Following the official cast announcement, the hype train for “Marvel’s Inhumans” went into overdrive with set photos leaked from Honolulu. Anson Mount as Black Bolt was spotted, as well the placeholder for their teleporting dog, Lockjaw. With the first two episodes set to premiere Sept. 1 in IMAX theaters (ahead of the Sept. 26 broadcast debut on ABC), fans are already forgetting the discontent they showed when Marvel indicated that this franchise wouldn’t be getting the cinematic treatment.
The eight-episode series centers on the Royal Family of the Inhumans, genetically-advanced humans gifted with extraordinary powers by a race of alien tinkerers. They were first introduced in 1965 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” and recently got a big population push in the comics before going to war with the X-Men and picking up some more mainstream steam. With fans waiting in eager anticipation, CBR decided to look at 15 things we want from the show!
SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for various Inhumans comics!
15. A SILENT KING
When it comes to the enigmatic, commanding King of the Inhumans, silence is golden. Comics fans know Black Bolt’s not to be trifled with due to his voice, which packs a sonic punch that can level cities with the slightest whisper. They’ve seen him battle the likes of the Hulk, Sentry and last but not least, Thanos. Most of his communication has been done via sign language, or through telepathy with his close inner-circle, especially Queen Medusa, who often acts as his mouthpiece.
We saw ABC retcon certain things in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (such as the Kree and their Inhuman experiments), but we’re hoping no one at the executive table decided that they need to tinker here and make Black Bolt talk. Even hearing him telepathically would take away from his intimidation factor, which is built on solemn, hardened stares. Let Mount use his chiseled jaw and stern eyes to do the talking instead. That would make it all the sweeter when he unleashes his destructive decibels.
14. COSMIC TIES TO MCU
The Kree appeared in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” with Ronan as one of Thanos’ lackeys. They were also part of a peace treaty with the Nova Corps, who were based on Xandar. These blue-skinned aliens also appeared on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” where it was revealed that in the past on Earth, they schemed to engineer Inhumans on the planet. This history is rich and packs some serious space clout that should not understated. Experiencing this would truly allow us to explore the dynamic of both peoples.
In the comics, Black Bolt’s people made their name as a major cosmic force, especially in events such as “War of Kings” and “Realm of Kings,” so this series needs to acknowledge that Inhumans, while being a self-contained story, are part of a greater galactic fabric. Seeing how they were genetically bred by the Kree to face the Skrulls (or in this case, the Chitauri) is just one aspect, because while watching Inhumans manufactured as space soldiers would place them into context within the MCU, another dimension to the cosmic realm could be gained by showing Inhumans being monitored or working with the Nova Corps at some point.
13. BERSERKER GORGON
Eme Ikwuakor will be taking the reins as Gorgon, Black Bolt’s cousin, and the leader of Attilan’s military. He isn’t easy on the eyes, and is a beast-like individual with super strong legs, complete with hooves, which can generate destructive seismic waves in a single stomp. These pseudo-earthquakes often ensure that the room stands at attention when he enters (and then subsequently falls obviously). His presence, of course, is further compounded by his short temper. Basically, he’s the short-fused Wolverine of the Inhumans, similarly loyal to the core!
Gorgon loves a fight and often aims to resolve conflicts with brawls. This is something the series needs to unleash because we’ll have enough diplomacy with Medusa. Because of his enhanced strength and durability, Gorgon likes to think he’s invincible, and hopefully they allow his cocky and brutish ways to cut loose in a berserker fashion — something we saw in the comics recently when the Pentagon exposed him to the power-granting Terrigen Mists for a second time. Gorgon is the muscle of the team, and this should be given the full crazy exposure we’ve always seen with him in the books.
12. TERRIGEN BOMB
Marvel’s “Infinity” comic event reached an explosive head when Thanos and Black Bolt fought, with the latter detonating a Terrigen Bomb. This WMD spread the Terrigen Mists across the Earth, awakening the dormant Inhuman gene and exponentially growing their population in the subsequent “Inhumanity” storyline. Black Bolt has always kept aces like this hidden up his sleeve and this weapon once again demonstrated his cynicism. Hopefully, this series paints him in the same skeptical light, and plays up his distrust.
Such an asset would be a great defense point for the king to safeguard his people, and offer immense fan service to modern comic readers. This could also take the series for a darker turn and paint the Inhumans as cosmic insurrectionists, or even extremists. It would be even crazier if the show built to them wanting to eradicate humanity, seeing a growth in the Inhumans’ population as the next (necessary) step in the planet’s evolution. If they end up being villains, it would be quite an unexpected twist.
11. SFX & COSTUME DESIGN
We’re hoping to see the Inhumans in their galactic glory, from the interplanetary settings they traverse, to their home base. They need to be shown as a civilization unlike any other, advanced but very much keeping to themselves. The CGI of how this is built with Attilan, their transport vehicles, and the various chambers each member of the Royal Family inhabits, will all help add visual character to the series.
