Inhumans. The name can bring anger to the average comic fan, a faint memory to the average comic book movie fan, and general confusion to anybody else. To say that the Inhumans have had a tough run would be an understatement. The cast of characters began to gain hate against them when some comic fans felt that Marvel was attempting to use the characters to replace the X-Men. It only got worse when the movie adaptation got replaced by a show which was, to put it plainly, bad. However, I’m here today writing about why I believe that a movie adaptation of the characters could still be a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To start, I’d like to say that I picture Marvel cutting out the show from whatever small place it might hold in the canon.
But first, Who are the Inhumans? The Inhumans are a race, formerly humans, that were experimented on by aliens. The result of the experiments changed them to the point that when they’re exposed to the Terrigen Mist, they transform, being given powers. Their home city of Attilan moves around, sometimes being in the mountains, near New York or on the Moon, but the thing that is almost always constant is the Royal Family that rules them.
Over the years the Inhumans have amassed a deep storyline that comes with wars, deaths, and all the other building blocks of an interesting mythology. The main story of the Inhumans revolves around the Royal Family, the (deeply flawed) leaders of the Inhumans, and often has them struggling against Black Bolt’s brother; Maximus. If this sounds familiar, it’s because instead of being similar to X-Men as some claim, Inhumans instead leans closer to Thor, and seeing as how [SPOILERS for Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers Infinity War] Asgard is gone, as is Loki and most of the rest of Thor’s family, Marvel may be looking for a new intergalactic kingdom to fill that role.
In the place of the God of Mischief, the Inhumans have Maximus the Mad, an off-and-on villain who often finds himself butting heads with his heroic brother, the king of the Inhumans. Maximus is an instantly charming character, and in fact is even the enjoyable part of an otherwise boring show, so it’s not hard to see fans latching onto him the same way fans attached to Loki, although admittedly, Maximus in the comics has been shown to be a lot creepier than Loki, so some shifting around may be necessary to give his character the desired effect with fans. Now that the villain is out of the way, it’s time to dive into the vastly different and interesting characters that the main cast would have…
Although the characters around them always shift, the Royal Family generally stays the same. These characters include:
Black Bolt – The silent king of the Inhumans, called this because he cannot talk without destroying most of his surroundings. A comic book movie with an almost entirely mute character would be a very interesting dynamic that would, with the right actor, deliver a very unique effect.
Medusa – Black Bolt’s wife and queen. She acts as the communicator for her husband, but also has a strong and interesting personality of her own, a favourite among many fans of the property. The movies could delve into her sense of duty and love for her people. This is a common concept with many queen characters in fiction, but Medusa’s often ends up feeling special and separate.
Karnak – Who happens to my personal favourite Inhuman. Karnak’s ability (one that he trained himself to have, given that he hasn’t gone through terrigenesis) is finding the weakness in anything, which might seem to make him a boring character, but the way he’s written, with the ability to see through any philosophy, as well as any weapon or person, could make him a fascinating character to handle. The conflict and emotion behind Karnak would contribute greatly to an Inhumans film.
These are just the main three I think could be interesting to the audiences, but the Inhumans are so much more than that, to quote the man in charge himself, Kevin Feige;
[The movie] introduces not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but dozens of new heroes into the cinematic universe, it will be our 20th film, it seemed time to open the floodgates a little bit wider. We really do believe the Inhumans can be a franchise, and perhaps series of franchises, onto themselves.
It was clear at the moment that Feige, the man responsible for building the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to this point, understood the potential that the Inhumans held within their story and lore. Unfortunately, the Inhumans made the transition to the TV show which was much more disappointing to say the least. Luckily, the show didn’t make many strong connections and as such, can be easily displaced from continuity with a movie boasting a new cast. Other than having great characters, the Inhumans also have really interesting storylines that would be great foundations for a movie.One of the first stories that comes to mind when the Inhumans are brought up is the War of Kings, a story spanning across the universe and featuring characters like the X-Men, Shi’ar, Skrulls, and more. Although most of these heroes aren’t currently in Marvel’s possession for films, the intergalactic nature of this story would fit with Marvel’s planned cosmic angle Phase 4 and onward. The recent Royals story, where the Inhumans went off into space to find the secrets behind their creation, could also fit into the cosmic angle, as well as developing Marvel’s vast cosmic story. Silent War, a story about the Inhumans facing off against Marvel’s heroes after Quicksilver steals their Terrigen Crystals, could help work the characters into the ever expanding MCU. Another great story is Inhumanity, where Black Bolt unleashes the Terrigen Mist on the world, exposing Inhumans hidden all over the planet. This would introduce multiple major players for the Inhumans stories, and develop the existing characters. Inhumanity would also create the opportunity for what Kevin Feige might have meant when he said ‘series of franchises’. While I’ve already talked at length about the potential of the Royal Family for the movie adaptation, there’s another property that could work, featuring the Inhumans. That being the Nuhumans. Nuhumans is the term for Inhumans who went through a transformation after the events of Inhumanity. Nuhumans have already appeared in Agents of SHIELD, with characters such as Flint making an appearance. A movie centered around them would be an interesting angle to the regular Inhumans story, and it would give the director some interesting playing ground for chemistry between the two factions. However, there’s still more story potential when going back to the Royals. Though the Inhumans usually work as a family, there’s also been two cases of their solo stories being really interesting, and potentially movie worthy. Black Bolt’s solo story features a concept that has been strangely missing from the comic-book genre; the classic prison break story. After David Goyer wrote a movie about Green Arrow breaking out of Supermax that never ended up happening, the concept seems to have just been… well, forgotten. But Black Bolt offers so much more than a prison break story, it offers a sci-fi, psychological, trippy, horror prison break storyline, which really would help differentiate the Inhumans from any of the other comic book properties currently on the big screen. As for Karnak’s solo story, it features a lot of Karnak being an over-the-top badass and would make for a great action movie. So overall, the Inhumans are a group of interesting characters, boasting great stories and an interesting standing with the rest of the Marvel universe. While they share similiarities with characters like Thor and the X-Men, they ultimately are their very own property, and can provide a different angle to a genre that’s constantly evolving and moving forward. To put it simply, Kevin Fiege’s movie universe would greatly benefit and diversify the MCU in a way almost no other set of characters can.