Upon arrival, the Inhumans trailer didn’t inspire a lot of confidence in fans who read the comic books for years. It also justified concerns of those who were wondering if such a property of cosmic grandeur could be done justice on anything but the big screen. Many felt that Black Bolt and the Royal Family should have been part of the MCU’s bigger galactic picture, along with the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Nova Corps. However, these fans gave Marvel Studios and ABC the benefit of the doubt, only for this first-look to drop and leave us scratching our heads.
Now, while a lot of the initial assessment seems negative, with the production looking like your typical low-budget network television drama, if you peer deeply enough, there are some positives to suss out. Of course, showrunner Scott Buck (whose job on Iron Fist left a lot to be desired) is at the helm again, raising red-flags with diehard supporters. But that aside, CBR did pull out some pros to match the cons. Here are some of the reasons we think this show will suck and a few others we think could win us over.
15. SUCK: ATTILAN DOESN’T FEEL… INHUMAN
In the comics, Attilan (the Inhumans’ home) has always had a very unique feel. When we saw their home on the moon, it had an alien essence about it, which this series is clearly trying to capture. However, from what we have seen thus far, the show fails to make a unique visual stamp. The production and overall set design doesn’t paint a foreign world like that of an extraterrestrial and advanced species.
The buildings and overall infrastructure, as well as the environments, should have a distinct personality because Attilan is a character in itself when you take in its majesty in the books. We were expecting a world similar to what James Gunn does in his Guardians of the Galaxy movies, or what Luc Besson did in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. What we got is something highly underwhelming and very average.
14. RULE: LOCKJAW
Lockjaw is a mutated dog and a member of the Royal Family, meaning he’s more than just a pet. In the current era we live in, the Internet is used a lot for sharing pics and videos of animals, especially puppies. Inhumans already capitalizes on this by upping the cuteness ante. At the end of the trailer, we saw this bounding ball of fuzz in all his glory! He was in such a playful mood that you couldn’t help but go “awwww!”
This was a smart move by the showrunners because it adds a warm spin to the creature, which more often than not, the comics lack. Writers are inconsistent with him, sometimes making him fun, other times, just using him as a teleportation tool and sometimes making him downright creepy (did you know he was originally a man?). On television, the more dynamic (and adorable) he is, the more fun we’ll have.
13. SUCK: AWFUL COSTUMES
When the costumes were revealed, fans were left wondering if Black Bolt got his black leather setup from Bryan Singer’s X-Men franchise. Most were unimpressed as Medusa, Crystal and Maximus all came out looking inexplicably dull. The colors didn’t pop and again, their clothes looked like something you’d buy in the malls to cosplay with.
Simply put: jackets and dresses aren’t as regal. The MCU has pushed boundaries in the costume department with franchises like Thor, GotG, Black Panther and even on the Netflix front through Daredevil, but for some reason, the visual aesthetic of these characters here feels lazy. Even the DCEU got things right with Wonder Woman and Aquaman (as different as the latter may be from the source material), so it’s inexcusable for Inhumans to flounder like this. It leaves us skeptical on how Black Bolt will look with the mask, if he dons it at all.
12. RULE: THE CAST
A lot of this show will be carried by Iwan Rheon’s performance as Maximus, Black Bolt’s traitorous brother, who will clearly be overthrowing his rule. Given what he did as Ramsay Bolton on Game of Thrones, we can’t wait to see what terror he unleashes here as he tries to get the Inhumans to rise up.
Serinda Swan will also have a lot to do as Medusa, especially as she’ll be talking for her husband, Black Bolt, but fans can rest assured as she’s usually on point. She was amazing in Supernatural and as Zatanna in Smallville. We’re certain she can deliver as a true queen. Ken Leung is also expected to wow us as the genius Karnak, given his performances in the Saw franchise, Rush Hour and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The cast is versatile and ready!
11. SUCK: FEELS LIKE NETWORK TV
Even though Inhumans will premiere in IMAX before heading to ABC, it still looks like plain old network television. Nothing differentiates it from say, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or some of those shows on SyFy. The CW, on the other hand, make their shows such as The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl look like they’re a cut above the typical cookie-cutter stuff, so why did Marvel slip up here?
