REVIEW: Royals #2 – “Space And Death”

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ROYALS #2
Writer: Al Ewing
Pencilers: Jonboy Meyers & Thony Silas
Colorists: Ryan Kinnaird & Jim Charalampidis

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99

Release Date: 4/19/17

The Royal Family and a few fellow Inhumans have left for space on the word of Marvel Boy, an explorer who claims that the Kree home of Hala contains a secret to save Inhumankind. Unfortunately a prophecy tells that only six of the seven will return from this quest – and Medusa appears to be the one dying.

Plot: Royals #2 opens with a flash to the far distant future, as The Last Inhuman reflects on the nature of death. We quickly return to the present, though, where Medusa has told her companions about her plight and is currently being fussed over by all of them other than Black Bolt.

Noh-Varr explains that the Terrigen traces in Medusa’s system are rebelling against her because she was the one who destroyed the Terrigen cloud, so she’s essentially dying from poetic justice. The lamentations are quickly interrupted by the biggest Chitauri swarm the characters have ever seen, and Medusa must once more step up to lead the Inhumans.

Story: While Medusa’s looming death (which better not come to pass) can get pretty repetitive, Al Ewing does a good job of keeping the action moving. Introducing such a big threat early on helps to establish how strong the Inhuman queen is even in the face of her own mortality, though it also ironically undercuts future obstacles. If the team can overcome the threat of a Chitauri swarm in less than an issue, what will ever stand in their way?

On the other hand, it’s a very good thing that this issue of Royals takes the time to explore the various characters on the mission. Gorgon’s loyalty to Medusa and her own ability to inspire greatness in Flint, as well as her camaraderie with Swain, all help build the notion of a team. Every character feels like an individual, but they are stronger as a unit. Black Bolt’s lack of participation sticks out like a sore thumb because of this, which plays nicely into the reveal in the final two pages.

Art: Jonboy Meyers’ art is perfect for this new run of Royals, infusing new life into the characters when they most need it. With some fill-in help from Thony Silas, the individual Inhumans feel younger and fresher than they have in years. The color palette provided by Ryan Kinnaird and Jim Charalampidis is vibrant and joyful, contrasting nicely with the feeling of hopelessness that might otherwise pervade the current Royals storyline.

Not only is the artwork expressive when it comes to close-ups and emotions, but the backgrounds appear vast and expansive as well. It’s easy to believe the Royals are traveling through space even when a large portion of the issue is contained within the ship.

Verdict: Royals #2 builds on the premiere issue’s steady start and raises the stakes for the future with an interesting last-minute twist. Strong visuals also make up for certain lulls in the story, not that there are many.

Star Rating: 3/5

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