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The silent king of the Inhumans stars in his first-ever solo series! But it begins with Black Bolt...imprisoned?! Where exactly is he? Why has he been jailed? And who could be powerful enough to hold the uncanny Black Bolt? The answers to both will shock you -and Black Bolt as well! For if he is to learn the truth, he must first win a fight to the death with a fellow inmat The silent king of the Inhumans stars in his first-ever solo series! But it begins with Black Bolt...imprisoned?! Where exactly is he? Why has he been jailed? And who could be powerful enough to hold the uncanny Black Bolt? The answers to both will shock you -and Black Bolt as well! For if he is to learn the truth, he must first win a fight to the death with a fellow inmate -the Absorbing Man! Award-winning science fiction writer Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon) crafts a story as trippy as it is action-packed, with truly mind-bending art from the one-and-only Christian Ward (ODY-C)! COLLECTING: BLACK BOLT 1-6


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The silent king of the Inhumans stars in his first-ever solo series! But it begins with Black Bolt...imprisoned?! Where exactly is he? Why has he been jailed? And who could be powerful enough to hold the uncanny Black Bolt? The answers to both will shock you -and Black Bolt as well! For if he is to learn the truth, he must first win a fight to the death with a fellow inmat The silent king of the Inhumans stars in his first-ever solo series! But it begins with Black Bolt...imprisoned?! Where exactly is he? Why has he been jailed? And who could be powerful enough to hold the uncanny Black Bolt? The answers to both will shock you -and Black Bolt as well! For if he is to learn the truth, he must first win a fight to the death with a fellow inmate -the Absorbing Man! Award-winning science fiction writer Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon) crafts a story as trippy as it is action-packed, with truly mind-bending art from the one-and-only Christian Ward (ODY-C)! COLLECTING: BLACK BOLT 1-6

