Pardon my attempt to get away with [two] characters in this entry but Black Bolt and Medussa go so hand-in-hand one with the other that it would be very difficult for me not to include them as one. Because there stands Black Bolt, powerful monarch of the Inhumans, and a being so powerful that with the utterance of a single syllable he can unleash untold destruction upon friend and foe alike — upon entire cities. This is his gift, and this is his curse, so he must reign in silence with his beloved wife near him to relay his wishes. Fortunately, the two are so in tune with one another that the simplest of glances between them speak volumes, and together they rule the kingdom benevolently as one.
Black Bolt was simply one of those characters that I stumbled upon in my youth who personified true nobility (possessing qualities of excellence) which was evident immediately in his self-discipline, self-control, and heroism — and as a yung-un that was the kind of character that really stuck out to me. Still is. Of course, the cool Kirby uniform and ninja-like silence and skill didn’t hurt either! With the unique ability to manipulate electrons, that greatly enhance his already superhuman abilities, Black Bolt is undoubtedly one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, yet he keeps it in check as often as possible through deep thought, meditation techniques, and special equipment designed to keep himself, and those around him, safe. But still, how “cool” is it when he unleashes that power!?
I can’t recall exactly where I stumbled upon Black Bolt first, but I reckon it was during one of his council-sessions with Crystal, during her relationship with Johnny Storm, and probably during John Byrne’s run on the Fantastic Four where he and the Inhumans became real favorites of mine — likely around the “Exodus” storyline. And, of course, not long after reading these I’d learn that these were Jack Kirby creations and if Black Bolt & the Inhumans aren’t a personification of just how fantastic an imagination that Jack had, then I don’t know who, or what, is! Fantastic Four #44-47 featuring the debut of the Inhumans is “must read” material for anyone that hasn’t had the good fortune yet. So, in the years since I’ve been tracking down the better Inhumans-related stories wherever I can find them and while I’m a little behind these days (Marvel having lost me in large part after “Avengers Disassembled”, “HoM”, & “Civil War”) I am really looking forward to the upcoming Secret Invasion Inhumans mini-series, and seeing if Black Bolt makes it out of things alright and with respect fully intact after recent events. He’d better, if Marvel still has a lick of sense.
And I’m still holding out hope that one day Black Bolt, Medussa, and the rest of the Inhumans will receive an ongoing title again, and maybe just maybe, Alan Davis and Mark Farmer will be on board as creators. That’d be a dream come true to be honest. Such great characters, and these are just some of the reasons that Black Bolt (& Medussa) make my “Top-Ten Marvel Heroes” list.
Behold! Black Bolt is King once again! King by right of eminent domain! By right of royal challenge! By right of fait accompli! Maximus is dethroned! Long live the King!