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Black Bolt, Vol. 1: Hard Time

(Black Bolt (Collected Editions) #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,156 ratings  ·  218 reviews
The silent king of the Inhumans stars in his first-ever solo series! But it begins with Black Bolt...imprisoned?! Where exactly is he? Why has he been jailed? And who could be powerful enough to hold the uncanny Black Bolt? The answers to both will shock you -and Black Bolt as well! For if he is to learn the truth, he must first win a fight to the death with a fellow ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published December 19th 2017 by Marvel
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  1,156 ratings  ·  218 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-comics, 2018
Black Bolt wakes up in a prison somewhere in space with no powers and the other inmates are Crusher Creel, aka The Absorbing Man, the Metal Master, and others. Can Black Bolt unite this band of criminals and bust out of jail?

Aside from the Marvel Knights miniseries, I've never ready many Inhumans comics apart from their periodic Fantastic Four appearances. Someone on Twitter likened the series to the sequence in Preludes & Nocturnes when The Sandman met The Martian Manhunter. Now that I've
Sam Quixote
Jul 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
When he’s not heroically saving the children from racist cereal boxes, Saladin Ahmed’s writing craptastic comics like Black Bolt.

I haven’t been reading any Inhumans titles as I couldn’t care less about them so I don’t know if this is part of a larger storyline but Blackagar Boltagon (to use his full stupid name) has been tricked by his brother Maximus into space jail. Sounds like something that’d happen to Black Dolt, and guess wud? He gonna bust out of the pokey. Oh, hello edge of the seat, we
4ish stars.

This is an interesting and entertaining story, even for someone coming in blind concerning Black Bolt and his history with the other Inhumans. You don't really need to know the characters, you just know they're trying to break out of an insane prison, and that's a pretty universal storyline, right? Makes me want to keep reading. Great writing by Ahmed - excitingly plotted, and he voices each of the characters well. Great, impressive art by Christian Ward - detailed and cinematic and
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I must admit I've never been a big follower of the Inhuman Royal Family, and that I only picked up Black Bolt because it was written by Saladin Ahmed (who has produced distressingly little fiction in the last few years). I was not disappointed - not by Ahmed's compelling (if a little too dialogue-heavy) story, nor by Christian Ward artwork, especially the stunning and surreal page layouts. The story finds Black Bolt stripped of his powers and trapped in a prison where he intended to put his ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all comicbook enthusiasts
Such a good surprise, I was not expecting to read such a good prison escape story on a Black Bolt solo series, the story was wonderfully written and narrated, it was trippy, dark and heartwarming, all the new characters were interesting, who knew the Absorbing Man could be this cool. The artwork was very good as well, took some time for me to start digging the style, but there's some really cool visuals here. It's gonna be hard to match this quality on the next volumes, five stars.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Don't care about the Inhumans? That's good, because this isn't really an Inhumans book. Yes, it does feature Black Bolt and it does spin out of The Royals, but all you really need to know is Black Bolt's brother, Maximus, used an image inducer on him so that he'd be sent to prison in Maximus's place. This is a straight up break out of prison story. You don't need to know anything else about the Inhumans really. Black bolt is sent to an intergalactic prison where he meets up with a bunch of alien ...more
David Schaafsma
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Black Bolt gets reimagined in the 2018 Eisner-award-winning new series by writer Saladin Ahmed and illustrator Christian Ward. I wasn’t familiar with (or couldn’t recall) the character, a kind of peripheral one in The Inhumans world, I think, and probably won’t recall him after this comic within a week.

The idea is that Blackagar Boltagon, or Black Bolt (let’s stop here and try and imagine a more corny comic book name?!) is imprisoned with enemies such as The Absorbing
Best Marvel comic out there right now. Well written, cool artwork, and interesting story. Hopefully this is a series that continues to focus on cool superhero tales.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: inhumans
Black Bolt wakes to find himself caged and chained.
He is in the very prison he intended for Maximus, but he learns even his treacherous brother doesn't deserve such a cage. Black Bolt must find a way to escape without his powers and with whatever allies he can find, including the Absorbing Man Crusher Creel.