30 review for Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 stars I liked this. Black Bolt got swapped somehow? <--I didn't read that one because I just didn't care much about the Inhumans at the time. And instead of his brother (who is now posing as Black Bolt) getting stuck on an Inhuman prison somewhere out in deep space, he wakes up in this prison. Except the prison isn't what BB or the other Inhuman royals thought it was, and it's actually this place that's nothing but a torture camp for an Inhuman psychopath. And it's also not filled with serial 3.5 stars I liked this. Black Bolt got swapped somehow? <--I didn't read that one because I just didn't care much about the Inhumans at the time. And instead of his brother (who is now posing as Black Bolt) getting stuck on an Inhuman prison somewhere out in deep space, he wakes up in this prison. Except the prison isn't what BB or the other Inhuman royals thought it was, and it's actually this place that's nothing but a torture camp for an Inhuman psychopath. And it's also not filled with serial killers. There are kids and shit there! Too bad, there's also a power dampener keeping the Inhuman king from blowing the doors off. This thing had a pretty good story to it, and I'm looking forward to reading the conclusion in the second volume. Also, Lockjaw. You have to love a comic with Lockjaw in it. Recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    Black Bolt wakes up in a prison somewhere in space with no powers and the other inmates are Crusher Creel, aka The Absorbing Man, the Metal Master, and others. Can Black Bolt unite this band of criminals and bust out of jail? Aside from the Marvel Knights miniseries, I've never ready many Inhumans comics apart from their periodic Fantastic Four appearances. Someone on Twitter likened the series to the sequence in Preludes & Nocturnes when The Sandman met The Martian Manhunter. Now that I've taken Black Bolt wakes up in a prison somewhere in space with no powers and the other inmates are Crusher Creel, aka The Absorbing Man, the Metal Master, and others. Can Black Bolt unite this band of criminals and bust out of jail? Aside from the Marvel Knights miniseries, I've never ready many Inhumans comics apart from their periodic Fantastic Four appearances. Someone on Twitter likened the series to the sequence in Preludes & Nocturnes when The Sandman met The Martian Manhunter. Now that I've taken the plunge, it kind of fits. Like I said in the teaser, Black Bolt wakes up in the clink and has to deal with being powerless, complete with being able to speak. After tussling with a couple of the inmates, Black Bolt is killed and resurrected. In fact, all of the prisoners are repeatedly killed and brought back to be killed again by The Jailer. Saladin Ahmed does a great, believable job in making Black Bolt trust and befriend guys like the Absorbing Man. Hell, he makes the Absorbing Man a sympathetic character at times. Metal Master and the other supporting characters get similar treatment. Why isn't Saladin Ahmed doing a higher profile book? Also, the appearance by Death's Head was really cool. Yah, obscure 90s Marvel characters! With a title like Hard Time, you know there's a prison break going. After some false starts, I was hooked for the duration. Before I knew it, I'd buzz sawed through the entire collection. Once Lockjaw showed up, it was pretty much academic but I was a little sad at the ending, although it wet my whistle for the next book. It would have been easy to do a comic about Black Bolt and focusing on his powers but Ahmed focused instead on his (in)humanity and character, making for a great read. Four out of five stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    When he’s not heroically saving the children from racist cereal boxes, Saladin Ahmed’s writing craptastic comics like Black Bolt. I haven’t been reading any Inhumans titles as I couldn’t care less about them so I don’t know if this is part of a larger storyline but Blackagar Boltagon (to use his full stupid name) has been tricked by his brother Maximus into space jail. Sounds like something that’d happen to Black Dolt, and guess wud? He gonna bust out of the pokey. Oh, hello edge of the seat, we When he’s not heroically saving the children from racist cereal boxes, Saladin Ahmed’s writing craptastic comics like Black Bolt. I haven’t been reading any Inhumans titles as I couldn’t care less about them so I don’t know if this is part of a larger storyline but Blackagar Boltagon (to use his full stupid name) has been tricked by his brother Maximus into space jail. Sounds like something that’d happen to Black Dolt, and guess wud? He gonna bust out of the pokey. Oh, hello edge of the seat, we meet again! Oh wait, I meant complete and utter boredom - I see you way too many times whenever I pick up a superhero comic these days! Phewf. The subtitle’s right about one thing - I had a hard time reading this drek! Black Dolt’s a pantstacular character, the story is even more dull, and at no point is any part of this nonsense entertaining in the slightest. The plotting is contrived as hell - Black Dolt’s depowered when he has to be then suddenly gets his powers back when he needs them, then they’re gone again for no reason! The villain is similarly a convenience rather than a character. It’s some thing that feeds off their whatever - it doesn’t matter, it’s just there for the Dolt and his posse to pretend to struggle against until the requisite page count is used up and they - SHOCK! - defeat it. I lost count of how many times I’d yawned at this point - it was basically one continuous yawn after page one. Ahmed completely fails to make Black Dolt seem like a compelling protagonist. He’s stoic, capable - until the plot needs him to be otherwise - and bland as hell. I felt like we got to know Crusher Creel better than Black Dolt, that’s how underwritten our “hero” was. I know, I didn’t want to read about Crusher Creel either but that’s what you’re gonna get with this pile of horseshit! Black Dolt, Volume 1: Hard Time was badly written and a tedious, brainless blaaaaah to read, ie. the Inhumans standard. Instead of this nonsense, I’d recommend checking out the first five volumes of G. Willow Wilson’s Ms Marvel run, which are the best Inhuman comics out there, and Warren Ellis’ Karnak mini-series was half-decent too. S’long, Black Dolt - see you never!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    4ish stars. This is an interesting and entertaining story, even for someone coming in blind concerning Black Bolt and his history with the other Inhumans. You don't really need to know the characters, you just know they're trying to break out of an insane prison, and that's a pretty universal storyline, right? Makes me want to keep reading. Great writing by Ahmed - excitingly plotted, and he voices each of the characters well. Great, impressive art by Christian Ward - detailed and cinematic and w 4ish stars. This is an interesting and entertaining story, even for someone coming in blind concerning Black Bolt and his history with the other Inhumans. You don't really need to know the characters, you just know they're trying to break out of an insane prison, and that's a pretty universal storyline, right? Makes me want to keep reading. Great writing by Ahmed - excitingly plotted, and he voices each of the characters well. Great, impressive art by Christian Ward - detailed and cinematic and with a distinct, consistent color palette that works well. The best Marvel comic I've read in a long time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    I must admit I've never been a big follower of the Inhuman Royal Family, and that I only picked up Black Bolt because it was written by Saladin Ahmed (who has produced distressingly little fiction in the last few years). I was not disappointed - not by Ahmed's compelling (if a little too dialogue-heavy) story, nor by Christian Ward artwork, especially the stunning and surreal page layouts. The story finds Black Bolt stripped of his powers and trapped in a prison where he intended to put his vill I must admit I've never been a big follower of the Inhuman Royal Family, and that I only picked up Black Bolt because it was written by Saladin Ahmed (who has produced distressingly little fiction in the last few years). I was not disappointed - not by Ahmed's compelling (if a little too dialogue-heavy) story, nor by Christian Ward artwork, especially the stunning and surreal page layouts. The story finds Black Bolt stripped of his powers and trapped in a prison where he intended to put his villainous brother. The prison break story is action-packed, but the thoughtful moments set it apart, especially the chapter dealing with fellow prisoner Carl Creel's past. Well worth the read - and you don't need a PhD in Inhumans continuity to understand it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tiag⊗

