COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Black Bolt: Home Free
By The Masked Medic
So as I’ve been making my way through a number of my favourite novels, I occasionally have the urge to revisit series that perhaps I was a little harsh on. Many of these end up being Marvel comics, but I’m not sure that’s the bias talking anymore. One such series was Black Bolt Vol 1, where the first novel bored and confused me highly. But every character deserves a second chance and I was here to give it to him!
‘Home Free’ continues where the last novel left off. Blackagar Boltagon aka Black Bolt escaped the prison where he was being kept with one of the other prisoners, a young girl named Blinky. During their trip back it’s evident that Black Bolt is still suffering from the psychological effects of the torture done by “The Jailor”. Nevertheless, they persist in their journey back to Earth. Their first port of call is New Attilan, the home of the Inhumans. Black Bolt has been gone a long time so naturally the people there are skeptical however with the help of Black Bolt’s dog Lockjaw their eyes are opened. The only problem is that Bolt is no longer King of the Inhumans and he’s lost his wife and his throne. Dejected he and Blinky go to New York to visit Titania, who was the Absorbing Man’s girlfriend. They inform her of the demise of her beloved and Black Bolt offers to pay for the funeral. However, just as Black Bolt is trying to get his life in order, he, Blinky and Titania are attacked by Lash, a new Inhuman who wants to be the new King. He has an entire army backing him up and he kidnaps Blinky, knowing that Black Bolt will come after him. Titania decides that since Absorbing Man had done so much for these two, she will tag along to rescue Blinky. They arrive at Lash’s base only to find that there is a far greater threat waiting for them. Can Black Bolt reach within himself and unlock his lost powers again? And just where does Blinky fit into this entire picture?
Okay, the first novel in this series had me confused and bored. I wasn’t a massive Black Bolt fan and part of that probably had to do with the fact that I’d been exposed to him so little. Clearly, he’s a powerhouse but maybe because he does so little talking he’s probably a little underrated. I have to say that he found redemption in this novel. The overall plot wasn’t too simple or overly complicated. We got lots of character development and a real understanding of why Black Bolt is the way that he is. I think the addition of Titania was also great because it continues the idea that characters aren’t just heroes and villains and there are a lot of shades of grey. It almost adds to the redemption arc that Black Bolt is going through. At the end we also see potentially him healing broken relationships he’s had and I think that’s awesome!
Now, unfortunately, the artwork for me was not really my style at all. I’m sure there are lots of people that enjoy it, but it was almost too chaotic, I much prefer my clean lines and colour within its boundaries, haha! The covers weren’t bad, but again chaotic. Overall, this was a good novel to read and a chance for me to change my mind about a character. It’s a shame that this was the last novel in this volume!
This is what I mean, there were some genuinely emotional panels in this novel!
Okay, so it’s Black Bolt, no explanation needed, but I also did really like Titania in this novel!
Story Arc: ★★★½
Character Development: ★★★★