Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on March 3rd, and so far Season 2 has been a blast! The secrets of Skye (or rather, Daisy) are finally coming to light, and she’s realized that she is something strange, something… Inhuman. With Phase 3 of Marvel’s movies including the Inhumans, it’s pretty clear that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is blazing the trail. But who are the Inhumans?
The origin of the Inhumans
Well, oddly enough, the Inhumans were introduced as background cast for the Fantastic Four (quite how the film rights didn’t get to Fox is a bit of a mystery). Their origin spins back millennia ago, when two alien races – the Kree and the Skrull – were at war. In evolutionary terms, the Kree were coming to a dead end; in an effort to jump-start evolution once again, they sought out primitive races and experimented upon them. And so were born the Inhumans, the result of Kree experimentation upon primitive humans.
This secretive race were technologically-advanced when humanity was young, and they hid themselves carefully in the city of Attilan. They are tremendously powerful; when an Inhuman reaches the cusp of adulthood, they are exposed to the Terrigen Mists, a vapor derived from Terrigen Crystals. This powerful substance acts as a mutagen upon an Inhuman, triggering a transformation that may involve metahuman powers.
The Inhumans in Today's Comics
In modern times, Earth’s heroes have discovered [The Inhumans](movie:910490), and they’ve interacted with them quite a lot. The modern Inhumans are ruled by a King and Queen, Black Bolt and his wife Medusa. Black Bolt is a wise and cunning monarch, possessed of a voice whose mere whisper can shatter mountains; he cannot speak without wreaking havoc. Medusa’s hair is her weapon, extending in sweeping arcs at will.
Marvel has put a lot of effort into the Inhumans in recent years, with the race accomplishing their destiny and becoming rulers of the Kree, the very race who created them. A galactic war with the Shi’ar crippled the Kree, and left the Inhumans temporarily without Black Bolt’s leadership; they returned to Earth, and soon became caught up in the ‘Infinity’ event. There, the floating city of Attilan was destroyed, and the Terrigen Mists were released upon the Earth.
It seems that this was part of an overarching plan on Black Bolt’s part; he seems more aware of the up-and-coming ‘Secret Wars’ than even the rest of his secretive Illuminati, and has dedicated himself to securing a future for his race. And the Terrigen Mists served his purpose well; they reached countless hundreds (perhaps thousands) whose genetic structure contained just a hint of Inhumanity, and transformed them all into new Inhumans. Right now, the city of Attilan is being rebuilt in New York City, and Inhumans worldwide are flocking there. Not that all is particularly well; Black Bolt and Medusa are schisming.
The Inhumans and the Future of Marvel Comics
The future looks complex for the Inhumans. With the advent of ‘Secret Wars,’ we know that one of the books is ‘Attilan Rising’; and we also know that Black Bolt will lead a rebellion against his wife as part of this. With the Inhumans becoming increasingly important in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we can only presume that Marvel Comics’ long-term plans are equally bold.
The Inhumans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
In the movies, Marvel Studios has gone to great lengths to prepare the way for the Inhumans, who have a film scheduled for release in November 2018. The Kree appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, and a blue-skinned Kree body was seen in Season 1 of [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](series:722469) It was in the first half of Season 2 that things really got explosive, though, with a mysterious Diviner and the discovery of an ancient city. Season 2’s mid-season break established that cast regular Skye, not to mention the villain Raina, are both Inhumans; and there are more Inhumans out there, with more Diviners with which to unlock Inhuman potential.
There’s a long wait to 2018, but it’s clear that Marvel Studios is playing the long game. The Inhumans have been used to bring some ‘super’ back into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and we can only wait with bated breath for what’s to come!