Four Colour Thoughts – Black Bolt #1

The Creators – Saladin Ahmed – Writer, Christian Ward – Artist, VC’s Clayton Cowles – Letters

The Players – Black Bolt, The Absorbing Man

The Story – Black Bolt is in fact, not on the ship with Medusa and the rest of the Royal Family looking for their future, but in prison. It is a prison that is only known to the Inhuman Royal Family, so hope for a rescue is slim to non-existent.

The Take – For the first time in his history, Blackagar Boltagon gets a title of his own and thanks to Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward, it is off to as good a start as any book has ever had. It begins somewhat enigmatically with a mystery and an almost-madness on the former King’s part. Such a position is untenable for the King and it hooks the reader immediately, for nothing published before this point even hinted at this situation. Black Bolt vows to escape and breaks his bonds, but he realizes said bonds are more than those that chain him to his room. Ahmen soon throws Crusher Creel at Black Bolt as a challenge, but in the end, it is not the Absorbing Man who presents an obstacle to his freedom, it is the place in which he finds himself and the person running it. The story is a subtle one that Ahmed weaves, despite the action present and it is both suspenseful and packed with tension. Did Maximus place Black Bolt here or was it someone else? How come Black Bolt cannot remember anything about the events prior to this? Adding to this is Ward, whose pencils and choice of colouring is spectacular to say the least. The use of blues and blacks only serve to highlight the King and make him the complete center of attention on every page, the way he should be. One thing that is made very apparent is that there is no easy way out of this prison, more than likely the very reason Black Bolt was placed here. One has to wonder though, why he does not know the way out and it can only be surmised that while he might know of the prison, he did not design it. There is of course quite the surprise and cliff-hanger come the end of it all, as well as questions that definitely need to be answered, it only remains getting there. A great start to a new series, a perfect beginning for Black Bolt’s solo adventures and the best book featuring an Inhuman in quite some time.

Worth It? – Yes

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