Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
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.
61. Black Bolt
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.
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 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!
See you tomorrow, everybody.
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