Black Bolt is going to space prison, and writer Saladin Ahmed is joining artist Christian Ward to show how he gets out in a new solo comic focusing on the Inhumans' silent leader.

We've previously learned that Royals will focus on the Inhuman Royal Family journeying through space, and apparently this book focuses on Black Bolt being separated from them and imprisoned on an alien world.

The series is Ahmed's first comic, but he's gained acclaim as a novelist (and an active member of the Twitter social justice community). Black Bolt should be an interesting challenge for the author, because the protagonist doesn't speak, on account of his voice being so powerful that it can level a city. He may well have an inner monologue in captions, but seeing him communicate with other characters, especially in the context of prison, will still set this book apart.

The fact that Marvel has hired a cerebral, politically aware writer to handle a prison story means we're probably going to get something with a little more depth and real-world resonance than the usual sci-fi romp. We'll find out exactly what that looks like when Black Bolt #1 comes out in spring 2017.

Talking to io9, Ahmed had plenty to say about the character:

Black Bolt has been—he’s kind of an odd character, because he’s been around in the Marvel Universe for fifty years. 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. It’s not like the Hulk’s sort of massive beat downs on a regular basis... rarely does he get his powers demonstrated. Nobody knows quite how powerful he is. Which intrigues people. But has not really been explored deeply. Part of his story is that he’s always—him and the Inhumans are a real family. And he always has people speaking for him and, you know, we never get deep into his head. That was kind of one of the challenges of working on a solo title.


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