Inhumans recently debuted on ABC, kicking off an intense battle between two clans of Inhumans fighting over control of Attilan. Black Bolt and his sect of the Royal Family are expected to make a stand on Earth, while they attempt to regain control of Attilan from its new ruler, Maximus. He overthrew Black Bolt's regime in a cleverly planned coup that saw most of his fellow Royal Family dropped and left on an island in Hawaii. It seems he accomplished everything without the use of any Inhuman powers—or did he? The television depiction of Maximus doesn't appear to have any Inhuman powers like his comic counterpart, but there may be something boiling underneath the surface that we've yet to understand.
For those who weren't paying attention, Maximus is one of the only Royal Inhumans who wound up without any visible changes after going through the Terrigenesis process. This factor is brought up several times in the premiere episode which is intriguing because his comic counterpart holds a fairly advanced level of telepathic manipulation. However, Maximus's interactions with the young Inhuman we see go through Terrigenesis gives us the impression that he has abilities not yet known, even to him.
Did The Young Inhuman Kickstart Maximus's Abilities?
When Maximus touches the young Inhuman who emerged from the Terrigenesis chamber seemingly unchanged, the young boy begins having a seizure as a result of that touch. It appears indicative of the young Inhuman's abilities since no one can determine what his powers are from first glance, but the cause of his seizure may be due to Maximus's mind control being at work here rather than an issue with the newly-made Inhuman. Maximus also caused that same boy to have a seizure after touching him during a different point in the episode, providing more evidence to back up claims of Maximus manipulating people's minds through touch.
His comic counterpart doesn't possess a tactile ability of manipulation, but it's reasonable to assume his television version will have powers slightly altered, as Marvel has been wont to do. If so, Maximus could feasibly utilize a form of tactile manipulation rather than telepathic manipulation on the #Inhumans series—or both.
Assuming Maximus does develop a different type of ability than his comic counterpart did, he'll likely use it to increase support among the people of Attilan. We've already seen that the aforementioned Inhuman boy is in full support of his actions as new King of Attlian; other residents could just as easily be manipulated by Maximus when he shakes their hands or greets them in some physical manner—if his powers do stem from coming into physical contact with others. Or, perhaps Maximus will begin to develop his comic book Inhuman abilities as the season progresses. That scenario would make Maximus an ideal villain to oppose Black Bolt. He obviously has the ingenuity to successfully overthrow an entire regime, so turning Maximus into a physically dominant force would place him on par with Black Bolt were they to face each other in battle.
Do you think Maximus' powers will manifest themselves further in future episodes? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Inhumans airs Fridays on ABC.