And I'm not just talking about the lush art that is full of color and movement. No, no, no. The writing is just as lush, just as full. It makes Black Bolt relatable, and although I thought this would make him less intriguing - there's something about him being impenetrable, so much higher than everyone else, so removed in so many ways that drew me to him as a character - it does the opposite. It makes his tragedies - his awesome power that keeps him removed from everyone in so many ways, and his responsibilities that do the same - more tragic.
It makes the decisions he has to make harder, and it makes me like him more.
The plans are finally revealed, even as it's revealed why this group of prisoners need Black Bolt. He also finally truly sees the consequences of his hard decisions, from the point of view of someone who's living those consequences. It's poetic in a way that stripping him of his crown and his title and his wife, and family, wasn't, and gives him pause in a way those didn't. Then? He was still confident that what he'd done was right, and stood tall even if he wasn't exactly proud of his actions.
Now, though? This is showing him what willful blindness really brings, and it's horrifying on a level that makes even him squirm. I thought that seeing Black Bolt second guess the terrible decisions he had to make - or that he felt he had to make - to try and save as many of his people as he could, to try and protect them the best he could would make me like him less. In a less talented author's hands, this storyline would make me like him less. Instead, Ahmed is doing everything I didn't ever want to see in a Black Bolt series, and his talent is forcing me to admit I was wrong. I wanted it. I just was afraid the writer Marvel picked wouldn't be up to the task.
This author is, and he's not only got the skill, but he's reveling in this storyline. He's gleefully dissecting Black Bolt, what makes - or made - him, and I'm loving every single second as Black Bolt becomes more aware of what the true cost of his responsibilities were, and are. Even when these revelations are painfully obvious - Black Bolt says as much to the readers - there's so much more going on, writing wise, art wise, that it's impossible that I won't glean more on my second reading.
I'll reread when I have the time, although given my soon-to-be hectic schedule, that may not be for a while. Certainly not as soon as I'd hope for!