The Inhumans, Marvel Comics' race of super powered beings who reside on the moon, want nothing more than to keep to themselves, but when their way of life is threatened they are willing to unleash hell. Humanity is about to find this out the hard way when war between mankind and the Inhumans erupts in the pages "Silent War," a six issue mini-series by writer David Hine and artist Roy Allan Martinez begining in January. CBR News spoke with Hine about the series.
"Silent War" picks up where the mini-series "Son of M" left of. "My brief with 'Son of M' was to end the series with the Inhumans declaring war on the human race," Hine told CBR News. "That had to have some kind of follow-up, but I guess if 'Son of M' had bombed I wouldn't have been offered this series. 'Son of M' had a good reception. It was a series I really enjoyed writing and Roy Martinez did a great job on the art. His Inhumans were, to my mind, the definitive version. Regal, self-assured and other-worldly. Now I get to have another whole series to dig deeper into the characters."
You don't need to have read "Son of M" to pick up and enjoy "Silent War." "The first few pages will fill everyone in on 'Son of M,'" Hine said. "Pietro Maximoff stole the Mists of Terrigen. Without them, Inhumans can't go through the ritual that triggers their individual mutations, and their entire culture is endangered. The United States government has taken possession of the Mists. Black Bolt has declared war. If they don't return the Mists, the Inhumans are gonna be coming for them. That's all you need to know."
When "Silent War" begins, a few months have passed since the end of "Son of M" where the Inhumans issued their ultimatum. "The Inhumans have held back from all-out war, hoping that once the dust has settled and the Civil War issues are resolved, the U.S. government will come to its senses."
Black Bolt hopes the U.S. government does come to its senses because the monarch of the Inhumans may be ready to lead his people into battle, but he has no desire to go to war with the United States. "Black Bolt is an isolationist," Hine explained. "He has no dreams of conquest. All he wants is for Inhuman society to follow its own destiny, so he would always hope to avoid war and its consequences. But he will not back down on the issue of regaining the Terrigen Mists. There is no way to overestimate the importance of the Mists. Without them there can be no Terrigenesis and that mutation is the heart of their culture. So although Black Bolt would always prefer a diplomatic solution to all-out war, he will do whatever is required to get them back."
Their Monarch may be ready for war, but the rest of the Inhumans Royal Family has conflicting views; some are hawkish and some are dovish. "Gorgon is clearly a hawk," Hine said. "The guy is a warrior through and through. Karnak will always take the detached view. He has an analytical mind and will weigh up the options with mathematical precision and come to a conclusion based on logic rather than emotion. Crystal has the closest attachments to Earth through her many romantic relationships with humans from Johnny Storm to Pietro. I'd class her as a dove. Triton, too. Medusa keeps a tight rein on her feelings. She's the hardest to read. She has been interpreting Black
Bolt's wishes for so long it's hard to separate her feelings from his. That's one of the things I'll be looking at in this series. What happens to Medusa when their mutual understanding falters?"
The Inhumans may have declared war on humanity, but when their assault upon the Earth begins, their quarrel will be with just one nation. "Initially the USA is their target because that's who has grabbed the Mists," Hine stated. "As with all wars, the USA's allies may be drawn in as the war escalates. I've no doubt Tony Blair will be offering to send in the troops."
The Inhumans won't be employing conventional tactics in their war against mankind. "We've had a few months of cold war while the Inhumans still entertain hopes that reason will prevail," Hine explained. "The initial raid on New York is a low-scale attack to serve as a final warning that the Inhumans mean business. Up until now, the American public hasn't even been aware that war was declared. The Inhumans are numerically disadvantaged so they are going to be using guerilla tactics. But one person's guerilla war is another person's terrorism. That's the term the USA is bound to use for an attack on its civilian population."
The Inhumans' war will take them to Earth, but the action in "Silent War" unfolds on both Earth and on the Moon in the Inhumans' city of Attilan. "A lot of the conflicts are going on between various factions of the Inhumans," Hine explained. "This is as much about the divisions this war causes between the Inhumans. The conflict is really going to tear them apart. These are the biggest, most traumatic changes we have ever seen with the Inhumans."
As readers might expect, The Inhumans assault upon Earth will pit them against many of the planet's super powered champions. "The Fantastic Four have a juicy scene in the first issue," Hine said "It's an old-style confrontation. The kind they might have had in the old Lee/Kirby days. Later issues will see appearances from the Avengers and some of X-Factor."
Since it was the actions of Pietro Maximoff that lead the Inhumans down the path to war, readers can expect Quicksilver to play a role in "Silent War." "Pietro had a vision of the future in 'Son of M' that horrified him," Hine stated. "We'll find out what he saw and we'll see the consequences of his betrayal of the Inhumans on his relationship with Crystal and his daughter, Luna. Pietro was the catalyst for 'House of M,' 'Decimation' and 'Civil War.' He's a loose cannon and he hasn't been tied down yet."
The humans will have to battle more than just superhumans in their struggle to reclaim their stolen mists. "S.H.I.E.L.D. and the O*N*E are both involved," Hine explained. "The O*N*E are not just sitting on the Terrigen Mists. They view the Mists as an incredibly powerful weapon and they are pursuing some very dangerous experiments with them."
The earthbound action in "Silent War" will feature appearances by familiar concepts and characters like S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Fantastic Four. Readers can expect to see some recognizable faces in the scenes set on the Moon as well. "The Watcher shares the Blue Area of the Moon with the Inhumans so I'm thinking about having him do something," Hine said. "Maybe a bit of watching, observing, taking note, that kind of thing. Some of the younger Inhumans are in here, too. Jolen, Nahrees and a couple of new Inhuman characters. Sean McKeever did some great things with the younger Inhumans and I want to keep them in the picture."
With "Silent War," Hine's goal is to make the Inhumans a more prominent part of the big picture that is the Marvel Universe. "The Inhumans are one of the key groups in the Marvel Universe and this series has enormous consequences for every one of them," Hine explained. "I want this series to put them back into center stage and that means doing more than just tinker with them or uprooting Attilan to yet another location. Their whole existence is put into jeopardy and they will be going through some very painful changes."
"Silent War" is not your usual hero versus villain comic book story. All the characters involved will be forced to face difficult ethical dilemmas and Hine said it will be hard to say who is a hero and who is a villain. "My aim would be to make every character flawed, but sympathetic. I wouldn't categorize this as a misunderstanding though. This is not the first war to be fought over control of a 'natural resource.'"
There is another war currently raging in Marvel Universe America. Some readers might be wondering how "Silent War" fits into Marvel's "Civil War" storyline which won't have completely wrapped come January. "The 'Civil War' series is taking a little longer than Marvel originally planned to play out," Hine said. "Some time next year I guess the timeline will be retroactively locked down, but as this series doesn't relate specifically to events in Civil War, I prefer to be non-committal about the timing for now."
"Silent War" is Hine's second major story involving the Inhumans. He hopes fans enjoy it because he would love for a chance to pen a trilogy - or even more than that - of Inhumans tales "This certainly wasn't planned as a trilogy, but the way 'Son of M' ended made a follow-up of some kind almost inevitable," Hine said. "There are a lot of things I would like to explore with the Inhumans beyond this series. Whether it's actually me who gets the chance to do it really depends on the reception this series gets from the fans.
"I¹m really getting into the Inhumans," Hine continued, "Literally getting under their skin. It's fascinating to explore the motivations of people who appear to be human on the surface but are exactly what it says on the box: IN-human. It's the subtly different way their minds work that makes them more than mutant. They may be native to Earth but they will always be a race apart, as alien as if they had warped in from another galaxy."