ByDavid Opie, writer at Creators.co
Editor @DavidOpie / [email protected] Still waiting for a Marvel Zombies Ghibli movie directed by Xavier Dolan...
David Opie

It's impossible to discuss Inhumans without referring to the show's poor critical reception, although this focus on negativity is arguably the most inhumane aspect of this whole ordeal. Yes, Marvel have suffered a huge setback here and yes, the show will need to make some major changes if the Royal Family wish to reign for another season. However, Inhumans also represents a strong step forward in many ways, finally opening up the cinematic MCU to the more adult themes that Fox and Warner Bros. have already capitalized on in recent years.

Hair-Raising Sexcapades

The Inhumans premiere opens with Marvel's most hair-raising sex scene yet, joining Black Bolt and Medusa as they get to know each other in the biblical sense. Although their fun is repeatedly interrupted by their comm links, the King and Queen of Attilan are still depicted in a rather risqué position, covered up by nothing except Medusa's long, flowing locks.

Marvel has been notoriously shy when it comes to depicting nudity onscreen so far, avoiding the issue of sex almost entirely in their movie adaptations. While Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have broken new ground in this sense (along with a few beds along the way), the IMAX premiere of Inhumans is the first time that the has delved into the realm of sex on the big screen.

Inhumane Treatment Of The Lower Classes

Unfortunately, while Medusa is being introduced to Black Bolt's little bolt, the lower classes of Attilan toil away in the dark, dirty mines below. While they're not described as slaves in the traditional sense, the fact that terrigenesis directly dictates an Inhuman's station in life certainly draws parallels with real-world slavery. It's no wonder then that the inequality of the Inhumans caste system has incited rebellion among the lower classes.

Director Roel Reiné discussed this rather intriguing power play with us, suggesting that the Inhuman Royal Family may not be as heroic as fans were led to believe:

"Black Bolt and Medusa are on the wrong side and Maximus is on the right side of reason. The only thing is his means to get there are a little bit more radical and extreme. In the end, his path is a righteous path, which makes his character very interesting."

Few properties question the morality of their heroes in such an incisive way, although the harsh methods employed by Maximus ensure that he ultimately remains the villain of the piece.

The Symbolic Rape Of Medusa

Inhumans [Credit: Marvel Comics]
Inhumans [Credit: Marvel Comics]

The plight of Maximus is surprisingly relatable at first, particularly when he's treated as inferior for his perceived lack of power. However, the premiere episode of Inhumans quickly dispels any sympathy we may hold for Iwan Rheon's character following his symbolic rape of Medusa.

While Maximus tries to assassinate or imprison the other members of the Royal Family, the King's brother takes things a step further with Medusa, holding her down while he shaves off her hair. Of course, there's a practical aspect to this decision. By removing her hair, Maximus also removes her power and any means that Medusa has to fight back.

However, earlier allusions to his feelings for Medusa add a horrible undertone to the proceedings, where Maximus seems to take particular joy in his subjugation of the Queen. While he never defiles Medusa sexually in a literal sense, the way in which Maximus actively blames the Queen for what's happening to her is particularly disturbing, echoing the ways in which rape victims are often blamed for their attack.

"This is your fault."

This physical violation traumatizes Medusa at first, leaving her broken on the floor while she picks up locks of hair from off the ground. Once she arrives on Earth, the Queen of the Inhumans is also seen crying while staring at her own reflection in the bus window. Fortunately, it doesn't take long for Medusa to reclaim her power, proving that she can still stand strong and fight using nothing more than her fists and dogged determination.

While the Queen arguably recovers too quickly from such a traumatic violation, it's nonetheless rather empowering to see her stand tall once again, mirroring the fan favorite comic book arc that Paul Jenkins penned back in the late '90s.

The question that remains though is whether the show itself will recover so quickly. Negative reactions to the premiere suggest that a second season is no longer a certainty, although there's still plenty of potential for to learn from its mistakes. Hell, why not go all the way and delve headfirst into these themes through an R-rated second season? Such a move may be unprecedented, but if handled right, this could leave the critics more speechless than Black Bolt himself.

Do you think Inhumans deserves a second season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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