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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #61

Another Black History Month “reject” lies within. I’ve been dying to say something about him, and I think he’s been dying to say something, too.

3/2/07

61. Black Bolt

Black Bolt 1.jpg

Of course, that could prove difficult for him, because his voice is the most dangerous sound in the universe, levelling mountains or knocking the Hulk out with a whisper. Probably good not to tickle him, or anything. Stan and Jack gave him the short end of the stick, but ol’ Blackie perseveres. (For space’s sake, let me just link you to a Jack Kirby FF cover spotlighting our man B.B.)

Black Bolt’s had a terrible, tragic life. For one thing, his real name is Blackagar Boltagon, which probably got him beaten up in elementary school. Thankfully, it shortens to something cool. Then there’s his superpowers, which, as you know, involve him never uttering a sound lest he destroy everything and everyone around him. In fact, he had to be raised in isolation so he could learn to control his powers and never speak. And, of course, his brother is always trying to kill and/or dethrone him…

Even tragicker (more tragic) was that time he accidentally killed his parents. Er… but it’s okay! He became ruler of the Inhumans and got to marry his hot cousin, Medusa, after that. Isn’t that the dream of all men? Okay, maybe not. Medusa’s probably happy, though, with no ignorant husband constantly moaning about this or that around the house all day. I imagine he’s a gentle, giving lover, too.

This column is suddenly becoming very creepy for me. Perhaps we should move on.

Black Bolt 3.jpg

Do his powers have the same effect if he passes gas? I hope not. That’d explain some of his character traits, though. He’s very stifled. But then, he’s a cool stoic. To give Black Bolt a bunch of thought bubbles so he can endlessly soliloquize about his situation and about what’s going on around him is no fun. The reader should never be allowed in his head– he should be a constant, living mystery. I suppose he could get by with the same kind of device Stephen Hawking uses, but it’s best to keep him as the silent, brooding, ever-mysterious character. When he does speak, his words hold great power. Literally and figuratively.

Currently, he’s the “silent partner” (hahaha! I slay me. Not really) of the Illuminati and he’s featured in Silent War:

Black Bolt 2.png

Black Bolt is a cool character. Quiet, imposing, able to manipulate energies in order to boost his strength and durability, can shatter worlds with his voice, has a hot wife… He’s got it all, really. Like all Marvel characters, he comes from a really tragic background and has to make the best of it with what he’s got. As far as rulers of imaginary races and kingdoms, Black Bolt’s one of the best.

He also wears the best in tuning-fork fashion. But then, you know what they say about how people start to look like their dogs after a while…

To wrap up, let’s share a fun Black Bolt moment from the Fantastic Four Roast, courtesy of Fred Hembeck and friends. Click to make it full-sized!

Black Bolt 5.JPG

See you tomorrow, everybody.

7 Comments

Flush it all away

March 2, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Ha! Mega-bonus points for including a page from the FF Roast. Fred Hembeck’s the best!

Poor Black Bolt.

I’d like to see a comic featuring Snake Eyes and Black Bolt having a conversation.

Snake Eyes:…
Black Bolt:…?
Snake Eyes:…!
Black Bolt:…

I’ve never been much of an Inhumans fan, but I’ve always liked Black Bolt. My personal favorite Black Bolt moment has to be the ending of the Son of M miniseries. The book itself was largely a disappointment (especially since it ended by largely abandoning Quicksilver, the book’s supposed, to focus on the Inhumans), but it did have one truly great moment.

The US government has stolen the mist that gives the Inhumans their powers and refuses to return it. Medusa looks calmly tells them that Black Bolt will have his response in a few minutes. She and the other Inhumans then book it the hell out of there while the US troops just stand around. Then someone realizes “Wait… Black Bolt is going to tell us his answer. Aw crap…”

And then Black Bolt whispers one word, and there’s a huge new crater in the middle of Genosha. Beautiful moment.

The Black Bolt is pimp.

He’s more pimp then Luke Cage/Dolemite rolled into one.

Where’s our Essential Inhumans volume? There’s probably enough early material out there.

There are still those who follow Black Bolt.

StephenSanders

March 7, 2007 at 10:07 am

One of the coolest lines I ever read in a comic was the last line in Inhumans #1 by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee.

Black Bolt spends the whole issue wondering what he’d say to his subjects and his family if he could only say one thing.

You’ll have to read it to see what it is…

The Kirbydotter

March 10, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Even just taking up the visually aspect, he is one of Jack Kirby’s greatest concept.

The tragic aspect of his story, personnality and self-imposed handicap is Lee and Kirby at their best. He’s right up there with the Thing and the Silver Surfer.

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