WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Inhumans and Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
When it debuts later this year, it's unclear whether or not Marvel's #Inhumans series will directly tie in to Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. or if the two series will remain their own separate entities. The reason why these two series could potentially crossover with one another is because of the strong connection they share with the Inhumans from Marvel Comics.
While #AgentsofSHIELD focuses on a new generation of Inhumans called Nuhumans, the spinoff series will center around the Inhuman Royal Family, led by Black Bolt (Anson Mount). "Nuhumans" is the label coined for the mostly second generation Inhumans who unexpectedly inherited their abilities from Terrigenesis.
Fan speculation immediately pointed toward the series taking place in the past, seeing as how the Royal Family of Inhumans came to prominence in the past and haven't been seen in the current day events of the #Marvel TV universe. However, newly revealed set images from Inhumans, currently filming in Hawaii, indicate the series will go in another direction.
Apparently the series will also take place in the current day setting, instead of the past. Contrary to prior assumptions, the Royal Family will make their debut at least partially in the present, evident by the above image of Black Bolt and Lockjaw standing beside a Starbucks cafe. Seeing Black Bolt in the present means the Royal Family of Inhumans are somewhere in the #MCU, we just haven't seen them yet.
Where Are The Royal Family Of Inhumans?
That begs an even more interesting question: Why haven't Inhumans like Black Bolt stepped up for the Inhuman people? That answer may actually have been revealed some time ago.
Recent information on Inhumans indicated the series will take place partly on the Moon. With that being known, it's possible the Royal Family, Black Bolt included, have been unaware of the Inhuman plight on Earth due to their residency on the Moon. In the comics, the Inhumans reside in the movable city, Attilan, which is sometimes located on the Moon.
From a believable standpoint, since Jia-Ying kept the Inhumans from being found in the past and their existence only began to become publicized in recent years, it's fair to assume Black Bolt and the Royal Family were uninformed of the Inhuman plight on Earth since they were, you know, in space.
So What Might Bring Black Bolt To Earth?
We know from the recent casting announcements for Inhumans that Black Bolt (Anson Mount) will be joined by several members of the Royal Family including his wife, Medusa, played by Serinda Swan. With that in mind, there's a good chance Black Bolt is on Earth due to his brother, Maximus, turning against him, similar to how events played out in the comics.
In the comics, Maximus wages a coup on Black Bolt, resulting in the former ruling Attilan with an iron fist for a period of time. During that time, Black Bolt, along with his cousins, Gorgon, Karnak, and Crystal, searched for Medusa, who had become an amnesiac lost on Earth, after a hard fought battle with the Trikon and Maximus.
With Maximus positioned as the clear villain of the series, a Loki-like manipulator behind the scenes, it's not implausible to think he's the reason Black Bolt travels to Earth. It would also explain why Black Bolt is with Lockjaw and—so far, at least—none of the other Inhuman cast members have been spotted on set with him yet.
Lockjaw has teleportation abilities, so maybe what we're seeing here is Black Bolt's first trip to Earth—a recon mission, if you will. It would certainly explain why the rest of the Royal Family is nowhere to be seen for the moment and why Lockjaw is there. And, let's be honest, only a guy who hasn't spent much time on Earth would think he could walk around with a gigantic bulldog that weighs over a thousand pounds without attracting attention.
Could Black Bolt Be A Bridge Between 'Inhumans' And 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'?
If that scenario does come to pass, the MCU could be in for two drastic migrations of Inhuman people. Either Nuhumans will choose to join #BlackBolt and his people on the Moon or the Royal Family will decide to take residency on Earth—or both. What's of more interest is that scenario could feasibly constitute a crossover between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Inhumans, provided AoS doesn't get canceled.
Even if S.H.I.E.L.D. does get the boot after this season, it's not impossible to believe that a few key members from Team Coulson might show up in the Inhumans series, particularly Daisy/Quake. So in a way, even if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is canceled, the stories and characters it set up can at least continue in a way in Inhumans.
Where do you think the rest of the Royal Family are? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Inhumans premieres in IMAX on September 1, 2017 and will air on ABC the following Tuesday.