Hard Time was a bit of a let down. It didn't truly delve into any aspect of Black Bolt. It's rare for him to be able to speak, but rather than him saying or thinking anything interesting he's
Rory Wilding
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Last year marked the television debut of the Inhuman Royal Family, so in preparation I read Inhumans by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee, which is a terrific examination of a reclusive society of super-powered beings who each have their own flaw (let alone abilities) and how they confront it. However, due to the universal derision towards the TV series, I chose to stay away from it but did start my fascination with the Inhumans, continuing with Karnak: The Flaw in All Things, which loosely continued ...more
James DeSantis
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
It pains me to say this but I didn't love this as much as I hoped.

I read issue 1 when it first came out and really enjoyed it. Wanted to wait till it was done so I can run through the whole first arc. So what's it about? Our boy Black Bolt is trapped in a prison. Not just any prison, it's run by a creature of some sorts who can take away your powers and torture you till you basically die. Over and over again he brings you the point of almost death and then plays the game to bring you back and
Charlie Anders
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Black Bolt gets a whole new lease on life in this graphic novel, which is a prison break story where he has to team up with a bunch of semi-reformed supervillains... including "Crusher" Creel, aka the Absorbing Man. Honestly, the bromance between Black Bolt and Creel is amazing, and justifies the price of the collection by itself. The Absorbing Man has never been this absorbing before! Also, Ward's strange cosmic artwork is gorgeous and I found myself staring obsessively at every page.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
In the first three issues of this six part story, neither the reader or Black Bolt, have any idea what is going on, where he is or why. The last half of the story starts filling in the blanks and this is where Ahmed begins to dive into the character of Black Bolt. It's a nice change of pace to read a story about him where the weight of his kingdom isn't an issue, or his relationship with Medusa or the countless other plot threads that writers continuously rehash for the Inhumans.

This is
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: marvel
Saladin Ahmed and artist Christian Ward's Black Bolt has built quite the reputation during it's run, becoming one of the most talked about and highly praised books on the shelves. I hadn't planned on reading it myself, but eventually I was curious to see if Hard Time could live up to the hype.

So, does it?

Eh, not really. In a strange twist, my biggest gripe with this volume is that it's just 'good'. Good, but not great.

There was one issue which made me think the creators might be onto something
Chelsea 🏳️‍🌈
I love this author right now!

I haven't read much of the Inhumans, I'll admit. I read enough when they were featured during some of Marvel's older universe wide events but I'm not a huge fan. Of those issues, Black Bolt was the least interesting character to me. Ahmed changed that for me.

This is such a well done series! I admire series that know how to use silence well. Black Bolt doesn't speak so the story is told through artwork, movement and exposition. I got a feel for Black Bolt's pain and
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of The King's Speech
Shelves: marvel
This is a character I've always found to be somewhat akin to scenery, with less of the personality, but Lo! and behold Ahmed writes him so well as a fish out of water, imprisoned with an assortment of miscreants in The Worst Jail EVER... And the results are fantastic.

First off, YAY! power suppression, meaning that the Silent King can, you know, actually have dialogue in his own title. Next up, AMAZING art! So glad they saw the potential in Ahmed's script and got an artistic collaborator in
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
An OK start to Black Bolt's solo series. There are some problems here, though:

I wasn't a fan of the watercolor looking art. I didn't dislike it enough to detract from my overall opinion of the book, but it just didn't do it for me.

They didn't have enough story for the amount of issues here. When one whole issue of a Black Bolt book is a freaking Absorbing Man origin story, you know they are hurting to fill pages.

One of the things I like about Black Bolt is that he is so insanely powerful.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've never read anything to do with the Inhumans before. I've only heard terrible things about the tv show and great things about this novel. I was really surprised about how cool this was. Black bolt is a man of few words as his words are his powers. Interesting take on something that wouldnt normally work. The artwork is great and the story moves along nicely. There was a moment there where I thought it would stray into an area that would bore me, but not to be.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great volume! Never known or cared much about the Inhumans, but this felt like a good introduction. Gripping, emotional, and dreamlike, with a lot to say about jails, jailers, and the jailed.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it

4 1/2 stars
Chris Lemmerman
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a result of Maximus' plan over in the Royals series, Black Bolt is now imprisoned in one of the most dangerous prisons in the galaxy, and the only way to get out is to team up with hardened criminals. Can the Midnight King escape his bonds and his fellow prisoners in order to save himself?

