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Published on February 26th, 2016 | by Noel Thorne

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Karnak #2 Review

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Inhuman warrior priest Karnak has been hired by SHIELD to recover a kidnapped boy who has undergone terrigenesis – and is believed to be the Inhumans’ saviour. The trail leads Karnak to a German splinter cell where death and destruction awaits. For the kidnappers.

It’s been four months since Karnak #1 dropped in October last year and what little info Marvel has let out is that personal problems in artist Gerardo Zaffino’s life have caused the delay – hopefully with the series resuming, Zaffino’s troubles are over and things get better for the guy going forward!  

This is a very action-heavy second issue. Besides the flashback opening page, roughly half of the issue’s first half is wordless as Karnak destroys the goons of this dark science organisation, IDIC. The flashback informs readers that Karnak, though considered an Inhuman, didn’t undergo terrigenesis but that he’s still a badass – Warren Ellis continues to build Karnak’s character in this arc. Almost channelling the zen vibe of the character, Ellis’ script is restrained without that laconic bite it usually has and I think that’s the best approach for this title.

From there we discover a bit more about the kidnapped boy and why he’s been taken – or did he go willingly? – with Karnak given the next piece of the puzzle from another violent priest (I love that the series is full of them!). The issue closes out with more over the top – almost funny because it’s so exaggerated – martial arts with a more traditional final page than the first issue’s. That final panel is revealing of Karnak’s character which up til now Ellis has written as very aloof but we’re slowly getting to know the guy. Moreover, as a holy man, does Karnak want to believe the boy is a saviour?

Zaffino is joined by Antonio Fuso and together their art gives the comic a very kinetic and fluid flavour, the action in particular moving nicely – the zen gunnery was especially cool. Dan Brown’s muted colour palette and David Aja’s stark cover add to the moody, almost aggressive, atmosphere of the comic with the art and script gelling together well.

Karnak #2 is a very decent issue. While nothing has happened so far to make me love the series, the story of this strange mystical character is developing nicely with the creative team striking a fine balance between visuals and dialogue – per the tagline of Marvel’s latest relaunch, I DO want to know what happens next!

Though the majority of Marvel’s Inhuman books leave a lot to be desired, if you read just one of them, make it Karnak.

KARNAK_002_COVER

Publisher: Marvel

Writer: Warren Ellis

Artists: Gerardo Zaffino with Antonio Fuso

Colourist: Dan Brown

Noel Thorne

Probably reading comics as you're reading this.

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