Only now are most people getting to know the Inhumans. And the popular word for them? Marvel’s answer to Fox’s X-Men films.
They cannot be more wrong, can they? It is an outright slap to their identity. This very indifference and ignorance and dismissal as just another obscure product is also uncannily the driving plot of the Inhumans storyline in the comics.
The Inhumans are my favourite Marvel title and my most favourite non-fantasy fictional race. I have an obsessive infatuation with the Inhumans and I cannot be more restless to see Blackbolt’s wrath uncorked and Medusa bind us all in her majesty.
In this lengthy blogpost, I will attempt to squeeze in complete character details, history of the Inhumans and speculate how the plot for the film could be.
Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, it was a beloved new title in the increasingly popular Marvel comics in 1965. They were still on semi-campy side of things back then until a 12 issues limited series by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee from November 1998-October 1999 completely changed the game. The Inhumans were suddenly become a philosophical, scientific and grim title.
Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee did justice and realised the potential of the Inhumans in its truest form. The Inhumans were now characters with the most depth and pathos. This limited edition title consequently became my favourite series in Marvel Comics in terms of depth, along with Doctor Strange.
The Inhumans are not similar to the X-Men and it is actually speculated that the X-Men are an offshoot of the Inhumans. They have now been introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Marvel’s Agents of Shield. We have met Quake (Daisy Johnson/Skye) and Raina, who most probably is Tigra. We have also seen an eyeless man, who is a recent Inhuman, teased in the finale of Agents of Shield’s winter break titled “What They Become.”
It is really exciting to know that there will be a complete, extended plot solely focusing on the Inhumans in the second half of the season and that it will continue in the third season as well. We are in 2015 and will get the Inhumans feature film in November 2018. It is a very smart move by Marvel to replace the void left by X-Men and bettering it in the course with the Inhumans. It is excellent; we will have the Inhumans familiarized to us with Agents of Shield’s protagonist Skye and in their own way explore the myth and history of this glorious race before we are introduced to the royal family on the big screen.
And then we shall have the Inhumans join forces with the Avengers, the Defenders and the Guardians against Thanos.
So, let me brief you on their history as a race.
Origin Of The Inhumans
They were lab rats for the technologically super advanced military alien race Kree during the time when they were embroiled in an inter galactic war with the Skrull, another highly advanced alien race. They were stationed on the planet Uranus, as it was a strategic base camp. They were apprised of a sentient race created by the Celestials on planet Earth. They conducted experiments on the primitive Homo Sapiens and altered their genetic composition so that they can use these earthlings for espionage, assassination and various levels of infiltration against the Skrull and other alien empires. Their experiments basically gave humans the ability to copy form and powers of different races…so that they can send these experiments as inside men for infiltration.
They abruptly abandoned experiments because a prophecy warned them that their experiments will evolve to a point where they will usurp and collapse the Kree Supreme Intelligence.
The Terrigen Mists, and the Terrigen Crystals are the key to unlock the genetic evolution in the Inhumans. It is a ceremonial rite to enter the Terrigen pods and evolve.
The Inhuman Social Structure
The Inhumans have always lived in secrecy, away from the rest of humanity in their hidden city of Attilan, once rooted and now floating. They have had domains in the heart of the Himalayas, upon Atlantis, the Blue Side of the Moon and in outer space. They are technologically more advanced than anything on Planet Earth. Their technology of course is alien in origin and comes from the Kree; hence their city is shielded and shrouded by an impenetrable force field.
They are believers of the caste system, and all Inhumans are segregated according to their genetic abilities and their use to the society. The Alpha Primitives are the primitive kind and are relegated to the underbelly of Attilan, tirelessly working on maintaining its many systems. They are led by the royal family.
The Royal Family
King Blackagar Boltagon (Blackbolt)
Their King’s name is Blackagar Boltagon. He is known commonly as Blackbolt. He is one of the strongest superheroes in all of Marvel Universe. He shrouds his unrelenting power in meditative silence. He is not too popular amongst those outside ultimate Marveldom, for reasons I still cannot deduce.