With all due respect to the network television standard, Inhumans deserved better because it’s one of those sci-fi-fueled properties that’s full of imagination, boldness and flair. We saw this in the comics and in Marvel’s recent animation output so to watch this show look this bland, it’s disheartening, especially as hopes were so high for the property.
10. RULE: TIE-IN WITH AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Inhumans have already had big roles in AoS. The Terrigen Mists, which are used to complete the transformation of an Inhuman to a being of full potential, was also explored in the ABC show, so we could get a link between both series to bridge the gap, and even expand on the mythos of the species.
AoS is more about war and corruption, but to get more substance to the Inhumans angle is something fanboys have dreamt of since the race was first introduced. If the Inhumans from AoS end up crossing over to this series, or vice versa, that could provide a great dynamic as we’ve already been wowed by the likes of Quake and Lash in the past. Who knows, maybe AoS can become the main hub for Black Bolt’s people at the end of the day? Imagine them meeting Agent Coulson!
9. SUCK: A LOW-BUDGET VIBE
From what we’ve seen so far, low-budget is actually an understatement. The trips to Earth, the shots of the Inhumans in the jungles, the fight scenes and just about everything where we’d expect awesome C.G.I. all fall flat. There weren’t any dramatic S.F.X. shots outside of Lockjaw teleporting Black Bolt away from danger, so let’s hope the money shots don’t all revolve around the canine.
A trailer is supposed to wow you and leave you in awe. Inhumans leaves you wanting more because, really, there wasn’t that much in the first place. If you’re a fan of the comics, there will of course be a level of anticipation, but not necessarily for new fans. Seeing the potential it had get diluted down this much hurts, and if you’re trying to give the property the benefit of the doubt, one more look at the overall aesthetic and settings, and that could take a bigger hit.
8. RULE: EARTH-LINKED STORIES
We can’t wait to see the Inhumans’ interaction with Earth. Crystal leads the pack in this regard, especially as she’s always had an affinity for humans in the comics. But with Black Bolt and Medusa set to head there too, it could make for great stories to inform how they should react to Maximus’ actions. Linking the planet (and the mysterious aerospace worker played by Ellen Woglom) to the Royal Family could touch on their heritage too as they were also based in the Himalayas at a point.
Assimilating with mankind would also help Black Bolt understand humans and how both species should chart a future together. Medusa would also gain insight as she’s always had an air of arrogance and cynicism about mankind. It’s yet to be seen if they’ll end up here permanently should Attilan fall, but such a move could also humanize these superior specimens for us to enjoy.
7. SUCK: WHERE’S THE COSMIC?
In the comics, the Inhumans have become crucial to shaping the cosmic corner of Marvel. From events like Realm of Kings to War of Kings to Infinity, Black Bolt’s people were a force to be reckoned with. They also touched base with the likes of the Kree, Shi’ar, Nova Corps and the Guardians, helping fight the good fight.
We saw Black Bolt throw down with Thanos in Infinity, so their presence as big players is without question. This show doesn’t give anything near that impression because it’s so scaled-down and also, it doesn’t have any major galactic connection to what James Gunn crafted. We wanted them to be linked up with Star Lord’s team and facing off against Thanos’ minions, making the Inhumans even more relevant. Instead, all we’re left with is what could have been instead of cosmic A-listers.
6. RULE: TRITON AND GORGON
The overall alien vibe of the show may be lacking but fans can be happy that we got Gorgon with some beast-like features, namely his hooves. We actually saw him land and the impact managed to throw off some opponents like an earthquake, so that alone made up for not being able to see him done via proper CGI.
He looked a bit low-budget, as did Triton, but you could at least see that the show was trying with them. What we can be excited about is that Gorgon looks like an enforcer, like Wolverine with a military acumen that’s clearly meant to be aggressive towards any threat to his people. It seems that Triton will also have a critical role when Maximus tries to take over, making sure that both humans and Inhumans escape his tyrannical clutches.
