The movie adaptation of The Inhumans might be off the schedule for now, but Marvel is still pushing the superpowered characters strongly in other areas. Its latest effort is a solo series for one of the more distinctive Inhumans. Untouched by the transformative Terrigen mists, Karnak is a master philosopher, martial artist and tactician with a unique view of the world, and Marvel has enlisted Warren Ellis to give him a new and attention-grabbing showcase.
Three issues in, this series is delivering a blend of mindboggling concepts and lurid violence, as Karnak is enlisted by SHIELD to rescue an Inhuman child from a twisted scientific cult, only to discover that the child may possess god-like powers. Ellis’s scripts display his usual fierce intelligence while also pulling off vivid setpieces, and his portrayal of Karnak is weird, fascinating and unpredictable.
The visuals aren’t as focused and powerful as on Ellis’s Moon Knight issues – especially after a change in regular series artist following issue two – and the offbeat pacing takes some getting used to, but Ellis has once again delivered a bonkers comic that propels mainstream superhero action in a very intriguing direction. Saxon Bullock
Warren Ellis’s next prose project is a techno-thriller novella called Normal. It’s due to be published in November.
Karnak: first appeared back in 1965.