In 2014, #Marvel announced that their Phase 3 slate would include an Inhumans movie. Two years on, Inhumans had dropped off the radar, and fans were only able to see Inhuman action over in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Now, in a truly exciting new development, Marvel has announced that the Inhumans are becoming the stars of their own TV series. We don't yet know much about this new project, but here are five questions that fans are sure to be asking...
1. Will Inhumans Replace Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
It's a matter of record that #AgentsOfSHIELD has never quite performed how ABC and Marvel wanted it to. The first season had a lacklustre start, although it was given a burst of new life by the Captain America: Winter Soldier tie-in. Since then, though, viewing figures have been consistently unspectacular.
This year has seen Marvel and ABC experiment with the show, moving it to a later timeslot and adding the supernatural. Although the series is performing well for its 10.00pm timeslot, fans have been watching with a sense of concern; it just hasn't seemed to be doing well enough.
ABC has recently shown a certain reluctance to commit to new Marvel shows, cancelling Agent Carter and refusing to take up Marvel's Most Wanted. Crucially, Inhumans is set to launch in September 2017, and would therefore be running at the time Marvel Entertainment has traditionally been focused on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Is this going to be S.H.I.E.L.D.'s last season?
2. Will Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. lead into Inhumans?
Although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 has had a strong supernatural bent, the series hasn't abandoned the Inhumans. Some of the most important villains are the Watchdogs, an organization who seek to protect the world from Inhumans — in particularly brutal fashion. Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s current boss, Jeffrey Mace, has publicly declared himself to be an Inhuman.
It's not unusual for Marvel to use Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to lead into another series; they dropped countless nods to Agent Carter in preparation for that show's launch, and even unwisely set up Marvel's Most Wanted. It may well be that the Inhuman plots in Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are setup for next year's series. If that's the case, though, I can't help suspecting that we're headed for a status quo that sounds remarkably similar to that of the X-Men. Marvel need to watch out: we don't want a repeat of the Mutant X court case. That show had basically featured Marvel trying to get away with using the concepts from the X-Men without using the name itself, and it wound up in legal wrangling between Marvel and Fox, causing animosity that only now seems to be healing.
3. Will Chloe Bennet's Daisy Johnson Transition to Inhumans?
Although Jeffrey Mace is the Inhuman S.H.I.E.L.D. agent the world knows the most about, Chloe Bennet's Daisy Johnson is the one fans have come to know and love. She's smart and sexy, packing a punch that registers on the Richter Scale, and it's no exaggeration to say that the main story of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been the journey of Daisy Johnson's.
If Marvel chose to transition Daisy from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Inhumans, it would pretty much signal the death-knell of S.H.I.E.L.D.. That said, though, if the two series were to coexist, she'd be a pretty useful link between the shows, allowing them to truly interconnect in the way the MCU was always supposed to.
4. Which Inhumans Will Appear?
Moving on from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., though, we have some tantalizing questions about the Inhumans too. Marvel first announced the project with an image of Black Bolt and Maximus the Mad; this was clearly something of a hint! That's been confirmed by Joe Taraborrelli, Senior Communications Manager at Marvel:
This, in part, will be why Marvel and ABC are planning to premiere the first two episodes at IMAX theaters worldwide. Characters like Black Bolt (whose voice can shatter mountains) and Crystal (who manipulates the weather) are practically made for the big screen! But, along with these classic Inhumans, will we also see some of the newer characters? Will we see the Royal Family interact with the Inhumans from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Only time will tell.
5. How Will Marvel Ensure a Smooth Worldwide Release?
Marvel plans to release the first two episodes of Inhumans at IMAX cinemas worldwide in the summer in order to launch the series. That will be followed by a further 6 episodes in September. While this is an exciting and innovative approach, it does raise some very real concerns about how that global release can be managed.
Here in the UK, for example, Channel 4 has the rights to airing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Incredibly, Season 3 didn't air until three whole months after the show's US release; Channel 4 waited until after the mid-season break, so as not to have an interruption. Frustratingly, they left fans in the dark about their plans, and their customer service channels didn't even respond to customer queries. We still don't have confirmed dates for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4.
As ambitious as this IMAX strategy is, it could be seriously hampered by international distributing rights. Marvel's idea is to really build up a sense of hype behind Inhumans; they clearly believe this property has real potential, and are pushing it like no TV series has ever been pushed before. But this plan could well fail if fans across the world watch the first two episodes, and then have to sit waiting for months for the rest of the show to be aired in their countries. The worldwide release could actually cause some very real problems.
I can't help wondering if Marvel is about to change global strategy, and if we're about to see a deal akin to the initial proposals for Star Trek: Discovery. This was for each episode to be aired in the US first, and streamed worldwide across #Netflix the next day. This approach ensures swift, effective global delivery of the series, and it's worth pointing out that Marvel already has a strong relationship with Netflix. Of course, this is only speculation, but it's the only way I can see this worldwide release actually working.
- How 'The Inhumans' Moved From The Cinema To The Small Screen
- Marvel's Changing Plans for Phase Three!
- Your Guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's TV Series!
Whatever the truth may be, the reality is that September 2017 has just become one very exciting month for Marvel fans. We look set to be getting an Inhuman experience that we most definitely didn't expect — and can't wait to learn more about. Here at Moviepilot, we'll keep you up-to-speed on the latest news as it breaks!
Do you think Inhumans will replace Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Poll Image: Marvel Comics