Civil War II: Ulysses #1 ComicWow! Review

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The entire Civil War II event centers around Ulysses, whose vision of the future caused a ruckus. This series serves as a prequel, showing us exactly how Ulysses joined the Inhumans and learned to control his powers. In Karnak’s Tower of Wisdom, he senses that someone is coming to see him. Elsewhere, Medusa the Queen, Iso, Flint, and Ulysses travel on foot (and hair) to the Tower.

Once there, the Magister (Karnak) nearly picks a fight with everyone but Medusa. They leave Ulysses in Karnak’s care, and Medusa admits it might be a mistake. Once inside, Karnak introduces Ulysses to everyone else in the Tower (Ulysses refers to them as “freaks”). Karnak finally shows Ulysses his cell, where he has his first vision in from of the Magister—of death on an extremely large scale.

Something that writer Al Ewing wrote stuck out to me. Ulysses calls Karnak a “psycho,” to which the Magister responds with “If this was television, you’d say I was ‘tough.’ That I ‘get things done.” You’d call me a hero. In the human world.” As I was reading his response, I thought, “He’s absolutely right.” Kids these days look up to the intense, dramatic, over-the-top guy who goes to extremes to accomplish his goals. If we ever met these people in real life, though, we’d get pretty scared of their way of life. This is the difference between the human world and the Inhuman world. In the human world, Karnak would stick out. To Inhumans, though, he is just one of them with an exceptionally strong gift. So, when he acts as intensely as he does, it seems even stranger to an Inhuman (whereas a human would be expecting such strange behavior).

Ewing does an amazing job of taking us on Ulysses’ journey to and through the Tower. We see what some powers are used for (some Inhumans loving their jobs and some dreading each moment that Karnak makes them use it). So far, Karnak has done nothing but scare Ulysses. I’m curious as to what his teaching methods will be like and how Ulysses will respond to them. He is just a little kid and Karnak is a seasoned, somewhat condescending Inhuman. Ewing doesn’t overload on information or flashbacks; this is a simple issue with a comfortable amount of detail regarding Ulysses and his contribution to the Inhumans and Civil War II overall.

Artist Jefte Palo illustrates this issue with a lot of emotion and dramatics. The Magister doesn’t really express himself too much, so when we see him showing any emotion through facial expression, it’s always a little off—eerie, even. His smiles are unsettling, to say the least. Palo plays around with sizes and layouts of the panels, making the entire issue really interesting and appealing to the eye. As for Ulysses, we can see the dread, fear, shock, and disgust on his face as he walks with Karnak through the Tower. This is going to be a great series, and a nice way for us to see just what Ulysses’ story is.

The creative team has done a fantastic job on this issue, and it can only lead to more brilliance. Karnak and Ulysses have a lot of work to do, and I can’t wait to see their dynamic as they take it on together.

Written by: Al Ewing

Illustrated by: Jefte Palo

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