    The birth of a great Marvel writer, a sci-fi prison escape story starring Black Bolt that took me completely by surprise. Wonderfully written and narrated, it was trippy, dark and heartful, all at the same time, I even ended up liking Absorbing Man. The art is more of an acquired taste, took some time for me to start enjoying it, but it really grew on me, five stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Don't care about the Inhumans? That's good, because this isn't really an Inhumans book. Yes, it does feature Black Bolt and it does spin out of The Royals, but all you really need to know is Black Bolt's brother, Maximus, used an image inducer on him so that he'd be sent to prison in Maximus's place. This is a straight up break out of prison story. You don't need to know anything else about the Inhumans really. Black bolt is sent to an intergalactic prison where he meets up with a bunch of alien Don't care about the Inhumans? That's good, because this isn't really an Inhumans book. Yes, it does feature Black Bolt and it does spin out of The Royals, but all you really need to know is Black Bolt's brother, Maximus, used an image inducer on him so that he'd be sent to prison in Maximus's place. This is a straight up break out of prison story. You don't need to know anything else about the Inhumans really. Black bolt is sent to an intergalactic prison where he meets up with a bunch of alien prisoners along with the Absorbing Man. Their warden kills them as punishment and brings them back to life, feeding off their pain. Ahmed actually turns Crusher Creel into a sympathetic character by the end of this. The one thing I didn't like about the book is how (view spoiler)[Lockjaw shows up to save the day. The story would have been better served for the prisoners to break out completely from their own ingenuity. (hide spoiler)] Christian Ward's art is subtly stunning. Yes, it's too swirly in places, but it does add to the otherworldy, alien nation of the prison.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bookwraiths

