Philo­soph­i­cal ul­tra­vi­o­lence

SFX - - Reviews -

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.

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