Saturday, March 03, 2018

Reader's Diary #1750- Warren Ellis (writer), Gerardo Zaffino and Roland Boschi (artist): Karnak The Flaw in All Things

Last year Marvel Comics seemed to be pushing a few more Inhuman titles. Notable the Karnak: The Flaw in All Things and the Black Bolt: Hard Time runs had some critical acclaim. Perhaps they were trying to capitalize on the new tv show. Pity then it was so god-awful. And that's coming from a hard core Marvel fan who even enjoyed the much maligned Iron Fist show on Netflix.

My knowledge of Karnak was largely based, unfortunately, on the TV show. (I read a Inhumans trade a while back, but I've largely forgotten it.) There are very few similarities between Karnak of this comic and the one played by Ken Leung on television except that both are unlikable. The biggest difference is that Karnak on TV had superpowers while the one in the comic doesn't (on tv it's Maximus who is powerless, though in the comics he has super intelligence).

As for him being unlikable in his own solo series comic, that's fine, I suppose, though I did at times find the comic trying a bit too hard to be gritty (a la Alan Moore or Frank Miller). Still, when we finally see an ounce of doubt or humility, really any human emotion besides smug detached superiority, the payoff is bigger.

The story involves Karnak being asked by SHIELD to help track down a new inhuman who has been abducted by a cult. This inhuman is either powerless or one of the most powerful they have ever encountered.

It's not a bad series overall. Again, I didn't necessarily like Karnak but he's an interesting sort of character and decently developed. He's a bit of a rational philosopher. The story was compelling and the art by Zaffino or Boschi is suitably gritty. I liked the occasional use of ben day dots, looking like it was coloured on newsprint and had just leaked through-- a nice nod to the "flaw in all things" theme.

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