Written by: Matthew Rosenberg
Art by: Javier Garron
Colours by: Israel Silva
Cover by: Tradd Moore
Publish by: Marvel Comics
Matthew Rosenberg and Javier Garron both are relatively new names in the comics scene. Rosenberg splashed onto the scene with indie books like We Can Never Go Home and 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, before getting higher profile work at Marvel and DC. Garron meanwhile got a similar start with small press work that led into Marvel and DC books like Batman Eternal, Inferno, and IvX. I tell you think because with this quirky team book, these two have given the industry a reason to learn their names. This is a star-making book.
This issue picks up where the first issue left off- a ragtag team of Inhumans are travelling through Hydra-occupied territory to rescue their people. This group struggles to band together, while being faced with Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, including the monstrous Howling Commandos. Ultimately they reach their goal, finding themselves face to face with the X-Men.
I’ll say this right up front- this story is fun. It’s dealing with some serious issues- oppression, facism, betrayal- but Rosenberg strikes a hopeful and defiant tone. A lot of it has to do with the characters he’s picked for the team. All of them except Karnak are relatively young, and their personalities reflect that. Karnak meanwhile adds a truly weird element to the story. One small downside, despite the focus on Inhuman oppression, it doesn’t feel like an Inhuman story. It’s a superhero story focused on Inhuman characters. As much as the line struggled a bit with its identity though, that may not actually be a downside.
Garron, with color artist Israel Silva, helps the tone greatly as well. I’ve loved Garron’s work since I read Inferno. It’s cartoony without going too stylized. He’s really captured his character’s personalities wonderfully. He’s also taken the difficult task of having a T-Rex as a main character, and truly infused Devil Dinosaur with a lot of wonderful character. Silva’s colors pop off the page. It’s poppy and bright, which prevents the story from getting dragged down and mired in the bleak themes of Secret Empire.
This is a tie-in done right. I haven’t read the core Secret Empire at all yet, but I jumped right in with this story and loved it. It doesn’t feel like a big “you have to read these other ten issues to get it” tie in. It’s a self-contained and fun story, and really establishes this book’s mission statement. Absolutely a must-read.