I never thought that a conversation between Black Bolt and The Absorbing Man (aka Crusher Creel) would take up a whole comic. I would have laughed at you if you told me it was one of the most poignant, thoughtful comics you've read.
But it was.
It was about family, about life, about what it meant to fight to live even when you were doomed. It was full of heartache and hope, an understanding between two vastly different people who wouldn't have bonded if they weren't quite literally chained together. With a limited amount of oxygen, meant to suffocate them eventually. I think the knowing you're going to die and not being able to stop it was the cruelest thing about this storyline.
The facial expressions brought their conversation to life. Spot on, as heartwarming and heartbreaking as the conversations themselves were. Between this and Once and Future Kings, I'm also shipping Black Bolt and Medusa hard right now. Medusa may be more prominent - more active - in the one issue we have of the mini-series than in four issues of Black Bolt, but she's definitely a presence. Always with Black Bolt, even if only in his thoughts, he admits she was a better ruler than he, all openness and no bitterness. She was, and I think she inspires him to be better even now. (When she stripped him of his title of king, and of the right to her, he simply bowed his head and left: he might not think himself the ruler Medusa is, but he also never coerced her into anything. He accepted her wishes, and I think he gets a bad wrap. He had to make a lot of bad choices to stop worse things from happening, in a very short amount of time. He also didn't let Medusa in on anything, and I think his secretiveness - protecting her, most likely - was also his greatest weakness. If he truly believes her to be the better ruler, perhaps she could have stayed his hand and come up with something better for everyone with him.)
But this is a lot of Crusher. Who Crusher was as a child, what made him become the way he was. It's a lot about not dying quietly. It's about what forms you, and how that comes into play later in life. It's about the choices you make.
It's about life.
Although I question that ending. Clearly things were going to happen as they did. A word or two and things could have changed for Crusher. I suspect surprise kept Black Bolt talking the way he did, but I'm shocked that after that talk fest, he didn't think of Crusher's safety sooner.
Also, I'm trying to remember where I saw a certain character last. I have to go back and look that up, now...