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Subj: Black Bolt #8
Posted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 at 06:22:24 pm EST (Viewed 115 times)
Well, we're eight issues in and I'm still excited by this comic. That doesn't always (or even usually) happen with me.
I'm so glad the writer (Saladin Ahmad) is following through with the emotional thrust of the first arc. This was demonstrated most clearly by the events near the end of this issue. Black Bolt (with Blinky and Lockjaw) returns to Earth and makes his way briefly to New Attilan, but then he immediately sets out to do the one thing he had to do to retain my heartfelt kinship with him: he seeks out Crusher Kreel's wife to tell her Crusher's fate and explain the heroism of Crusher's noble sacrifice. If Blackagar had given anything else priority, I might have dropped this book, as the whole emotional core of the first arc would have been violated. But the writer stayed true. Ultimately that's what I love about this book. It stays true.
So of course the encounter starts out with Crusher's wife Titania tossing a car at Black Bolt. This is, after all, a Marvel comic. Even the obligatory initial violence is a way of staying true. Especially when one of the players is Titania.
We'll see how the encounter continues to play out next issue.
I love Blinky. She is what Blackagar has always needed: a telepath he fully trusts and who fully trusts him. These two are family now. Neither one will allow the other to come to any harm or mishap. Blinky's telepathic abilities allow her to know (not merely guess, as Medusa would have had to do) what Black Bolt needs to communicate. And then Blinky is able to get the message across to the other party, either by the spoken word or by the far more effective and efficient method of telepathy. Black Bolt doesn't need an ally who can punch things really hard. He can handle the punching just fine on his own. He needs a telepath.
He also sometimes needs a teleporter, and that's where Lockjaw comes in - the third member of this misfit family. The retired king, the alien thief-child and the super-dog. Yeah, I could read about their adventures every month forever.
So the folks in New Attilan initially mistake Blackagar for Maximus, an understandable assumption for them to make. Lockjaw's mere presence and lack of distress resolves the tense situation, as none of the Inhumans believe Lockjaw could be controlled, or simulated, or tricked by Maximus. This fascinated me. All of Maximus's power and cunning would be thwarted by Lockjaw's canine simplicity.
The next hurdle is people blaming Blackagar for not saving them from the ravages of Captain Nazi. Blinky resolves this tense situation by telepathically illuminating people's minds with the horrors of where she and Black Bolt had been.
So then we see Panacea (the Inhuman healer) complete Lockjaw's healing process. Hurray! She analyzes Blinky and discovers that some of Blinky's cells are older than the rest - an anomaly that will remain a mystery for now. Panacea tries to heal Black Bolt's voice but discovers the root of the problem is psychological - and Blackagar rebuffs her attempt to heal his mind. I'm not exactly sure why he does that, but I think it has something to do with the fact that he has come out of the crucible a different (and in some ways better) person. He doesn't want to jeopardize his growth process, I think. I'm glad, because I don't want him to have his stupid deus ex machina whisper-nuke power. I hate that power, because the implication is always that it's invincible, and the last thing I want my hero to be is invincible.
Blackagar meets his son Ahura (whom I had never heard of) and in the heat of the young man's resentment, Black Bolt hugs him. This throws Ahura for a loop and he flees. Perhaps we'll see Ahura again. His father is a changed man. There may be some hope here for a bonding of hearts. Or maybe not. It depends on whether Ahura can overcome his resentment.
I continue to recommend this book.
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