The covers: The Main is by Ryan Stegman & Marte Gracia showing The Unspoken sitting on the throne of New Attilan, smiling as he lets Medusa’s hair stream through his aged hand. Creepy image with extremely dark coloring. This should have been brightened up to show more of the art. The Variant cover is by Ryan Ottley with Medusa and several Inhumans swinging into action. It’s a traditional superhero cover. It’s okay, but has nothing to do with what happens in this issue. I’m not too keen on how Medusa looks. Overall grades: Main B- and Variant C
The story: Jason and Dante are in a club catching up after last issue’s adventures. Dante is trying some jokes on Jason, but they aren’t working because the latter is still trying to adjust to his new identity as a NuHuman. A flashback begins, which carries throughout most of the book, showing the young man’s start in Northern Minnesota as the typical upset youth who can’t wait to get out of his parents’ house. His father bursts into his room one night telling him to get everything they need–they’re leaving in three minutes. The Terrigen cloud is about to swing through their neighborhood and his father wants to keep his son alive. Sadly, the cloud swings through the area the family is in and…The story then transitions to Medusa speaking with The Unspoken, a “dangerous former king of the Inhumans,” who wants the woman’s hand in marriage to reclaim his throne. Charles Soule’s “Empty Throne” goes through all the traditional moves with the familiar characters. I find it really unbelievable to think that with all their advanced technology, the Inhumans have foregone emergency lighting. I’m much more interested in Dante and Jason, and the new friend, Gabby, they’ve picked up, and there’s not too much, beyond Jason’s origin, this issue. The story with Medusa and the Unspoken was okay, but it was just setup for the conclusion. Overall grade: B
The art: Ryan Stegman continues to impress, but now that we’re five issues into this series, I’m picking up on some of his stylistic choices. For example, Jason’s dad has only one panel shot of him from a level front; for the rest of the scenes his head is continually down, as if his neck is broken. Medusa is shown from on high, as we look up her regal nose, or she’s shown in silhouette or obscured by darkness. I’m still liking the look of this book, don’t get me wrong, but I can see that when Gracia likes to draw something he’ll repeat that pose often. There’s much more interesting, and much clearer, work done with Jason and Dante. Even in the flashback, Jason is shown from several angles. The tech that makes up most of the backgrounds this issue in New Attilan looks really good. I almost wish more time had spent with characters exploring those environments. The final page is extremely well done; nice cliffhanger. Overall grade: B+
The colors: Outstanding work on this book from Marte Gracia. The colors on this book are positively electric. The opening page has a bright color scheme as the two young men are starting to bond in the club. The interior of Jason’s mug is especially good. The flashback sequence is nice in dark greys, using only the power of the boy’s computer screen to light the setting. The cloud continues to be this foreboding mass of alien green. The scenes involving Medusa and New Attilan are hidden/obscured by dark colors. I wish they would have been a bit brighter. Again, no emergency lighting? Overall grade: B
The letters: The traditional writer’s trio of scene setting, dialogue, and sounds are crafted by VC’s Clayton Cowles. He does a good job, but nothing is exceptional. Overall grade: B
The final line: Still a good read, but the novelty of this series is starting to wear out. Overall grade: B
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.