Blackbolt is the manifestation of the title King. He is the embodiment of supreme empathy and responsibility. In a mishap that ended up in the death of his parents due to him, he lost his dimly joyous persona and made a lifelong nemesis in his very own brother Maximus, who – as a result of that mishap – lost his bearings and received the title of Maximus the Mad.
He exercises sovereignty over electrons, manipulating them at his will. He wields within his unassuming throat a force so devastating that at his full strength his single scream can destroy planets in its wake. And his cries are enough to sunder the earth and crumble mountains. His whisper can rock a enormous battleship.
His hypersonic scream is the reason why he meditates every night to make sure he does not utter a sigh in his sleep. His greatest strength – feared by one and all in the universe – is also his vulnerability. Afraid of his nihilistic speech, Blackbolt never speaks and is at caution at all times. He cannot laugh at a joke, he cannot cry, he cannot sneeze, he cannot cough. He is doomed to remain in absolute silence. And this is what makes him so great – his sacrifice.
His electron manipulation also grants him otherworldly powers apart from hypersonic scream. His terrigen-mist induced physique is abnormally strong – even for Inhumans. His reflexes, his durability, his strength and stamina; his agility and his speed; his concussive blasts…they are way beyond the likes of super powered Inhumans.
An organic mechanism in his brain’s speech centre enables him to harness electrons in the very atmosphere. His quasi-sonic scream is one such effect.
The antenna – which looks like a fork – is worn on his forehead and helps him channel his powers in various ways. He can channel them inwards and enhance his strength and speed, can render himself immune to telepathic manipulation and focus the same through his arms to unleash concussive blasts.
He can concentrate electrons into anti-electrons and travel at speeds up to 500 miles per hour without slowing down for up to 6 hours – protected by anti-graviton force field. This gave him the title Black Bolt.
He can also create impenetrable force fields and and manifest interaction fields that are able enough to be traversed upon successfully.
Black Bolt has been undefeated in battle and has brought down the likes of Apocalypse, Thanos, The Hulk. He is known to surrender to his foes on several occasions for the sake of sparing everyone else from his true wrath.
Queen Medusalith Amaquelin Boltagon (Medusa)
Medusalith Amaquelin Boltagon. A Queen to the people of Attilan and a wife to the majestic Blackbolt. Her gorgeous rouge tresses are the vines of death. She is revered by both friends and foes and her beauty is subject to the lust of Maximus the Mad, the estranged brother of Blackagar.
She has always been the voice of Blackbolt to the commonwealth and the rest of the world and the voice of reason to her husband. She has always been the one person to calm all his qualms and give him the mental and spiritual support, she is his pillar and his only romance. She looks over all matters of the state with a regal confidence. She has high moral values and is the fiercest of warriors, particularly when her family and allies are under threat.
She was granted the power of psionically animated hair by the Terrigen Mists. When compared to an iron wire, her tresses are several times stronger, more elastic and resistant. She can lift insane amounts of weight with her hair. Her body does not bear the brunt of any weight that she undertakes to lift. Rather, it is the psionic power of her hair that balances it all. She can assign independent tasks to every lock of hers and can extend their length to her liking.
She also can control her tresses even after they are severed from her head. This was showcased in the penultimate volume of The Inhumans 1998-1999 series where she brought down a generator with her hair even after Maximus the Mad had chopped her hair. Maximus is also in love with Medusa, to aptly put it: a mad love. Medusa shares no such feelings for him.
She has had stints with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, and was actually introduced firstly in a Fantastic Four issue.
She also happens to be one of my favourite superheroes.
Crystalia Amaquelin (Crystal)
Crystalia Amaquelin, commonly known as Crystal, is the most social and outgoing Inhuman. Younger sister of Medusa, she has been a long time girlfriend of the Human Torch (of the Fantastic Four) and the Avenger Sentry and has married the Mutant Quicksilver – and birthed a daughter – and divorced the speedster, and then she married again, this time to the Kree Warlord Ronan the Accuser.
She is the most popular Inhuman amongst comic book fans due to her alliances with different superhero teams. She has played an active role in several story lines. She has lived with the Fantastic Four and is usually traversing the United States of America with her lovers.