    Best Marvel comic out there right now. Well written, cool artwork, and interesting story. Hopefully this is a series that continues to focus on cool superhero tales.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Black Bolt gets reimagined in the 2018 Eisner-award-winning new series by writer Saladin Ahmed and illustrator Christian Ward. I wasn’t familiar with (or couldn’t recall) the character, a kind of peripheral one in The Inhumans world, I think, and probably won’t recall him after this comic within a week. The idea is that Blackagar Boltagon, or Black Bolt (let’s stop here and try and imagine a more corny comic book name?!) is imprisoned with enemies such as The Absorbing Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Black Bolt gets reimagined in the 2018 Eisner-award-winning new series by writer Saladin Ahmed and illustrator Christian Ward. I wasn’t familiar with (or couldn’t recall) the character, a kind of peripheral one in The Inhumans world, I think, and probably won’t recall him after this comic within a week. The idea is that Blackagar Boltagon, or Black Bolt (let’s stop here and try and imagine a more corny comic book name?!) is imprisoned with enemies such as The Absorbing Man. Can he eventually work with the bad dude to break out? Make your best guess. The trippy art I liked by Christian Ward—the colors stand out--that actually makes some of the story work for me a little better, in a way. It's a wacky prison break story, and so needs wacky art. But it is not even in the same ballpark as another Inhumans story, Kamala Khan in the Ms. Marvel books. 2.5 stars, I guess, rounded up, but how is that so many of the Eisner awards this year are not nearly the best comics? This one is decent to good, imo.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    Last year marked the television debut of the Inhuman Royal Family, so in preparation I read Inhumans by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee, which is a terrific examination of a reclusive society of super-powered beings who each have their own flaw (let alone abilities) and how they confront it. However, due to the universal derision towards the TV series, I chose to stay away from it but did start my fascination with the Inhumans, continuing with Karnak: The Flaw in All Things, which loosely continued som Last year marked the television debut of the Inhuman Royal Family, so in preparation I read Inhumans by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee, which is a terrific examination of a reclusive society of super-powered beings who each have their own flaw (let alone abilities) and how they confront it. However, due to the universal derision towards the TV series, I chose to stay away from it but did start my fascination with the Inhumans, continuing with Karnak: The Flaw in All Things, which loosely continued some of the themes from the aforementioned miniseries, albeit in typical Warren Ellis fashion. Based on the first-ever solo series featuring the silent king of the Inhumans, if there is a flaw towards Black Bolt ridding of his evil brother Maximus, who is always the main culprit for the many catastrophes the Royal Family faces. Although he doesn't physically appear in this volume, Maximus sets up the trouble for Black Bolt, who is locked up in a secret prison somewhere in the cosmos. Accompanied with a number of prisoners, including the Absorbing Man, Black Bolt (without his destructive hypersonic voice) fights his way to escape from the clutches of the Jailer. When I initially witnessed the first issue's cover, I did wonder how can one create a comic solely about a character who can destroy everything with the slightest whisper. And yet, writer Saladin Ahmed found a way as placing our eponymous hero in a prison setting where he remains powerless sets up an interesting premise and how a figure of such royalty can work alongside low-class criminals, whom he oddly grows fond of. Granted, I have not read every Inhumans book ever published, throughout these six issues Ahmed delves deeply into Black Bolt's history and looking back at his own mistakes, particularly his son and former queen Medusa, who apparently is dating the Human Torch. Given how Black Bolt says very little, you never really get inside his head, but it is credited to Ahmed's third-person captions to give some coherence to support the extravagant art by Christian Ward (more on that later). It also helps that Black Bolt is surrounded by a likeable supporting cast, given some of their criminal pasts. Never before have I felt so emotionally engaged with the Absorbing Man as Crusher Creel is introduced here as an antagonist towards the king, to later realise there are greater threats than the both of them and how they must work together, which leads to a great gag of Creel finds out about Black Bolt's real name, which is Blackagar Boltagon. To make you like this absorbing foe even more is in #4 that it is dedicated to a conversation between two prisoners, in which Creel explains his backstory and shows there was goodness in his life, including his relationship with Titania, acknowledging the original Secret Wars. Having previously drawn Matt Fraction's Image comic ODY-C, Christian Ward's psychedelic art is some of the most stunning visuals out there in comics in his experimental use of panel layouts and multi-layered colouring. In terms of world-building, which does evoke Jack Kirby's influence in the Marvel universe, the prison is a dark labyrinth where every location differs whilst our heroes come across a variety of well-designed aliens. Only drawing four pages, Frazer Irving (someone who has never won me over) does his best work, which is close to being painterly as we witness Black Bolt's history from birth through the POV of his trusted teleporting dog Lockjaw, which gave me the feels. Despite my initial reluctance about the prospect of a Black Bolt solo series, Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward proved me wrong as it is a mature sci-fi romp that found vulnerabilities within powerful figures and surprising emotional engagement towards the most unlikely characters.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    Black Bolt wakes to find himself caged and chained. He is in the very prison he intended for Maximus, but he learns even his treacherous brother doesn't deserve such a cage. Black Bolt must find a way to escape without his powers and with whatever allies he can find, including the Absorbing Man Crusher Creel. Hard Time was a bit of a let down. It didn't truly delve into any aspect of Black Bolt. It's rare for him to be able to speak, but rather than him saying or thinking anything interesting he's Black Bolt wakes to find himself caged and chained. He is in the very prison he intended for Maximus, but he learns even his treacherous brother doesn't deserve such a cage. Black Bolt must find a way to escape without his powers and with whatever allies he can find, including the Absorbing Man Crusher Creel. Hard Time was a bit of a let down. It didn't truly delve into any aspect of Black Bolt. It's rare for him to be able to speak, but rather than him saying or thinking anything interesting he's largely acting kingly. This is funny considering his long ordeal through Inhuman and Uncanny Inhumans that saw him abdicating the Inhuman throne. I guess old habits are hard to break. The story is straight forward once the scene is set. Black Bolt and the others are in an inescapable prison that is no longer the prison it was intended to be. It's a place of torture, death, and rebirth. The protagonists spend all their time working on escaping. Hard Time felt unnecessary and didn't feel compelling at all. 2.5 out of 5 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    It pains me to say this but I didn't love this as much as I hoped. I read issue 1 when it first came out and really enjoyed it. Wanted to wait till it was done so I can run through the whole first arc. So what's it about? Our boy Black Bolt is trapped in a prison. Not just any prison, it's run by a creature of some sorts who can take away your powers and torture you till you basically die. Over and over again he brings you the point of almost death and then plays the game to bring you back and s It pains me to say this but I didn't love this as much as I hoped. I read issue 1 when it first came out and really enjoyed it. Wanted to wait till it was done so I can run through the whole first arc. So what's it about? Our boy Black Bolt is trapped in a prison. Not just any prison, it's run by a creature of some sorts who can take away your powers and torture you till you basically die. Over and over again he brings you the point of almost death and then plays the game to bring you back and suffer. So Black Bolt meets a couple of other inmates and their mission is prison break basically. Good: The art is pretty solid. Very vivid and dark but works for the themes. I also enjoyed the backstory of certain criminals and goes to show you there's always more than meets the eye. Black Bolt getting to speak was nice and getting to see his reactions and such to dialog is wonderful. Bad: Not every inmate was interesting. Some were flat out boring. I also thought the pacing was off, while sometimes really interesting and well done, other times dull. I didn't really feel the emotion the series was going for. Overall a well constructed story and themes but misses the emotion mark for me so I didn't care about too much outside of Black Bolt. Overall a 3 out of 5.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Jane Anders

