The cat’s out of the bag, we’re getting The Inhumans and its safe to assume that – thanks to his hints – Vin Diesel is going to be in it. As to what role is definitely up to debate but the general consensus is that it’s the Inhuman king Blackbolt.
Out of all the announced films, this one probably got the least screams and that’s understandable. Next to Black Panther and Captain Marvel – both were something fans have been screaming for since Phase 2 – The Inhumans were pretty much received with applause and a good dose of oh okay cool. And it’s a good thing that it’s still down the road since it allots Marvel Studios a couple of years to get the main audience acquainted with the concept of having this new breed of superhuman, because in theory the Inhumans as a whole can be considered a bit more outrageous than Guardians of the Galaxy.
“But there’s a talking tree and a gun toting-racoon!” you might say. Well the Inhumans has a mute king, a teleporting dog who was once human, a sea creature that looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon and they all live in the moon. So yes, we’re going to need a couple of years to set that up.
And let’s begin that introduction now.
The Inhumans is a race of metahumans who were once the early inhabitors of Earth. They were basically cavemen who were experimented by an alien race known as the Kree (who were in Guardians of the Galaxy). The Kree were looking to find new ways further to trigger their own genetic advancement and they needed an army to help battle the Skrulls, and what better way to achieve both by experimenting on an unsuspecting primitive race? Soon after the Inhumans formed a society of their own and discovered a little thing called the Terrigen Mists
WHAT: The Terrigen Mists is a mutagen discovered by the early Inhumans that alter Inhuman biology, basically giving them powers. It is known to only work on Inhuman biology and is considered deadly and toxic to ordinary humans. The mists are so deeply ingrained into Inhuman culture that – through selective breeding – they are required to undergo a ritual called Terrigenesis when they come to a certain age.
With whatever power they are given, they accordingly assigned a place within the Inhuman society based on which would benefit from their new abilities. It’s also worth noting that occasionally the Terrigen Mists fail to enhance an Inhuman’s biological capabilities. Instead of evolving, the Inhuman is devolved into something more primitive. Those devolved – called Alpha Primitives – are all compartmentalized and made slaves and workers for those evolved. This occasionally has caused trouble for the Inhumans.
WHO: The most famous of the Inhumans’ are, of course, the Royal Family. They are composed of:
- Black Bolt – the sort of mute king of the Inhumans with the ability to destroy worlds at a whisper of his voice. That is why he refuses to speak.
- Medusa – the queen of the Inhumans and Black Bolt’s wife and interpreter. She is the voice of the Royal Family and has the ability to psionically manipulate and control every strand of her hair.
- Maximus the Mad – the schizophrenic brother of Black Bolt, Maximus can be considered the Loki of sorts to the franchise. His Terrigen-gifted abilities have granted him a supreme-level of intellect and telepathic powers.
- Karnak – Karnak can be considered the right-hand man of Black Bolt. Unlike the majority of Inhumans, Karnak has not gone through Terrigenesis. The extrasensory abilities he has are a product of his own concentration and meditation.
- Gorgon – he is the brute of the Royal Family. With hooves and bull’s legs for feet, he has the capability of creating powerful earthquakes through stomping.
- Triton – resembling the Creature From The Black Lagoon, Triton has the obviously capabilities of being able to breathe in water and the like.
- Lockjaw – quite possibly the Groot of the franchise, Lockjaw is an adorable dog-like creature with the capability of teleportation. The extent of his teleportation powers is a bit massive since he is capable of teleporting others and himself through massive distances and can even cross through dimensions
- Crystal – the sister of Queen Medusa and the frequent outsider of the family. She could very well be the audience’s perspective in the film. She has the ability to manipulate the four elements – fire, water, earth and air – to her liking.
WHERE: The hidden city where the Inhumans live is called Attilan and – over the various decades of publishing – has been moved to various places most notably the Himalayas and the Moon. Much like Wakanda, Attilan is highly advanced, highly guarded, and well hidden from outside contact. But unlike any hidden civilation, the city of Attilan has more than once been capable of relocating by doubling as a space ship of sorts. Attilan is known to have highly advanced defenses capable of withstanding intergalactic attacks as well as incredibly echo-technology which derives its energy from Black Bolt himself. Think of it as the Death Star of the MCU (minus the defense flaw of course). Imagine seeing that one day.