She is also an established Avenger. Youngest of the royal family and most exposed to the outside world, she usually brings a better understanding of both sides to each other. She is a friend to the royal family watchdog Lockjaw.
She has also been on the other side of the coin, forsaking all alliances – even her marriage – except to her true family – the Inhumans. She fought against S.H.I.E.L.D and the Mighty Avengers when the Inhumans – under extreme pressure of the united nations and conspirators – declared war upon the United States of America as an act of retaliation.
She can mentally manipulate the four elements: Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Like Blackbolt, she can psionically interact with molecules of the aforementioned elements. She can spontaneously cause fire by controlling the molecules present in oxygen and can douse any flame that thrives upon oxygen by depriving it of its molecules. Hence, she could render the Human Torch useless if confronted.
She can also create rain by summoning hydrogen and oxygen molecules from the atmosphere within a two miles radius and joining them. She can also animately control water by manipulating its surface tension, diving it from the ground and bending its movement to her will. She can control up to 15,000 gallons of water in one time, and that is just under observation. But it also means that she cannot alter the course of rivers or sunder seas.
When concerning the Earth, she can manipulate iron, granite, limestone, shale and all substances that collectively come under bedrock. This ability can be used to create seismic tremors that hit a 6.7 on the Richter scale, and can exceed if there are any tectonic plate fault lines in her vicinity. This very act can cause a sudden shifting of the earth for a volume of 1/800 cubic mile. That is enough to have a contest with Gorgon.
She is also a master manipulator and harbinger of tempests; controlling oxygen atoms and molecules containing oxygen she can summon different storms by intermingling them with other elements such as earth, air and fire and creating dust-storms, typhoons and firestorms. And solely in control of air molecules, she can rip apart towns with Category 5 tornadoes.
Prince Maximus the Mad
He is the Marvel equivalent of the Joker. He loves Chaos and has an unhealthy obsession for tormenting his brother Maximus, much like how the Clown Prince of Crime tortures the Dark Knight. By law, he has the right to the throne of Attilan; but by common sense he isn’t fit to hold any office. He is diabolically schizophrenic and a pure yet tainted genius. He has no physical super powers…but he does possess an ability that usurps those of the rest: Mind Control. That isn’t a good power to have for a psychopath.
As an infant, he was exposed to the Terrigen Mists. But unlike his brother, whose psionic voice caused apparent damage and led to his incarceration, Maximus showed no change at all. But his psionic abilities matured with age well shrouded, his antisocial behaviour was noticeable to all though. When Blackbolt was released from protective custody at the age of 16, Maximus tried to make him unleash his voice. Soon after, Blackbolt caught Maximus conspiring with a Kree emissary. Blackbolt, in his attempt to stop the emissary from fleeing, unleashed his hypersonic voice which lead to the crashing of the spacecraft upon the parliament building. There were maximum casualties, including the death of his parents. But his voice also accelerated and awakened the unstable cells in Maximus and rendered him mad.
Blackbolt, though aggrieved, was ascended to the throne; Maximus opposed his brother’s claim and accused him of genocide and vowed to usurp him to the title. Thus began their rivalry. Ever since that day he plotted his brother’s downfall with obsessive discipline and also lusted and sought Medusa. His plans were always thwarted and he was incarcerated in a special cell underneath the palace. But he did eventually manage to usurp and won favour of the people, effectively rendering his brother’s claim void and sending him and the royal family in exile.
First Minister Karnak (The Shatterer)
Cousin of Blackbolt, just like Medusa, he is the strategist of the royal family. He never went through terrigenises because of the mishap with his brother Triton. He instead went to a monastery to master meditation and focus, and has helped Blackbolt with the same on several occasions. He is a martial artist who is so supremely intelligent that he can find the weakest spot in any object: animate or inanimate and exploit it to shattering effect. Hence the title The Shatterer. He exudes inhuman levels of calmness and composure in the most stressful environments. He is calculating and well learned. He is the brains of the family to summarize.
Commander Gorgon (The Sunderer)
He also is a cousin to the King, his father the brother of the previous King Agon. He was exposed to the Terrigen mists as a teenager and received hooves that could create seismic waves. They are disastrous in nature and can sunder the very earth beneath his feet up to miles. He has the standard superhuman strength of his race but is highly adept in hard hitting combat. He is the personal bodyguard of the King and also trains all those who have recently gone through Terrigenisis.
