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Karnak #1 was published last week.  Despite this being the character’s first solo series, he has actually been a member of Marvel and the Inhumans stable for nearly fifty years.  He has the ability to see the flaw in all things, structures, designs, plans, even people, and that allows him to exploit those flaws to achieve his goal.  This new series finds him working with SHIELD, via an extremely delicate agreement, in order to help find a missing Inhuman child.

Writer Warren Ellis tells the story of an intensely interesting character here.  Karnak seems to have a massive superiority complex that almost makes it hard to believe he’s not a villain.  He doesn’t just think he’s better than you because he knows your weakness, he knows he’s better than you, and he wants you to know it as well.  It almost makes him an unlikeable character, but at the same time, you know he’s working for the good guys, so it kind of makes him inherently likeable.  It’s an interesting dichotomy the Ellis writes particularly well.  As rude and cruel as the character seems to be, you almost can’t help but like him.  It takes talent to write a character like that.

Gerardo Zaffino’s art is appropriate to the story.  It’s a little unrefined, and a lot of dark and shadowy.  There is a quick moment of some pretty gruesome violence, but again, within the context of the story it doesn’t seem odd or out of place.  The rough nature of the art works perfectly with the story.  Karnak is one of those characters that performs the actions of a hero (sort of), but can have the mentality and personality of a villain.  He is the blurred line that separates the two, and that’s reflected in Zaffino’s art.

I had no idea what to expect when my local comic shop (Third Eye Comics) recommended this one for me, but I’m glad they did, and I’ll definitely be back next month for issue #2.

The Verdict for Karnak #1:
5 out of 5

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Until next time,
Stay nerdy, my friends.

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