ending happens in the blink of an eye and doesn’t have the impact you were expecting.
As a whole, Death Of The Inhumans is the strongest story about the core royal family we’ve had in a long time. Royals and Black Bolt were both fantastic comic books, but they had Blackagar separated from the others. Donny Cates does a fine job getting the Inhumans back in space and in a good place once again. Now we can all put that weird era of Marvel trying to make them the X-Men behind us.