Writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Christian Ward’s brilliant Black Bolt series reaches its twelfth and final issue. The series will act as a launching pad for two monumental talents to keep an eye on in the comic book industry.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Not long after Inhumans were being forced upon fans as half-assed replacements for the X-Men, we’ve seen a handful of creators turn the characters around. Al Ewing’s Royals focused on the royal family getting back to its roots and back among the stars. Ahmed and Ward’s Black Bolt focused on the silent king and took both him and readers to places we never knew we needed to go.
In this twelve-issue run, we’ve seen Black Bolt form a new family of supporting characters and break out of a cosmic prison. Upon his return to Earth, we’ve explored the tragic life of Blackagar Boltagon. The head that (formally) wears the crown is truly heavy.
Saladin Ahmed introduced us to Blinky, turned Absorbing Man into a tragic hero, re-imagined Blackagar’s childhood, dove deep into the complicated relationship that Black Bolt has with his son Ahura, and so much more. Readers have gone on a powerful and emotional journey through these twelve issues. There’s never been this much of an examination and exploration of the character before and the creative team didn’t waste the opportunity.
We spend a lot of time inside Black Bolt’s head space to better understand the man. Christian Ward’s beautifully abstract layouts and designs transform the comic book reading experience into a drug-induced dream. The visuals displayed throughout Black Bolt are unlike any other.
Ward does wonders with cosmic landscapes that make this adventure unforgettable. His work with facial expressions and body language shoots daggers into your chest each issue. Every emotion, triumph, and pain felt by these characters is felt within the reader as well.
Black Bolt #12 wraps the series up flawlessly. Carl “Crusher” Creel is the MVP; his arc is truly a masterpiece for both Ahmed and Ward. Black Bolt and Medusa reunite and the world of the Inhumans feels even more like home.
Ahmed’s words carry so much weight and Ward’s art seeps in through your eyes, taking over your brain and transporting you to another world. They’re a truly dynamic duo that tells a comic book story like no one else.
Black Bolt is in the same vein as Tom King’s Vision. A brilliant, abstract, and unique experience that takes a classic Marvel character into a totally different realm. This collection will be a must-own for every collector.
Keep your eye out for these two monumental talents. You can check out Saladin Ahmed’s BOOM! series Abbott now and the upcoming Exiles series for Marvel starting April 11. Christian Ward will be joining Jason Aaron on the new Thor for issues 1, 5, and 6.