Considering this is (I think?) Saladin Ahmed's first comics work, I was very impressed with this. The story is pretty unique, despite being a prison break-esque type deal, and the character work is very
Shannon Appelcline
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, comics-marvel
Black Bolt has always been an enigma among the Inhumans, more a prop than an actual character. Thus, a comic about him could have gone very wrong or very right. Fortunately, the answer seems to be the latter. Ahmed does a better job of revealing who Black Bolt really is, what's important to him, and what decisions he'll make, than all the former writers of Inhuman comics, combined.

He's not the only great character in this comic. Ahmed puts together a fun cast of human and alien misfits, of whom
Rod Brown
May 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Marvel keeps trying to make the Inhumans happen.

And so we have a whole series devoted to the one Inhuman who rarely talks...until now. Turns out, he really doesn't have anything interesting to say, and we'll all be better off when he goes back to the elective mutism. The story is just a weird prison break mess about which, appropriately, the less said the better.

Well, okay, there's a nice little role for Lockjaw, and the quirky psychedelic art is worth a quick scan.

But overall, I think the
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Black Bolt is a character that's difficult to care much about, so isolating him in a stand-alone prison breakout story is a smart move. Even here, he takes a backseat to Absorbing Man, the old B-list villain to whom Ahmed gives a sympathetic reassessment. The script is a solid-if-somewhat-predictable prison story, and Ahmed works in some good politics without being clumsy or didactic about it. Christian Ward's distinctive psychedelic artwork is solid, but didn't wow me as much as it did when I ...more
Niranjan Dalaya
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had a HARD TIME finishing this. Incredibly boring from the start. 1.5 stars, out of charity, because I like the character.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Got this on a whim during Comixology's somewhat recent $0.99 Marvel sale, mostly because I think the fact that Black Bolt's real name is Blackagar Boltagon is hysterical, but WOW. I loved this. I, incredibly cheap purveyor of comics, paid almost full price for Volume 2, which I can't wait to tear into. I was so glad that Lockjaw made an appearance - what a cutie!

Also, naming the Letters Page "Sound Off" instead of "Lettergar Pageagon" was a huge mistake.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly heartfelt and a great debut from this writer.

Black bolt and others show their true nature trying to escape a despicable and powerful jailer in an ancient secret prison that no one knows about.
Will Robinson Jr.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
If I could I would actually give this book 4.5 stars. I really enjoy reading about comic book characters I normally don't get to read. The Inhumans have never really been a big draw for me concerning Marvel comics. However I did enjoy the series written by Charles Soule. Much of what I know about the Inhumans comes from my exposure to the characters' appearance in the 90s Fantastic Four animated series. I particularly loved the Black Bolt. Sticking with the marvel formula of flawed superheroes ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Black Bolt wakes up without power in a prison far away in space after Maximus took his appearance and sent him there. "Crual and unusual punishment" is the rule there and if hr wants to survive and escape Black Bolt will have to ally with other inmates.

On this very classic prison break basis Saladin Ahmed manages a decent story undoubtly enhanced by Christian Ward's art.

Good points: For what seems to be his first comic book Ahmed, a novelist by trade, shows knowledge of the medium and how to use
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another pleasant surprise (though I did find it listed in a "best of 2018"list, so there's that). Great combination of well-told story and imaginative, eye-popping artwork. I've never really cared much for the Inhumans before, Black Bolt especially, but here, he's humanized somewhat and you can understand his motivations. Will be looking for more from this writer.
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Saladin Ahmed was born in Detroit and raised in a working-class, Arab American enclave in Dearborn, MI.

His short stories have been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell awards, and have appeared in Year's Best Fantasy and numerous other magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, as well as being translated into five foreign languages. He is represented by Jennifer Jackson of the Donald Maass Literary

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Black Bolt (Collected Editions) (2 books)
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