    Black Bolt gets a whole new lease on life in this graphic novel, which is a prison break story where he has to team up with a bunch of semi-reformed supervillains... including "Crusher" Creel, aka the Absorbing Man. Honestly, the bromance between Black Bolt and Creel is amazing, and justifies the price of the collection by itself. The Absorbing Man has never been this absorbing before! Also, Ward's strange cosmic artwork is gorgeous and I found myself staring obsessively at every page. Black Bolt gets a whole new lease on life in this graphic novel, which is a prison break story where he has to team up with a bunch of semi-reformed supervillains... including "Crusher" Creel, aka the Absorbing Man. Honestly, the bromance between Black Bolt and Creel is amazing, and justifies the price of the collection by itself. The Absorbing Man has never been this absorbing before! Also, Ward's strange cosmic artwork is gorgeous and I found myself staring obsessively at every page.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Saladin Ahmed and artist Christian Ward's Black Bolt has built quite the reputation during it's run, becoming one of the most talked about and highly praised books on the shelves. I hadn't planned on reading it myself, but eventually I was curious to see if Hard Time could live up to the hype. So, does it? Eh, not really. In a strange twist, my biggest gripe with this volume is that it's just 'good'. Good, but not great. There was one issue which made me think the creators might be onto something s Saladin Ahmed and artist Christian Ward's Black Bolt has built quite the reputation during it's run, becoming one of the most talked about and highly praised books on the shelves. I hadn't planned on reading it myself, but eventually I was curious to see if Hard Time could live up to the hype. So, does it? Eh, not really. In a strange twist, my biggest gripe with this volume is that it's just 'good'. Good, but not great. There was one issue which made me think the creators might be onto something special, not least because it features two characters just talking. Ahmed really hits the right tone with the dialogue and Ward's artwork is creative without being too trippy, a trap he falls into during other parts of the book. Aside from that one stand-out issue however, Hard Time was entertaining to read, but nothing i'll be shouting about from the rooftops. Still, it's easy to cast the book in a positive light overall. It's accessible for readers who know nothing about Black Bolt or the Inhumans, an impressive feat given how complicated their history appears to be. Ward's artwork certainly has it's moments and, perhaps most impressively of all, this is novelist Ahmed's first comic book. It's one that shows he has a lot of potential in the medium and I may well be back for his second volume. Ultimately, Hard Time is worth a read, but I wouldn't go into it expecting a game-changer.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    This is a character I've always found to be somewhat akin to scenery, with less of the personality, but Lo! and behold Ahmed writes him so well as a fish out of water, imprisoned with an assortment of miscreants in The Worst Jail EVER... And the results are fantastic. First off, YAY! power suppression, meaning that the Silent King can, you know, actually have dialogue in his own title. Next up, AMAZING art! So glad they saw the potential in Ahmed's script and got an artistic collaborator in Chris This is a character I've always found to be somewhat akin to scenery, with less of the personality, but Lo! and behold Ahmed writes him so well as a fish out of water, imprisoned with an assortment of miscreants in The Worst Jail EVER... And the results are fantastic. First off, YAY! power suppression, meaning that the Silent King can, you know, actually have dialogue in his own title. Next up, AMAZING art! So glad they saw the potential in Ahmed's script and got an artistic collaborator in Christian Ward who brought this hellish realm and the characters to life. Lastly, STAKES! (view spoiler)[ so rarely to be found in Marvel Superhero comics, but my disbelief was suspended enough to actually question if Ole Blackagar Boltagon or his confederates were going to make it out. (hide spoiler)] Yes, it was better than this TV series. Shocking, I know. Definitely recommended, even if (like me, generally) you don't have much time for Inhumanity.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Malum

