The Inhumans weren’t always destined for television. In fact, Marvel originally had a much bigger plan for this secretive people and their royal family: a feature film. However, between October 2014 and November 2016, Inhumans underwent a seismic shift behind the scenes. The property moved from film to television, which paved the way for the eight-episode premiere season that debuted its first two episodes in IMAX and will hit television this week. So how did we end up here?
In order to answer that, we first need travel back to 1965. The Inhumans made their comic book debut in Fantastic Four #65 as the then-latest collaboration between artist Jack Kirby and writer Stan Lee. The legendary Marvel Comics duo created them as a secret society of humans whose genetics had been altered by the alien race the Kree, which grants them superpowers — but only when exposed to the Terrigen Mists. Far more advanced than their human counterparts, the Inhumans shut themselves away in their mysterious city Attilan, where they remained undiscovered until a brainwashed Medusa ran afoul of the Fantastic Four. She was subsequently rescued by her sister Crystal and the rest of the Royal Inhumans, but this interaction led to the human discovery of their people and their subsequent involvement in (some) human affairs.
Though they’ve been around since the ’60s, the Inhumans occupy a rather niche corner of the Marvel Universe, at least in the comics. Until recently, they simply popped up in other comics or in their own limited series, like Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee’s 12-issue Inhumans and the War of Kings event by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Paul Pelletier. That is, until Infinity happened.
Infinity — a six-issue event series by Jonathan Hickman, Jim Cheung, Jerome Opeña and Dustin Weaver that ran from late 2013 to mid-2014 — thrust the Inhumans to the forefront of the Marvel Universe when Black Bolt, the Inhuman king, released Terrigen into the Earth’s atmosphere. Black Bolt released the Terrigen in a last ditch effort to save his people, even the wake of Attilan’s destruction. Subsequently, the Terrigen triggered Terrigenesis in dormant Inhumans around the globe, sparking a wave of “NuHumans” and an Inhuman population boom. Thus, the Inhumans suddenly had a large presence in the Marvel Universe — and they got multiple titles to match.
Five months later in October 2014, Marvel Studios announced a slate of films that extended into May 2019, including an Inhumans movie. With a release date of November 2, 2018, Inhumans joined the ranks of Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Avengers: Infinity War. The Inhumans movie was later pushed back to July 12, 2019 to accommodate for Spider-Man: Homecoming after Marvel Studios and Sony struck a deal to share the rights to Spider-Man. After rumors that Inhumans would be delayed, it was removed from Marvel Studios’ calendar altogether in April 2016. All the while, Guardians of the Galaxy star Vin Diesel “voiced” his support for the film by repeatedly discussing his desire to play Black Bolt.
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