This week, Marvel finally started to break their silence over Inhumans, an intriguing show featuring the Inhuman Royal Family. Over the last few days, Marvel's given us a poster, a CGI-less photo of most of the cast, and an interview with showrunner Scott Buck that did little more than whet our appetites. Now, at last, we've had our first teaser video — but at first glance, this doesn't give much away, either.
Ironically, though, that video may just have blown the plot of the whole series.
What's Changing In Attilan?
We know that (as in the comics) this colony of Inhumans are based on the Moon, and are ruled over by their monarch Black Bolt and his royal family. In true Game of Thrones style, Inhumans will be a fantastical power-struggle between Black Bolt and his brother Maximus, who longs to rule Attilan himself.
Here's the fascinating thing, though. According to #JephLoeb, Maximus won't simply be your quintessential "bad guy." He explained:
"Maximus is a complex character. Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment."
In fact, back when Iwan Rheon was cast for the role, we learned that Maximus would practically be the hero of the show; an unwilling villain who's torn between loyalty to his family, and a belief that he needs to take charge. It's clear that something changes the balance of power in Attilan — and in Maximus's heart.
The Terrigen Outbreak On Earth
There's only one thing that could possibly have changed; Terrigen. Exposure to this mysterious substance triggers the powers of anyone with an Inhuman gene, and on Attilan, it's governed carefully. On Earth, though, Terrigen has now been spread through the planet's water, and into fish stock worldwide. As fans of #AgentsOfSHIELD know, the world is reacting with shock as men and women randomly form cocoons and emerge... transformed.
Naturally, the world's human inhabitants are afraid. In fact, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 has featured a group known as the Watchdogs, who use military-grade equipment to launch devastating attacks on Inhumans. They believe these "aliens" need to be wiped out. I'm willing to bet that in other countries, though, Inhumans have been treated as potential weapons, to be "owned" by the government.
And yet, in the face of appalling persecution of their kind, the Inhumans of Attilan have remained silent. It's a reality, I suspect, that leaves Maximus outraged. That's why he asks if, like their King, the Inhumans are to remain silent; that's why he claims to be challenging Black Bolt's rule for "the freedom of all Inhumans."
This fits perfectly with Scott Buck's comments in a recent interview, where he indicated that we won't see any overt crossovers with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — but that there'd be a ripple effect. He explained:
"We all inhabit the same universe, so things that have happened on S.H.I.E.L.D. will potentially affect our show as well."
Maximus's Coup Will Be Successful
This theory fits perfectly with a plot synopsis released last month:
"After the Royal Family of Inhumans is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Hawaii where their surprising interactions with the lush world and humanity around them may prove to not only save them, but Earth itself."
Maximus's coup, it seems, will be successful; the family will be splintered. With Maximus on the throne, the Inhumans of Attilan will prepare to launch an attack upon humanity, in the name of their Inhuman brethren. Meanwhile, on Earth, those royals who escaped Maximus — including Black Bolt himself — will meet humans for perhaps the first time in their lives. But will they be persuaded to fight back to reclaim the throne, and save the human race? Or will they encounter more of the prejudice we've already seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Ironically, this one brief video fits perfectly with everything else we already knew. It gives us a tantalizing sense of the show's direction, and fits perfectly with everything we've seen developed so far in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It's amazing how even the briefest of clips can give the game away...