    An OK start to Black Bolt's solo series. There are some problems here, though: I wasn't a fan of the watercolor looking art. I didn't dislike it enough to detract from my overall opinion of the book, but it just didn't do it for me. They didn't have enough story for the amount of issues here. When one whole issue of a Black Bolt book is a freaking Absorbing Man origin story, you know they are hurting to fill pages. One of the things I like about Black Bolt is that he is so insanely powerful. Here An OK start to Black Bolt's solo series. There are some problems here, though: I wasn't a fan of the watercolor looking art. I didn't dislike it enough to detract from my overall opinion of the book, but it just didn't do it for me. They didn't have enough story for the amount of issues here. When one whole issue of a Black Bolt book is a freaking Absorbing Man origin story, you know they are hurting to fill pages. One of the things I like about Black Bolt is that he is so insanely powerful. Here, though, they just keep finding ways to de-power him. I would have rather had them cleverly write ways around his power level, but I guess taking his powers away over and over is the easier (and thus lazier) way to go. Here's hoping the next volume will be better.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    As a result of Maximus' plan over in the Royals series, Black Bolt is now imprisoned in one of the most dangerous prisons in the galaxy, and the only way to get out is to team up with hardened criminals. Can the Midnight King escape his bonds and his fellow prisoners in order to save himself? Considering this is (I think?) Saladin Ahmed's first comics work, I was very impressed with this. The story is pretty unique, despite being a prison break-esque type deal, and the character work is very stro As a result of Maximus' plan over in the Royals series, Black Bolt is now imprisoned in one of the most dangerous prisons in the galaxy, and the only way to get out is to team up with hardened criminals. Can the Midnight King escape his bonds and his fellow prisoners in order to save himself? Considering this is (I think?) Saladin Ahmed's first comics work, I was very impressed with this. The story is pretty unique, despite being a prison break-esque type deal, and the character work is very strong. It's clear that this was originally an Absorbing Man story that got co-opted into Black Bolt, but the shift isn't too noticeable and Black Bolt's definitely the main character. The way things play out is decent, and the use of Black Bolt's powers in the ultimate conclusion is both sad and innovative. I'm not sure if I like the Lockjaw-Ex-Machina we get midway through, but I'm always for Lockjaw being in more things, so I'm torn. Christian Ward is a great psychedelic artist, and you can tell he really wants to let loose and go nuts with this series; there are certain points where he gets to, like when the Jailer's true form is revealed, but the rest of the time he feels a bit restrained by the claustrophobic nature of the prison, which is a shame. This volume ends with 'The End' but there are another six issues after this, so I'm definitely curious where this is going to go next, and I'll be keeping an eye out for more of Ahmed's comics work in the future too.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea &#x1f3f3;️‍&#x1f308;

