Rating: 4.5/5 – Karnak Shines in this Comic about Ulysses.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Adam Brunell
While in my local comic shop to pick up my weekly take of comics, I saw another new release for Marvel’s Civil War II event; “Ulysses”, about the poor Inhuman put in the middle of Marvel’s recent Civil War. By this point I’ve decided that this war isn’t about the actions of Captain Marvel and Iron Man, or who sides with them, it’s all about Ulysses. I would love to say that this war wouldn’t be happening right now if it wasn’t for Ulysses and his powers, but that’s far from the truth. From other comics I have learned that the government is trying to push a new Registration Act, and this whole situation with Ulysses gives probable cause. But this comic is about Ulysses when he first started training with Karnak.
In the clutter of random Civil War II comics I’m lucky to see one I really want to continue with, but Ulysses may keep me going a little bit after tis great first issue. I like a mystery and new things. I don’t follow the Karnak comics, but after reading this issue I feel I probably should. Karnak is a lethal weapon that can see the flaw in anything. He’s bitter, stubborn and he reminds me of every elder in my family. Karnak knows what he’s talking about and he’s here to help. Some of these Nuhumans think they are the center of the universe and Karnak shows respect where respect is due. Writer Al Ewing seems to be dipping into a lot of Marvel comics these days, I follow most of them and I can’t complain when Ewing is writing, at least not yet. In this recent issue Ewing brings us to sacred ground for the Inhumans, it’s so sacred that even Medusa won’t disrespect the way the tower is being handled. We find Iso, Flint, Medusa and Ulysses walking through a dry desert-like environment towards a tower. Medusa explains to them how tradition works with the tower, and walking to it is part of that sacred tradition. Karnak emerges from the tower in this desert environment like Obi-Wan in Star Wars, and immediately starts testing the Nuhumans.
Avoiding spoilers, I can only say that I respect Karnak’s methods and Ewing’s skills in writing him. Everything is sacred and everything can be beautiful, Karnak knows this, but Ulysses is still in a phase of thinking anyone not physically beautiful is a monster. The tower is filled with Inhumans that are not physically beautiful, and when Ulysses speaks in a disrespectful way of these Inhumans, Karnak just won’t put up with such arrogance. Jefte Palo on art does a great job on all the varied characters and also provides great angles and shading; from the bright and sun glaring outside to the dark and cold looking tower, Palo is able to capture each moment and environment. His transformation of a cold brick tower into a gateway of differences is quite beautiful. During Ulysses’s walk around the tower he’s brought to the kitchen, and it caught me off guard. The difference between everywhere else you are shown, and the kitchen is an unexpected change, but I think there is another reason for the way this is handled, possibly a hidden meaning.
When a comic hits a personal note that I can relate to, I get drawn to it. I have a rugged uncle that comes across rather tough and mean, but he’s all about respect. Reading this comic and how Karnak acts around everyone reminds me of my uncle and I have nothing but respect for Karnak and his methods. My only criticism is that I think this comic should have come out a month ago. Ulysses has recently been shown with symbols on his face in other comics, but this is obviously before that happened. I know some things are better not shared until you are ready, but I think we were ready for this title maybe 1 or 2 months ago. That said, this was an intriguing comic and opened my eyes to a great character, Karnak.
Reviewed by: Adam Brunell
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