Although they were created in 1965, the past four years have been pivotal for Marvel's Inhumans. In the aftermath of the "Infinity" event, Terrigen spread across the surface of the globe, and since 2014, writer Charles Soule has been creating an ever more diverse cast of 'new Inhumans', or 'NuHumans'. Now, in a surprising twist, it seems some of those NuHumans will be making an appearance in Marvel's Inhumans series!
What Do We Know?
Until now, we'd believed #Marvel's Inhumans series would center around the Royal Family; the classic Inhumans created back in 1965. So far, only the Royals have been cast, with Iwan Rheon taking the starring role of Maximus. All that changed at the Coast-To-Coast Comic Con 2017, when Charles Soule surprised audiences by revealing that some of his NuHumans will be appearing in the series!
From a narrative point of view, the NuHumans work precisely because of the contrast they make with the classic Inhumans. The traditional Inhumans are an isolationist society far removed from the human race, owing loyalty and allegiance to the Royal Family. In contrast, the NuHumans have newly acquired their powers, and act as a bridge between human society and the Inhuman world. They owe a dual allegiance, both to the Inhumans themselves and to their original families, races, religions, and cultures.
#AgentsOfSHIELD has already set the groundwork for the NuHumans with a Terrigen outbreak. However, the TV outbreak differs from its comic book counterpart; where Terrigen spread in the atmosphere in the comics, it was spread through sea-life in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Set photos have revealed the Royal Family will set foot on the present-day Earth; we don't know why they've stood by for so long, but they'll clearly come for the NuHumans.
Who Could Appear?
Probably the most exciting NuHuman of all is Kamala Khan, a.k.a. #MsMarvel. An 'everyman hero' in the fashion of Peter Parker, she's a popular enough superhero to be praised by Barack Obama, who's added a great depth of diversity to the Marvel Comics universe. That said, I doubt that Kamala Khan will make an appearance in this series; she's a powerful enough brand in her own right that she'd work better as a standalone. Frankly, I think the rumored New Warriors series would be a better entry-point for Kamala Khan than this Inhumans show.
More likely are some of Charles Soule's other NuHumans — characters like Naja, Inferno, and Flint. Naja is another teenager who underwent Terrigenesis, and developed a physical mutation. She's a tremendously cool character, and has proved very popular. She's been one of Soule's best-developed characters, and I can easily see her being adapted for Inhumans. It's worth noting that, with a physical mutation, she's got no way of hiding her identity; Inhumans like Quake can walk among ordinary people with fear, but Naja can't. If any Inhuman needs the Royal Family's support, it's Naja.
Flint and Inferno make an interesting study in contrast; Inferno is basically your staple pyrokinetic, a power we've already seen variations of over in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., while Flint is a powerful 'geokinetic', unlike any character Marvel Television has explore before. He can manipulate the ground in countless creative ways, creating powerful exo-armors out of rock, or even making armies of golems at will! That makes him a particularly interesting character, and I'd love to see him adapted for the #MCU.
Will the Watchdogs Appear?
Although we know parts of Inhumans will be set on the Moon, we're getting several clues that the Royal Family will walk the surface of Earth in the present day. That suggests they'll enter into a world that hates and fears them, and most likely confront a version of the Watchdogs. Inspired in part by the Friends of Humanity over in classic X-Men comics, but blended a little with the present-day Alt-Right movement, the Watchdogs are a militant anti-Inhuman force who have been organized by foreign powers. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 has gradually woven their story into line with the Aida plotline, suggesting that the more militant, organized approach will somehow be resolved in the "Agents of Hydra" arc, but we can expect the anger and fear to continue.
While most fans are enjoying speculating as to whether or not we'll get a crossover of some sorts with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I'm more interested in whether the anti-Inhuman prejudice we've seen Quake confront will make the Watchdogs the villains.
Let's be clear: any Inhumans series that features the characters of Black Bolt and Maximus has simply got to be a 'power-play'. We already know that Maximus the Mad will be divided, torn between loyalty to his brother and a belief he should be the one to rule Attilan. Given Maximus's intelligence, that means we should be looking for a cause that convinces him to make his move, and — equally importantly — we should be looking for pawns in his game. The Inhuman crisis on Earth, and the Watchdog persecution of Inhumans, could easily constitute both; a call to war and a lot of potential pieces to use in the game.
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Inhumans is still cloaked in mystery, but the set photos — combined with this latest revelation by #Marvel writer Charles Soule — have just given us some tantalizing hints. They suggest that, for all this will be a series exploring the power-play of Maximus the Mad, it will be set against the context of the Inhuman story Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been developing since Season 2. That raises still more questions - most notably, why haven't the Royal Family intervened before? But it also raises exciting possibilities, ones that could potentially redefine the Inhuman corner of the MCU...
Are you looking forward to Marvel's 'Inhumans'?
(Source: CBR; Poll Image Credit: Marvel Comics)