5. SUCK: BLACK BOLT ISN’T A BIG HITTER
When Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning reinvigorated the Marvel cosmic side of things via their comics, they made Black Bolt a key player. Through Annihilation: Conquest, War of Kings and Inhumans vs. X-Men, he was just as heavy a hitter as, say, Star Lord, who Gunn elevated to celebrity status in the MCU. Heck, even Carol Danvers (who wasn’t that big back then) is now an A-lister with her solo movie due in 2019.
It feels like the king of the Inhumans has been done an injustice and it would surprise no one if die-hard comic fans didn’t want any part of this. From taking on Thanos to going to the Cancerverse to squaring off with the Shi’ar dictator in Emperor Vulcan, Black Bolt has done enormous things. This show seemingly waters him down from heavyweight to lightweight. He ought to be just as prominent as Iron Man, Captain America and Black Panther!
4. RULE: MAXIMUS THE MAD
The maniacal Maximus, via his coup, can magnify the sociopolitical edge of the show. This move would reflect a lot about modern society and touch on issues like immigrants and class, among others. At the end of the day, we know that outside of his clever engineering, Maximus’ main strength has been his position as a politician.
Comparisons will be drawn to Loki, but outside of that, the MCU has really churned out one-dimensional villains. The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming was great because he was relatable, and that’s where Maximus could break similar ground. Loki was a selfish brat but Black Bolt’s brother, as seen with how many times he was redeemed in the comics, does want a better life for his people. However, he thinks he alone can trump the odds and lead the Inhumans to the promised land.
3. SUCK: UNLIKELY TO STORE AN INFINITY STONE
In the comics, we saw Tony Stark joined by the likes of Doctor Strange, Namor, Reed Richards, Professor Xavier and Black Bolt to form the Illuminati. They safeguarded the Infinity Gems and also, plotted the best (and at times, hypocritical) courses of action to protect Earth. Fans hoped that some form of this group would emerge in the MCU but it’s clear it won’t happen.
As for the Stones, Bolt was given the Space Stone (which is the MCU’s Tesseract being kept on Asgard), so with that outstanding, would the Inhumans be important enough to store one? Not likely. This diminishes the importance of the Royal Family, especially as this particular arc of secrecy gave Black Bolt a lot of clout. By diluting him as a leader, we’re missing out on Thanos raiding Attilan for the item. It’s a wasted opportunity.
2. RULE: A STORY ABOUT FAMILY
This is a main strength of the MCU, as seen with the Avengers, Thor’s close circle back on Asgard, and also, the Guardians. When it comes to the Royal Family, despite their differences, they want what’s best for each other and their people — even if it means detonating Terrigen Bombs to prolong their existence. They can be seen as extremists, but the Inhumans are human, after all.
Black Bolt and Medusa experience the rigors of marriage behind closed doors, a lot of sibling rivalry exists with Maximus and key members such as Karnak and Gorgon, and you’ve got the angle of forgiveness to be explored. Black Bolt knows they’re in a precarious position, but to succeed they must work together. That is why Maximus may not be a true villain after all. It’s not just about immediate family, but about an entire species, which adds a lot of emotional baggage.
1. SUCK: FEELS DISCONNECTED FROM THE MCU
Inhumans feels very much self-contained, and when it comes to this property, that may not be the best thing. They’ve been a big part of galactic wars, and given how much they’ve feuded with Thanos, they should have been brought to the cinematic universe to coincide with Avengers: Infinity War. Remember when the Black Order came to threaten them as Thanos searched for his son, Thane?
That’s how integral they are in the comics. This television series lacks that cinematic draw; heck, it even seems to be a step down from the MCU’s Netflix realm. The Inhumans should have been a major force to contend with: like the Asgardians are, making their autonomy known not just to the Mad Titan, but to the Guardians and the Nova Corps. They’ve fought the Hulk, X-Men and the Avengers too, showing they can be foes just as much as they can be allies.
Let us know in the comments what you think will suck, or won’t, when Inhumans comes out!
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