Crystal: I don't understand it, cousin. Surely we'd have received word from Black Bolt by now. But none has been forthcoming. What are we to do?
Triton: Patience. We must have faith in our king. While his inaction passing strange seems, there must be method in it.
– Dialogue from Marvel Knights: The Inhumans
Do you like waiting around? Enjoy sitting in the airline terminal waiting for your plane to leave? Like waiting in line to buy food at the supermarket? Is your favorite thing the chance to sit in a doctor's office waiting for your appointment?
Then good. You'll love Marvel Knights: The Inhumans.
The latest Motion Comic from Marvel Comics is stultifyingly boring. It's deathly dull. It's insufferably tedious and bloody monotonous and frustrating as hell.
To be fair, the problem with this DVD isn't really the fault of the DVD itself. Instead the problem is really the fault of the original Marvel Knights Inhumans 12-issue mini-series by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee. That series was pretty much the epitome of decompressed storytelling, a ponderous waste of time that used twelve issues to tell a story that really didn't need to be told in the first place, but if it needed to be, four issues is all it should have taken.
In episode after episode of this release, as in issue after issue of this comic, the story being told here just marks time. Humans attack the Inhumans' home city of Attilan, and for episode after episode – over half the episodes on this disk – the battle drags on and on. Nothing happens at all in the battle; few characters die, none of these amazingly powerful characters ever use their powers, the battle never really feels like it has consequences for anybody involved in it.
And when the great battle climaxes, and the war ends and our heroes win out, the whole thing is over in about five minutes of inconclusive screen time. We get a huge, tremendous build-up, and then – oh yeah, it's done. So what? It's done.
Worst of all, the whole resolution is a cheat anyway, a giant head-fake by Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans. It turns out that this whole thing is a giant, dull, move to Marvel continuity that really doesn’t matter much anyway if you're not extremely invested in the location of the city of Attilan in the Marvel Universe. If you are, awesome: go for it, blow the fifteen bucks on this DVD. Otherwise, don't bother.
Okay, there are a few interesting moments in this video. Jae Lee's character redesigns for the Inhumans still feel fresh and interesting and very cool even a decade after the original comic first appeared. In the early chapters, there's a really wonderful segment that shows new Inhumans being transformed in the Terrigan Mists, one of the coolest ideas in comics. And the voices of the characters are pretty much right on target and entertaining. Marvel Knights chose some good voice actors to bring this blindingly boring story to life.
The story might have been a little more entertaining if this DVD had at least featured nice animation, but Jae Lee's wonderfully atmospheric comic art doesn't work well for this limited animation style. Lee's style is deeply shadowy, suffused with darkness. That darkness gives the story real power on the comic page, but on the DVD the style just looks awkward. Motion comics animate static images, so the shadowy darkness of Lee's style has the effect on this DVD of making it look like characters have big black tattoos all over their bodies or that everyone's wearing clothes with terrible ink stains all the time. It's distracting and ugly. Lee's style just doesn't work well on this disk.
So if you're having trouble sleeping, give this disk a try. I almost fell asleep on this Sunday morning while watching this DVD. You might be lucky enough to fall asleep too.