CURRENT TIES INTO THE MCU: Kevin Feige has stated that seeds have been planted which would future reference the Inhumans. There are a bunch of theories, with the ones prevailing the most are the Twins and the Skye theory. Obviously until we get a full clear perspective on what those seeds are or until we see where they’re headed with the Twins and Skye, we can only guess.
Right now there are two peculiar ties to the Inhumans that are currently present or referenced in the MCU that come to mind. One of which is Quicksilver – who married the Inhuman Crystal and stole the Terrigen Mists at one point – and the Kree, whom we saw in Guardians of the Galaxy.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED: It’s easy to pass this off as another property trying to be this quirky film that Guardians of the Galaxy was. It has similarities of oddities being grouped for a singular cause in space. But I assure they are different in several aspects. But let’s not focus on the similarities or differences but how unique the Inhumans are on their own.
A huge focal point in the mythology and characterizations of the Inhumans is their social structure which Kevin Feige mentioned during the presentation. This isn’t just about “. . . this guy can destroy a planet with his voice and his cousins are really weird as well so let us show you why that’s worth a movie.” It’s really more about how this race of immensely powered beings managed to stay hidden all these years in their kingdom, why they’re hiding, how they live in isolation, where is their place in their world, and basically what makes them Inhuman and how their Inhumanity is defined through their culture. It’s a collective story on their society as Inhumans.
People have been saying that this could be Marvel’s own version of (dare I say it?) Game of Thrones. A sort of Medieval family drama that involves superpowers. What are the King’s secrets? Why is Maximus the Mad banished and imprisoned? What happens if their sacred Terrigenesis ritual fails? These are all questions/elements that will be explored with this film!
The stories it could bring to the MCU as a whole is really exciting. The Terrigen Mists itself has been a key part in the overall metahuman count in the comics and it could as well be a key part in the expansion of the MCU as a whole. There’s a fairly new story called Inhumanity in the comics wherein – long story short – the Terrigen Bomb has been detonated in our Earth’s atmosphere and several people with the Inhuman gene are turned into superhumans. That possibility alone is worth bringing the Inhumans to the forefront. Post-Avengers 3, this is a logical and exciting way to bring more metahumans into the MCU without skimping on great story-telling.
COMICS YOU SHOULD READ: If you love what you just read and want assuring proof that you’re in for a ride, you can check this stuff out! (All these are the modern Inhuman books. You can always check out their earlier appearances).
Inhumans by Jenkins/Lee – this critically acclaimed 12-issue story arc won the 1999 Eisner Award for Best Series. This is the best jumping off point for them and probably the easiest to grasp since a lot of their modern story arcs are spinoffs of major Marvel events.
Inhumans by Pacheco/Ladronn – its a 4 issue arc that focuses on their history and dynamic with the Kree empire.
Son of M – this is a great story on Quicksilver’s relationship with the Inhumans. A powerless desperate Quicksilver attempts to steal the Terrigen Mists. Though I should point out that House of M must be read or at the least understood before reading this.
Silent War – a direct continuation to Son of M. The Terrigen Mists are stolen by Quicksilver and manage to fall into the hands of the US Governement. Black Bolt declares war against the US. If this doensn’t interest you then I don’t know what will.
War of Kings – the Inhumans finally tire of being pushed around and decide to ensure the survival of their race through dangerous ways. This is to be read after the events of Secret Invasion.
Inhumanity – the latest of these books, in Inhumanity a Terrigen Bomb goes off in the Earth’s atmosphere and humans with a dormant Inhuman gene are turned into powered beings.
That’s pretty much why the Inhumans film is the one I’m excited for the most, aside from Infinity War of course. I think from the get-go it makes for great and unique storytelling and that it could very well much be its own thing, cementing its place in the MCU. I hope I’ve convinced you as well!