The costumes also need to impress. The Black Bolt one had fans bickering that it’s very similar to Bryan Singer and his X-Men’s black leather. We expect originality, innovation and creativity, but we need to remember that it’s early and there’s still work to do in post-production, so we shouldn’t jump the gun. That said, the garb of the Inhumans should be combat-ready but in a regal manner. Last but not least, when the time comes for Medusa to whip her hair, Triton to swim in his aquatic havens and Black Bolt to scream, the SFX better immerse us in a mind-blowing experience. The sets, locations, costumes, and character designs are all going to be crucial to show ABC was the right decision.
10. KARNAK: A TRUE GENIUS
Ken Leung (“Rush Hour, “Lost”) will be playing Karnak, one of the show’s most anticipated characters. Since the Inhumans got more time in the comics spotlight recently, his solo series has garnered a lot of attention. He’s also Black Bolt’s cousin, and to top it off, his closest advisor. He’s one of Marvel’s most intriguing geniuses, and we’re hoping the series plays him up as such, and just doesn’t have him doling out diplomatic advice.
Karnak’s special ability (though not given to him by the terrigen mists as he was never exposed to them) is that he can spot the critical faults in everything: people, plans, structures, even languages. He’s the King’s most ardent supporter and we want to see him as the badass strategist that he’s always been in the books. Often seen as the Royal Family’s planner and philosopher, it would be a waste if they depict him as the run-of-the-mill council member. He became a skilled fighter on his own, training himself to perfection in the Inhuman army, so we’d like to see him complement this mental acumen with a fighting prowess that comes from knowing the stress and fracture points to hit, making him a true genius in the art of war.
9. CRYSTAL’S LOVE OF EARTH
Crystal is Medusa’s sister and will be played by Isabelle Cornish. She’s the youngest member of the Royal Family, and in the books, she’s seen as the most naive royal due to her affinity for Earth. Crystal played big parts in teams such as the Fantastic Four and Avengers in comics, with a marriage to Quicksilver also on her resume. She’s seen as innocent, often in the company of Lockjaw, contemplating how to get her people accepted, and this needs to be played up in the series as it gives her a degree of empathy, often making her the moral compass of the Inhumans.
Her powers allow her to control the elements (fire, air, water and earth), and by association, metal and electricity. ABC has its most human character here, because she’s curious and fascinated with the humans. Seeing her torn or exploring her lineage on Earth could add a neat twist to the series. Her impetuous nature and independent mind often tests Medusa’s patience, but Crystal always remains deeply devoted to her people.
8. AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Inhumans made their way into the second season of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and found even more air-time in the third. The show illustrated the Kree’s experiments with the Inhumans, going back to the days of the Mayan civilization, with a Mayan hunter (played by Brett Dalton) turned into the villainous Hive. The NuHumans, aka the new wave of humans converted due to Terrigen, are also set to factor in big time, after the Alpha Primitives (failed Inhuman experiments) got their time in the limelight.
This series should at least acknowledge the existence of these Inhumans on “AOS,” which also saw Daisy Johnson embrace her Quake persona and bring the “Secret Warriors” into play a bit more. This could be what draws Crystal to Earth and what catches the eye of Black Bolt and Medusa on the whole, because when it comes to the Kree and Inhuman experiments, Attilan ought to be the only place where future Inhuman conversions happen.
7. NO REDEMPTION FOR MAXIMUS
It’s tiring watching villains redeem themselves. We had it so many times with the likes of Catwoman from Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns,” Doc Ock and Sandman from Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” franchise, and last but not least, Loki from the MCU’s “Thor” flicks. The last case in particular stands out as it was one that didn’t stick, so let’s just let villains be villains. In the books, Maximus The Mad, despite his machinations to overthrow his brother, Black Bolt, found salvation and got back in the his good graces.
However, with Iwan Rheon playing the character, we think it’s best to have that inner turmoil taken to the max (pun intended), in the same maniacal style he brought to “Game of Thrones” as Ramsay Bolton. Maximus is too loose a screw, and too tough to control, so it would be wasted reversing what the eight episodes pit him as in the debut season. He’s about nefarious plans, crazy inventions, sabotage and genocide, so we want to see him use all of these to stake a claim and try to usurp his brother.
6. A COMMANDING MEDUSA
This could be Marvel’s first opportunity to have a strong female lead, even ahead of 2019’s “Captain Marvel.” Medusa is as regal as they get, and she’s usually at the forefront as the mouthpiece of the Inhumans. Even though she’s representing Black Bolt, the comics have shown her as a total badass and equal in rule, so ABC needs to plug that in here. We saw it recently in “IvX” when the Inhumans went to battle against the X-Men.
Whether or not Black Bolt is present, Medusa commands and intimidates with authority. “Smallville” fans are confident that Serinda Swan will pull off the role, and it’ll be interesting watching her deal with inner conflict, thanks to Maximus marking his territory around the throne, as well as with external issues, such as the Inhumans on Earth. Ellen Woglom’s mysterious character has been hinted as someone who’ll be taking a lunar trip to experience life on Attilan, so watching Medusa host and interact with the human race, will be indicative of how iron-fisted she wants to be.