    I love this author right now! I haven't read much of the Inhumans, I'll admit. I read enough when they were featured during some of Marvel's older universe wide events but I'm not a huge fan. Of those issues, Black Bolt was the least interesting character to me. Ahmed changed that for me. This is such a well done series! I admire series that know how to use silence well. Black Bolt doesn't speak so the story is told through artwork, movement and exposition. I got a feel for Black Bolt's pain and f I love this author right now! I haven't read much of the Inhumans, I'll admit. I read enough when they were featured during some of Marvel's older universe wide events but I'm not a huge fan. Of those issues, Black Bolt was the least interesting character to me. Ahmed changed that for me. This is such a well done series! I admire series that know how to use silence well. Black Bolt doesn't speak so the story is told through artwork, movement and exposition. I got a feel for Black Bolt's pain and fear, his restrained power and emotion and in all of this, Ahmed presents him as a compelling character. He's protective over strangers, he has a loving bond with his childhood pet (and guardian) Lockjaw and he's mourning the loss of his relationship with Medusa. And in all of this, Ahmed gave us a sympathetic character in Carl Creel. If you told me last year that Absorbing Man would be a character I cried over, I would have said you were crazy. Somehow, Ahmed told a history of this character and wrote him just understanding enough that I really felt for him. I wanted a happy ending for him and I felt like his relationship Black Bolt grew into something good. The artwork was quite unique and worked really well for the story. I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    Marvel keeps trying to make the Inhumans happen. And so we have a whole series devoted to the one Inhuman who rarely talks...until now. Turns out, he really doesn't have anything interesting to say, and we'll all be better off when he goes back to the elective mutism. The story is just a weird prison break mess about which, appropriately, the less said the better. Well, okay, there's a nice little role for Lockjaw, and the quirky psychedelic art is worth a quick scan. But overall, I think the Kam Marvel keeps trying to make the Inhumans happen. And so we have a whole series devoted to the one Inhuman who rarely talks...until now. Turns out, he really doesn't have anything interesting to say, and we'll all be better off when he goes back to the elective mutism. The story is just a weird prison break mess about which, appropriately, the less said the better. Well, okay, there's a nice little role for Lockjaw, and the quirky psychedelic art is worth a quick scan. But overall, I think the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel books and the Paul Jenkins/Jae Lee Marvel Knights outing have pretty much sated me for a lifetime. No more Inhumans...please.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Black Bolt is a character that's difficult to care much about, so isolating him in a stand-alone prison breakout story is a smart move. Even here, he takes a backseat to Absorbing Man, the old B-list villain to whom Ahmed gives a sympathetic reassessment. The script is a solid-if-somewhat-predictable prison story, and Ahmed works in some good politics without being clumsy or didactic about it. Christian Ward's distinctive psychedelic artwork is solid, but didn't wow me as much as it did when I f Black Bolt is a character that's difficult to care much about, so isolating him in a stand-alone prison breakout story is a smart move. Even here, he takes a backseat to Absorbing Man, the old B-list villain to whom Ahmed gives a sympathetic reassessment. The script is a solid-if-somewhat-predictable prison story, and Ahmed works in some good politics without being clumsy or didactic about it. Christian Ward's distinctive psychedelic artwork is solid, but didn't wow me as much as it did when I first encountered it in Matt Fraction's "ODY-C."

  21. 5 out of 5

    RG

    I've never read anything to do with the Inhumans before. I've only heard terrible things about the tv show and great things about this novel. I was really surprised about how cool this was. Black bolt is a man of few words as his words are his powers. Interesting take on something that wouldnt normally work. The artwork is great and the story moves along nicely. There was a moment there where I thought it would stray into an area that would bore me, but not to be. I've never read anything to do with the Inhumans before. I've only heard terrible things about the tv show and great things about this novel. I was really surprised about how cool this was. Black bolt is a man of few words as his words are his powers. Interesting take on something that wouldnt normally work. The artwork is great and the story moves along nicely. There was a moment there where I thought it would stray into an area that would bore me, but not to be.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Got this on a whim during Comixology's somewhat recent $0.99 Marvel sale, mostly because I think the fact that Black Bolt's real name is Blackagar Boltagon is hysterical, but WOW. I loved this. I, incredibly cheap purveyor of comics, paid almost full price for Volume 2, which I can't wait to tear into. I was so glad that Lockjaw made an appearance - what a cutie! Also, naming the Letters Page "Sound Off" instead of "Lettergar Pageagon" was a huge mistake. Got this on a whim during Comixology's somewhat recent $0.99 Marvel sale, mostly because I think the fact that Black Bolt's real name is Blackagar Boltagon is hysterical, but WOW. I loved this. I, incredibly cheap purveyor of comics, paid almost full price for Volume 2, which I can't wait to tear into. I was so glad that Lockjaw made an appearance - what a cutie! Also, naming the Letters Page "Sound Off" instead of "Lettergar Pageagon" was a huge mistake.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Max

    Great volume! Never known or cared much about the Inhumans, but this felt like a good introduction. Gripping, emotional, and dreamlike, with a lot to say about jails, jailers, and the jailed.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    4 1/2 stars 4 1/2 stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Niranjan Dalaya

