THE INHUMANS: An Introduction to Marvel’s Upcoming Galactic Franchise

     August 15, 2014


With our exclusive announcement that Marvel plans to move forward with an Inhumans film, now feels like the best time to explain to you who this band of misfits actually is and why they’ll be so important to the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward.  In a nutshell, think of Inhumans as a Game of Thrones story with superpowers.  The residents of Attilan, the Inhumans’ hidden city, live in a kingdom far away from humanity.  Ruled by the silent Black Bolt, a king whose voice can literally shatter mountains, the people aren’t so much superheroes as they are a civilization that just happens to be populated with fishmen, women who can control their own hair, and guys with hooves.  Hit the jump for more info on one of Marvel’s next big franchises.



As I mentioned in the intro, the Inhumans are a race of superpowered individuals, somewhat like mutants, who find themselves separated from our world at large.  While there have been stories where their world has clashed with ours in the funny books, for the most part, their stories tend to have them dealing with their own problems and crises.  Their origins lie with the alien race called the Kree, who you may recall as the people of Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser from the recent Guardians of the Galaxy.  Long before humanity became what it was, the Kree saw the Earth as a prime location for setting up their experiments and began testing various mutagens called the Terrigen Mists on some of the populace.  These humans were granted superpowers, as is usually the case with most radiation and unknown gases, and decided as a collective that they were better off separated from humanity.

The Inhumans stories usually gravitate around a handful of Inhumans who are the ruling class of their race.  These chosen few include Black Bolt (King of the Inhumans who I talked about earlier), Medusa (his wife and queen who happens to be able to control her long locks of hair), Karnak (the royal advisor with the power to find any weakness), Gorgon (the clan’s powerhouse), Triton (the clan’s….fishman), Crystal (the youngest of the group who can control the four elements) and my personal favorite Lockjaw.  Who is Lockjaw you might ask?  Well Lockjaw is their transportation system in so much as he has the ability to teleport himself and those around him to any location he wants.  He also happens to be a giant bulldog….scratch that he’s an Inhuman who just happens to look like a giant bulldog with a tuning fork jutting out of his forehead.  Man, we’re delving into some weird territory with comic book movies now aren’t we?

The Inhumans originally premiered in the Fantastic Four, being discovered by Mr. Fantastic.  It was in this story that the foursome helped the Inhumans battle their primary antagonist, Maximus.  Maximus also happens to be Black Bolt’s scheming brother, hungry for the throne with a terrifying intellect which again goes back to the power plays that are rampant in the world of the Inhumans. The Inhumans have appeared intermittently throughout Marvel’s long history, but a recent push from Marvel Comics seems to give credence to the idea that these folks will have a heavy hand in the upcoming Marvel Studios movies.



So why is it that Marvel’s going to make an Inhumans film when there are so many different properties to choose from? Well, first off, with the success of Guardians at the box office, it proves that lesser known properties such as this one can still have a good shot of making money for Marvel Studios.  Second, the Inhumans are essentially Marvel Studios’ X-Men.  What do I mean by this?  Well as I’m sure you know, Fox acquired the X-Men franchise from Marvel back when Marvel was in dire straits, selling many of their properties to movie studios in order to stay afloat.  Considering the success of the recent X-Men: Days of Future Past, I don’t foresee 20th Century Fox letting go of the mutant reins anytime soon.  What this means is that Marvel Studios can’t use the term “mutant” or most of the characters who happen to be one, barring Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver who are closely tied to both X-Men and Avengers lore.

What is the best route to take then for Marvel in this regard?  Well, it’s to take a franchise that is similar to X-Men, but not quite them.  Inhumans gives Marvel Studios the opportunity to have their own mutants, a race who is ostracized and threatened for being different.  Also, you can have entirely new characters whose powers don’t necessarily come from getting a hammer or wearing a suit of armor, rather just from how they were born.  It’s having their cake and eating it too!




You may be wondering how the Inhumans will be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Well, the best way to start planting seeds is through Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Avengers 3.  Yes, on top of having ties to both the Avengers and X-Men franchises, the twins also have a history with the Inhumans, as they spent some of their childhood in their hidden city.  Obviously, as mentioned above, Marvel Studios can’t refer to them as mutants (see Captain America: Winter Soldier where they are referred to as “miracles” in the post-credits tag) so this would be the opportune time to brand them as Inhumans then go from there.

Recently, Groot himself Vin Diesel posted a tweet that read, “I get the strange feeling that Marvel thinks I’m Inhuman.” which has led many to believe that Vin will have a part to play in the upcoming film.  Ironic since it could potentially take Mr. Diesel from having a one-sentence Marvel role in one franchise, to an entirely silent character (Black Bolt) in another.  It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached an age where a movie about Inhumans could hit the silver screen, and I’m excited to see all the other properties Marvel Studios has up their sleeves for the coming years.

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