5. INFINITY STONE EASTER EGG
We don’t expect Marvel to hide the final Infinity Stone in this ABC series but it could add a high degree of importance for “Inhumans” to hint or tease where the final one could be. The outstanding one is the Soul Stone and speculation is it’ll be revealed in “Thor: Ragnarok” or “Black Panther,” but given how Black Bolt was part of the Illuminati in the comics (where he protected the Space Gem), it would be a huge, but welcome curveball if this show alluded to where it’s currently held.
The Space Stone (Tesseract) is on Asgard, the Time Stone (Eye of Agamotto) is in Kamar-Taj’s library, the Power Stone (Orb) is on Xandar, the Reality Stone (Aether) is with the Collector, and lastly, the Mind Stone is in embedded in the Vision on Earth. “Inhumans” knowing the location of it, or maybe even having it tied into the Terrigen Mists, could flip the franchise on its head, and while it may be wishful thinking, it could bring more ratings to the show if fans knew it was this ambitious.
We can’t wait to get our first look at the majestic pooch called Lockjaw! He’s Crystal’s 2,000 lb canine companion with the ability to teleport. That’s the other thing we can’t wait to feast our eyes on. Will he be doing so by himself? How many can he take with him? Will it be the entire battalion as per the comics? Fans are chomping at the bit to see if there are any rules, a la X-Men’s Nightcrawler, when it comes to Lockjaw teleporting.
He’s one of the Inhumans’ cutest and most endearing assets, and we’re hoping he’ll be more than just a prop. Crystal needs to have that John Wick love for him, and establish a strong bond, because that’s one of her biggest facets in the books. Maximus is also close with him in the comics, so imagine seeing him manipulating the dog for his own benefits. Lockjaw’s power cannot be underestimated and expect lovers of Rocket Raccoon and Groot to have a new fixation when the series airs.
3. DARKHAWK & THE RAPTOR FRATERNITY
In the comics, Darkhawk (Chris Powell) found another just like him called Talon, who belonged to the “Fraternity of Raptors.” He’d eventually find out that they weren’t allies or heroes, but an organization of cosmic assassins hellbent on chaos. Fans have long clamored for Darkhawk in the MCU, but James Gunn hasn’t shown any signs of using him, so why not give he and his fellow soldiers air time here by running into a cosmic conflict with the Inhumans?
There’s a lot of past history that’ll have to be reconciled to show how Black Bolt’s people kept themselves hidden and reclusive, so throwing the Fraternity in as old foes could service fans who want the show to have a wider galactic appeal. Darkhawk himself could end up aligning with the Inhumans, but given the power set they displayed, and Chris himself when his power amulet corrupted him into an evil persona by the name of Razor, we think they’d make great opposition for Gorgon’s strike squad.
2. THANOS’ INFLUENCE
A geek can dream of Thanos appearing or fighting Black Bolt, right? In “Infinity,” Thanos demanded a tribute from the Inhumans, which was the heads of young Inhumans between the ages of 16 and 22. This served as a cover for the search of his lost Inhuman-descendant son, Thane. Thanos ended up fighting the King, only for Black Bolt to detonate the Terrigen Bomb, which decimated Attilan and subjected Earth to the “Inhumanity” arc.
Thanos put a sound beating on the leader, who never gave in. It showed how strong the Mad Titan was, surviving Bolt’s full sonic blast, as well as how tough the King’s resolve was. Even if it’s just in a hologram, like how he spoke to Ronan, if Thanos sent a chilling note to Black Bolt, or actually had him secretly in servitude, it would be another huge boost to the series, truly making it an accompanying element to the MCU. Maybe the writers could even take a bold risk and have Thanos’ forces attack Attilan en route to Earth for “Avengers: Infinity War.”
1. ATTILAN: FROM MOON TO MOBILE
Attilan is the home to the Inhumans, housing them as refugees after breaking away from Kree subjugation. It was actually housed on Earth, and derived its name from Atlantis, before a young Black Bolt decided to move it (via anti-gravity generators) from an island in the Atlantic Ocean to the Himalayas. Fearing the world would discover them, Attilan was relocated once again, away from the toxicities of Earth, and to the “Blue Area of the Moon” (nestled in the ruins of an old Kree city).
They harnessed the Kree technology to give the “Blue Area” its own artificial atmosphere, until the Terrigen Bomb destroyed this hub, which Medusa now rules over as it resides in New York, in the Hudson Estuary. A lot of fans are hoping the series sticks to a grand scope and gives us the Moon base, so we could truly see them as a unique civilization. This would show how advanced they really are, but we still want to see Attilan mobile as per the comics, giving it the impression of being an aerial fortress like a S.H.I.E.L.D. hellicarrier. That alone would set the intimidation factor to red alert!
Let us know what you’d like to see in the Inhumans TV show in the comments below!