Triton was exposed to the mists as an infant. It turned his skin green and scaly and fishlike and took away his ability to breathe in a non aquatic environment. But it also gave him the ability to breathe underwater, survive extremely cold temperatures, stay unaffected in the deepest pits of the ocean, aquatic vision, flexibility and agility. He lived in a specially designed area of Attilan. He was given an apparatus to breathe outside water, which was cumbersome; and then Maximus made an easy to carry apparatus.
Lockjaw (The Royal Guard Dog)
Born on the island of Atlantis where Attilan was once situated, Lockjaw is an Inhuman giant bulldog who serves as the teleporter to the royal family. He is an unassuming yet fierce protector of the throne. Though manipulated by Maximus the Mad on a couple of occasions, he has otherwise been of aid in times of great need, escorting the family from different places in the galaxy back to earth and vice versa.
He has the powers of teleportation, super strength, precognition, prolonged durability to attacks and matter ingestion. He is friendly in nature and acts like a puppy. He is Crystal’s favourite but also hangs around with Blackbolt, Gorgon and Medusa a lot.
He saved the royal family and Attilan from total destruction during the invasion secretly plotted by Maximus and the humans. He restored and stabilized the systems in the kingdom and teleported people from harm’s vicinity.
What Could the Plot For The Inhumans Film Possibly Be?
It is common knowledge that the Inhumans film will be released on November the 4th, 2018 as one of the tail-end films of Marvel Phase 3.
Now, because it is being introduced so late in the game, and mind you – after Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, it is most likely that there won’t be an isolated plot.
By the time the film releases we will already have more than two years of Inhumans fed to the public via Marvel’s Agents of Shield. And also Captain Marvel – who gains her powers from the Kree. We have already received the introduction, have seen the Terrigenesis happen: the terrigen mists, the terrigen crystals, the diviner, the ancient kree city, four Inhumans.
So, when the film releases it won’t be a shock and awe or here-is-a-new-title track to it. It is also likely that the Inhumans will not be in nestling in the Himalayas and will be on the blue side of the moon or floating in space as they are currently.
Here are the possible directions the film will take:
1) There will be an alliance between Maximus the Mad and Thanos via an intermediary: Mephisto. There could possibly be an Infinity Stone under the possession of the people of Attilan.
2) There will be a full blown Kree-Inhumans war initiated by Thanos. The Kree, under Thanos, might suggest the Mad Titan to empower them and confiscate their former test subjects to use as thralls.
3) If in case the Inhumans are indeed nestled on Earth, then there could be the whole plot similar to the 1998-1999 series where Maximus allies with conspirators to expose Attilan to the world and there is great uproar and fright amongst the citizens of Earth and after a long tussle, the Inhumans leave Earth for the blue side of the moon.
4) An amalgamation of all three mentioned above. An initial conflict on Earth leading to exile from the planet, then an attack by the Kree for the confiscation of the race or/and an Infinity Stone.
I’m still trying to figure how exactly the events of Avengers Infinity War will take place.
A) Will Thanos make landfall on Earth
B) Will the film focus on Thanos getting hold of the gauntlet and collecting all Infinity Stones from around the Universe? Because, there are 6 of them and currently Thanos has none. Power Gem is with the Nova Corps, Mind Gem is in the sceptre in possession of Hydra, Space Gem is in Asgard in the vaults, Reality Gem is with the Collector. Two others are yet to be introduced: Soul Gem and Time Gem.
Nevertheless, it is certain that the Inhumans film will not concentrate on an intimate intra state storyline concerning Maximus’ coup. Its events will be in direct link with the Infinity War and their revelation to mankind. Mayhap the climax of the film will have Blackbolt use his hypersonic scream and destroy the Kree forces.
And then when Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 releases, we can have Blackbolt annihilate Thanos’ minions and have a fist fight with the Mad Titan himself.
To conclude, I strongly suggest people to read the 1998-1999 12 part series titled Inhumans. Its amazing and awesome.
~ Zalysar Cuvegis.