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A Quick Primer on the Inhumans, Marvel’s Next TV Stars

A Quick Primer on the Inhumans, Marvel’s Next TV Stars

After teasing an Inhumans movie for a while, Marvel Studios has just announced a fascinating reconfiguration of plans. While plans for the movie are still up in the air, the group will be getting their very own TV show, with the first two episodes being shot and shown on IMAX, and the remainder of the story playing out as a mini-series on ABC.

Agents of SHIELD viewers may see this news and think they’re in store for a spin-off–only to feel a wee bit confused by how the announcement stresses that this series will actually be a separate thing. To understand the situation better, imagine if third-string mutants had appeared on screen long before any of the actual X-Men showed up. While the Inhumans have been integral to SHIELD for a few seasons, they’ve only been represented by new or tertiary characters. No members of the royal family (which the Inhumans title typically centers on) have shown up… until now.

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The Inhuman royals rule over the hidden city of Attilan, and count numerous super-powerful characters with regal and outlandish names in their family tree. Like all the lower-class Inhumans we’ve seen on Agents of SHIELD so far, even the royals only gain their spectacular powers and mutations once they’ve been exposed to the mysterious Terrigen Mist.

The royal family is definitely an insteresting group. Black Bolt, the Attilans’ king, must remain silent at all times as his voice can level entire cities. Try not to infer any satirical comment in that. Their queen is Medusa, whose lush head of hair can lash out and attack enemies like an octopus’ tentacles. Medusa’s sister, Crystal, can control the four classic elements: fire, water, air, and earth. The rest of the court is filled out with the merman, Triton, and the centaur-ish brute, Gorgon, and Karnak, a martial arts master who is the only Inhuman to not have been exposed to the Mists. Their pet Lockjaw, a giant bulldog, can teleport over great distances with the aide of a tuning fork on his head. And of course, their primary antagonist is Black Bolt’s evil little brother, the scheming psychic Maximus the Mad.

Inhumans promo-4

Where did all these colorful characters and their mutating mist come from exactly? Well, the alien Kree empire discovered Earth in prehistoric times and experimented on the primitive humans they found, hoping to engineer living weapons they could use against the likes of the Shi’ar and Skrulls. Picture a galactic-scale Weapon X program. The Kree have a lot of schemes going at any time, though, so they left the Inhumans and let them make their own society in seclusion, until the Fantastic Four stumbled upon Attilan. Since then, the royal family has had many storied interactions with other camps of the Marvel Universe. Actually, here’s some fun trivia for those who’ve only known these characters through the MCU…

Ronan the Accuser, whom many only know as the villain of Guardians of the Galaxy, is an elite agent of the Kree empire. At numerous points, he has come to Earth to reclaim the Inhumans as Kree armaments and enlist them in wars with other alien races. Many connections are actually tied up in Crystal, too. She’s been a member of both the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, at times. Maybe more interestingly, though (given how mutants and Inhumans are currently feuding in the comics) she married and had a child with Quicksilver, the speedster alternatively depicted in X-Men Apocalypse and Age of Ultron. It’s doubtful that any of those relationship will be acknowledged in the show, though.

Any Inhumans fans in our readership? What arcs or characters do you hope will show up in this show? Sound off in the talkback.

Image Credits: Marvel

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