Friday, April 12, 2013
MARVEL KNIGHTS: INHUMANS on DVD
Review copy provided by the studio.
The latest motion comic from Marvel, surprisingly enough, goes back to the initial launch of Marvel Knights back in 1998. Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee's Inhumans debuted to great reviews, helping to cement the new line's reputation for resurrecting moribund properties and selling them to an audience that would ordinarily never give them a shot. (Even if people did rightly complain months into the series that the story was moving too slowly, I do think the last two chapters do a lot to make up for the idle middle segment.) Vertigo writer Paul Jenkins and Image star Jae Lee didn't seem like an obvious fit, especially on an old Lee/Kirby property, but the final result was pretty undeniable. Jenkins breathes a lot of life into the concept by taking what's already there and using it as a venue to explore everything from puberty to slavery to classism, while also fleshing out the main Inhumans and exploring their relationship as a family. And Lee's art fits the mood perfectly, maintaining most of the style that made him popular in the '90s without getting in the way of the story.
If you ever want to see Lee's art animated, probably the only chance you'll have is in the motion comics format. If you're annoyed by the simple motions and odd lip synch, I doubt this one would change your mind, but I think the performances and music help to compensate for the limited animation. The narrator in particular is very good, with a style that sounds like it could just as easily be on PBS, but fits Jenkins' dry narration perfectly. The trade is apparently long out of print, and going for outrageous prices on Amazon, so this could be your only opportunity to get the story at a reasonable price. I have to point out, however, that this is the second Marvel Motion Comic DVD that has major audio issues in my Panasonic DVD player. It's not that much of an inconvenience, since like most people I have more than once device that can play DVDs, but it is an odd problem to occur more than once.