Marvel's hypersonic-voiced superhero, Black Bolt, is finally getting his own comic book series next year, courtesy of The Crescent Moon Kingdoms author Saladin Ahmed, with art from Christian Ward (ODY-C, The Ultimates).
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in Fantastic Four #45 from 1965, the genetically altered king of the Inhumans Blackagar Boltagon has appeared in a number of classic superhero titles, like The Inhumans, Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Mutant-X, War of Kings, Infinity, Secret Wars and many more. In this new solo series launching in spring of 2017, the energy-manipulating Attilan will be separated from his Royal Family, trapped in an intergalactic super-max prison crammed with the most lethal criminals in the universe, where he must partner up with dangerous foes to escape.
In an interview with io9, Ahmed explored his inspirations for tackling the project and hinted at the direction of the title's story arc:
"Black Bolt has been—he’s kind of an odd character, because he’s been around in the Marvel Universe for fifty years," said Ahmed. "He was created by, you know, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in the day. And the Inhumans have always been this sort of interesting, almost “cult” thing, in the Marvel Universe. They’ve never been as famous as the X-Men or The Hulk, or Spider-Man, or anything like that. For more kinda hardcore Marvel nerds, they’re these touchstone characters. I don’t want to say “hipster,” [laughs] a hipster test—but if you know who the Inhumans are, then you’re sort of like, on the inside. So, the challenge is bringing him to new readers. He’s this kind of strange, sort of ‘60s cosmic Marvel character. Very much a creation of his time. And he’s a very compelling guy, because he can’t speak. He’s one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, really. Although we rarely see his power unleashed."
"But, I think with this book, and with Black Bolt [as a character], it’s a story of a King, kind of discovering humility and also a nobility in people he was ready to write off. It’s a book about, nobility and power, and about your rank in the world. That’s for this arc, specifically. Now, further down the line, I think there’s a lot of stuff to explore with the question of the Inhumans and separatism vs integration—maybe even some questions of culture and immigration, when you have this question of the old world and the new world and all these things that are happening [to them]. But those questions, I think, don’t come directly into the book [when it begins]. This first arc readers will see is pretty self-contained, and is just meant to bring readers in."
Have a peek at the main cover for Black Bolt #1 below and tell us if you think it's high time the silent superhuman got the respect he deserves.