    I had a HARD TIME finishing this. Incredibly boring from the start. 1.5 stars, out of charity, because I like the character.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    Black Bolt has always been an enigma among the Inhumans, more a prop than an actual character. Thus, a comic about him could have gone very wrong or very right. Fortunately, the answer seems to be the latter. Ahmed does a better job of revealing who Black Bolt really is, what's important to him, and what decisions he'll make, than all the former writers of Inhuman comics, combined. He's not the only great character in this comic. Ahmed puts together a fun cast of human and alien misfits, of whom Black Bolt has always been an enigma among the Inhumans, more a prop than an actual character. Thus, a comic about him could have gone very wrong or very right. Fortunately, the answer seems to be the latter. Ahmed does a better job of revealing who Black Bolt really is, what's important to him, and what decisions he'll make, than all the former writers of Inhuman comics, combined. He's not the only great character in this comic. Ahmed puts together a fun cast of human and alien misfits, of whom Crusher Creel is my favorite (even more intriguing than Black Bolt, in his own comic). The fact that this Black Bolt comic is set in a prison is a bit of a surprise. However, it turns out to be an intriguing setting, other than the fact that there's a constant series of jail breaks over these six issues that gets a bit old. Overall, a fun comic, including the wacky art (that sometimes goes over the top into murkiness, but is otherwise intriguingly unique).

  27. 4 out of 5

    Blindzider

    In the first three issues of this six part story, neither the reader or Black Bolt, have any idea what is going on, where he is or why. The last half of the story starts filling in the blanks and this is where Ahmed begins to dive into the character of Black Bolt. It's a nice change of pace to read a story about him where the weight of his kingdom isn't an issue, or his relationship with Medusa or the countless other plot threads that writers continuously rehash for the Inhumans. This is primari In the first three issues of this six part story, neither the reader or Black Bolt, have any idea what is going on, where he is or why. The last half of the story starts filling in the blanks and this is where Ahmed begins to dive into the character of Black Bolt. It's a nice change of pace to read a story about him where the weight of his kingdom isn't an issue, or his relationship with Medusa or the countless other plot threads that writers continuously rehash for the Inhumans. This is primarily a solo adventure, slightly out of continuity, but it takes place during the recent revival of the Inhumans. Black Bolt is simply removed from all of that, allowing the adventure to focus solely on him. That art is...different. A little psychedelic, but with deep, rich colors. The anatomy/characters are a little rough. I think the sequencing could use some work. This gets points for being different, and is intriguing enough to want to read more.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Frédéric

    Black Bolt wakes up without power in a prison far away in space after Maximus took his appearance and sent him there. "Crual and unusual punishment" is the rule there and if hr wants to survive and escape Black Bolt will have to ally with other inmates. On this very classic prison break basis Saladin Ahmed manages a decent story undoubtly enhanced by Christian Ward's art. Good points: For what seems to be his first comic book Ahmed, a novelist by trade, shows knowledge of the medium and how to use Black Bolt wakes up without power in a prison far away in space after Maximus took his appearance and sent him there. "Crual and unusual punishment" is the rule there and if hr wants to survive and escape Black Bolt will have to ally with other inmates. On this very classic prison break basis Saladin Ahmed manages a decent story undoubtly enhanced by Christian Ward's art. Good points: For what seems to be his first comic book Ahmed, a novelist by trade, shows knowledge of the medium and how to use it and that's comforting. He also makes good use of the Absorbing Man, a C-list character if ever. Nothing very original but I like this kind of characters to be under the limelight from time to time. I wouldn't qualify Christian Ward as a very good penciller but he has a good storytelling and a very good use of psychedelic colors that more than make up for it. Bad points: Ahmed tends to overwrite, typical mistake of novelists-turned-comic books-writers. Several scenes are filled with unnecessary captions, Ward's designs being self-sufficient to convey the point. Also, the plot is solid but really not very original. A pleasant enough read to preferably borrow from you local library if available.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    Another pleasant surprise (though I did find it listed in a "best of 2018" list, so there's that). Great combination of well-told story and imaginative, eye-popping artwork. I've never really cared much for the Inhumans before, Black Bolt especially, but here, he's humanized somewhat and you can understand his motivations. Will be looking for more from this writer. Another pleasant surprise (though I did find it listed in a "best of 2018" list, so there's that). Great combination of well-told story and imaginative, eye-popping artwork. I've never really cared much for the Inhumans before, Black Bolt especially, but here, he's humanized somewhat and you can understand his motivations. Will be looking for more from this writer.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cheese

    Surprisingly heartfelt and a great debut from this writer. Black bolt and others show their true nature trying to escape a despicable and powerful jailer in an ancient secret prison that no one knows about.

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