"Space; the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Marvel Television, its continuing mission: to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the small screen, to seek out new franchises, to boldly go where only comic books have gone before!"
The wait is finally over; we have a trailer for Marvel's Inhumans! The first episode releases at IMAX cinemas worldwide on September 1st, with the series airing from September 29th. And what a trailer!
It seems the Inhuman race has been hidden, sheltering on the Dark Side of the Moon, fearing the day when Humanity would discover them. Now, that day has come — and in terms of the overarching narrative of Marvel Television, the timing couldn't be more perfect.
Marvel Television Is Embracing The Cosmic
#Marvel Television has always carefully oriented itself around the movies, with flagship TV series #AgentsOfSHIELD carefully including movie tie-ins as often as possible. All that changed last year, though, with the release of Doctor Strange. Rather than explicitly tie into the film, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. took a thematic cue and embraced the supernatural. Fans were delighted when we were introduced to Gabriel Luna's Ghost Rider, and soon our intrepid heroes were wrestling with the arcane science of the Darkhold!
Next year will see the ten-year anniversary of the MCU, and Marvel Studios is celebrating it with the epic #InfinityWar. With the movies embracing the cosmic in an unprecedented way, it makes sense for Marvel Television to do the same on a thematic level. The stage is set for Inhumans, a cosmic franchise that Marvel Studios passed on.
Humanity Is Reaching For The Stars
Marvel Television has been heading in this direction for a long time. Back in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Rosalind Price revealed that the lines between space exploration and defence have blurred in light of the Chitauri invasion. The human race now know that we're not alone — and that what's out there is very dangerous indeed. As a result, space agencies worldwide will have seen their budgets expand exponentially, although they're likely to have seen these budgets overseen by the military. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 ended with what most fans took to be the setup for S.W.O.R.D.: an international organization lifted from the comics, dedicated to defending the human race against extraterrestrial threats.
Worse still, humanity now know about the Inhumans. Terrigen has been released into the world's water systems, triggering a transformation in anyone with Inhuman DNA. It's been called an "alien epidemic," with unscrupulous and prejudiced politicians using fear and hatred to serve their own ends. We've even seen extremists take arms against the Inhumans, believing they are acting in defence of the Human race.
Now, at last, it seems Marvel Television is embracing the cosmic. With Inhumans, the focus on space exploration and defence has evidently uncovered the Inhuman city of Attilan, bringing Inhuman civilization to a crisis point. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 4 closed with Agent Coulson — and presumably his fellow agents — in space. Most fans believe the season will focus on the cosmic, and view this as the unveiling of S.W.O.R.D.. There are clear links between the two shows.
Will humans ever accept the Inhumans? How will Black Bolt respond when he learns of the fear and hatred his Inhuman brethren on Earth are suffering? What role will Coulson play in S.W.O.R.D., and can S.W.O.R.D.'s agenda be trusted? We have no way of knowing, and it's worth noting that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 won't be kicking off until January 2018. That means the show will still be airing when Infinity War is released, and many fans are eagerly hoping we'll also get a direct tie-in, just as there was for Captain America: The Winter Soldier back in Season 1.
Whether the tie-in is explicit or merely thematic, we can be sure that Marvel Television will be exploring the final frontier — and as such, playing their part in one of the biggest cinematic stories in history.