‘My curse is that I see the flaw in all things. Systems. Philosophies. Structures. People. Everything. Never forget who I am. I am Karnak of the Inhumans.’
You may not know who Karnak is now, but you will when Warren Ellis (Moon Knight, Planetary) and Gerardo Zaffi no are done with you. Phil Coulson goes to Karnak to help with a S.H.I.E.L.D. case with Inhuman implications and what he’s going to find will terrify you. Collecting: Karnak 1-6.
This is the perfect graphic novel to pick up if you’re looking for a fast paced action filled standalone adventure!
I will admit that I picked up this graphic novel purely due to the fact that it was written by Warren Ellis. If you’ve been following me here on WBW for a while now, you’ll know that I am a big fan of Warren Ellis and have reviewed some of his graphic novels here on the blog in the past, including Transmetropolitan Vol. 1 and Trees Vol. 1. I’ve been a huge fan of Ellis’ work since the 90’s when I read a story he wrote in Wolverine called “Not Dead Yet” and have always looked out for his books ever since. I’ll also admit to not knowing a lot about Karnak, other than he is a member of Marvel’s The Inhumans (who are currently having their own TV show made).
I really enjoyed this graphic novel, and found it really easy to dive into, considering I knew nothing of the characters story, and found that you don’t actually need to know anything about the character, as everything is very subtly explained throughout the book, even to the point where we get a glimpse into Karnak’s past and how he came to be. Karnak’s ‘ability’ is to be able to point out the flaw in everything, whether it be a person, a machine, a building, a tree or your neighbour’s cat. He knows the body’s nervous system inside-out, and can bring you to your knees with the tap of his fingers.
We meet Karnak, as he is introduced to us by Agent Coulson of SHIELD (you may know him from the Avengers movie or the Agents of SHIELD TV show) as Magistar Karnak, and not to smile at us as he perceives a smile as an insult. There is some dark and witty humour within the book at parts, my favourite being when a SHIELD agent asks him “…are you Satan?” to which Karnak replies: “Satan was just a story. I am Karnak.” Personally, I loved this and do admit to chuckling out loud at this scene. Another memorable scene which I found chuckle-worthy was when Karnak finally finds the boy he’s searching for, Adam, and his ‘kidnappers’, and even with his ability to find the flaw in everything, he is unable to find the flaw in these guys. They end up evading Karnak to which he grumbles in frustration after they’ve left “… Why can’t I just kill all the people”. I thought this was hilarious.
I do have to point out a flaw in this graphic novel (see what I did there?), and that was in the ending. Without spoiling anything for you dear reader, because I know you’re only going to be running to either Amazon or your local comic/book store to pick up your own copy and devour this awesome story. I felt like the ending was very much a bit of a cop-out and could have played out a little differently, and for this I was a little disappointed in Warren Ellis. But that’s just my opinion.
I can’t leave this blog post without giving a round of applause to the artists on this book: Gerardo Zaffino and Roland Boschi among others. I always find that writers can only deliver so much, and the rest is left in the capable hands of the artist and it is them that helps deliver the final product that makes the comic book and/or graphic novel so enjoyable.