With the broadcast debut of Marvel’s Inhumans, it’s the perfect time to reexamine the comic-book history of the ABC dramas stars, the Royal Family.
The origins of the Inhumans date back to the very earliest days of Homo Sapiens living on Earth. The alien Kree had established an outpost near Earth more than a million years ago for their war with the shape-shifting Skrulls. When the Kree saw the rise of Homo Sapiens on Earth, they recognized their potential for genetic experimentation. That led to the creation of the Inhumans. Over time, the Inhumans decided to isolate themselves, but early on, they lived alongside other Homo Sapiens (that would cause a bit of an issue a few millennia later). So fast forward down the line, and that’s when we first meet the current Inhumans Royal Family.
Of course, when you’re introduced to members of a Royal Family, there are different customs. The one that the Inhumans used is to have one of the members have amnesia and get tricked into becoming a supervillain. Yes, oddly enough, the first time that we met an Inhuman was when Medusa showed up in a cave in 1965’s Fantastic Four #36 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Chic Stone).
They asked her to join their supervillain team, and she was basically, like, yeah, sure, whatever…
The odds are pretty decent that Medusa wasn’t created to be part of the Inhumans, but rather was then incorporated into the group when Kirby came up with them. Interestingly enough, the Inhumans initially were intended to have their own comic book, which Kirby was going to write and draw. Marvel decided against it at the last moment, however, and so instead, they began showing up in 1965’s Fantastic Four #44 (by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Joe Sinnott), where Gorgon arrived to bring Medusa home.
The Fantastic Four aren’t thrilled with just letting him take her, so they end up getting into a confrontation with Gorgon, and then Johnny Storm meets a beautiful young woman, Crystal, as well as the rest of her family, including Karnak and Triton (and the teleporting and adorable Lockjaw). Note the very-much-of-its-time reference by Johnny to The Munsters, in describing Crystal’s Royal Family…
Eventually, we get the basic gist of everything. Black Bolt was deposed as king of the Inhumans by his brother Maximus after Black Bolt’s powers developed to the point where he couldn’t speak. So Black Bolt went into exile. However, when Maximus wanted to consolidate power by marrying his cousin Medusa (whom Black Bolt intended to wed), it was enough to spur Black Bolt to get his act together and return to the Inhumans’ home to take back the crown. If Maximus had just left Medusa alone, Black Bolt might have never returned. Instead, Maximus’ reign was a short one…
Maximus, however, did succeed in cutting off the Great Refuge, a hidden valley in the Himalayas that was then the site of Atillan, from the rest of the world.
The next year or so, the Inhumans were all about trying to get back into contact with human society, especially because Crystal and Johnny were rocking their “Romeo and Juliet” vibe pretty heavily. Eventually, Black Bolt cut loose with his powers and freed the Inhumans.
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