With The Inhumans becoming a reoccurring plot point/story arc in the Marvel universe, I figured an article breaking down their comic book roots may help us to better understand the direction they can take with Agents of SHIELD and the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
To start, we need to know where the Inhumans came from. What brought them to the forefront of the Marvel universe?
Ah yes, the Kree. At the beginning of the Kree-Skrull war, the Kree established a base of operations on Uranus, which in turn brought there attention to a young sentient race on Earth. The Kree began to investigate and learned that the human race on earth had genetic potential. They then began to experiment on the then-primitive species. Their goal was twofold:
- Investigate possible ways of circumventing their own evolution; and
- Create a powerful mutant army to fight the Skrulls.
The Kree accomplished their mission, but the Inhumans went on to form a society of their own which thrived in seclusion from the rest of humanity. They experimented with the Terrigent mist, which is what the Kree used to enhance their ancestors. Through their experimentation, they developed a process know as Terrigenesis. This process would go on to cause lasting genetic damage and deformities which in turn led to a long-term selective breeding program to mitigate the effects.
Now that we know who created them, we need to know the players. So, who are the most influential amongst the Inhumans?
On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we see Daisy as being one of the influential in today's Inhumans. However, this isn't the case in the comic book world. Instead, there are five main good-to-know Inhumans.
1) Black Bolt
As King of the Inhumans, he was introduced in the 1960's as the leading member of the Inhumans royal family. He was born to two Inhumans and exposed to the Terrigen mist while still an embryo. He has enhanced strength, stamina, durability, speed, agility and reflexes. More importantly, he has an organic mechanism in his brain's speech center which produces an unknown particle that interacts with the ambient electrons around him. To dumb it down, anything he speaks can be really loud and produce a sonic scream.
During his early years, he was confined due to his power. Living in confinement, he learned self control over his powers and was eventually released when he was no longer deemed dangerous to the populous. He has been known as the most powerful inhuman for a variety of reasons, but he's the king, so why not?
Cousin to Black Bolt, she would often visit him during his confinement. As a result, she learned self-control to communicate with him through body language. As the visits continued, Medusa began to fall in love with Black Bolt. The two fell in love and became engaged. As his bride, she eventually becomes queen of the Inhumans and sits by Black Bolts side.
Another cousin to Black Bolt, he has the ability to find the weak point in any person, plan or object. He is the strategist of the team and also serves as a Priest and philosopher to the Inhumans. He is also related to Gorgon and Triton.
Yet another cousin to Black Bolt, he was exposed to the Terrigen mists as a teenager. The exposure gave him increased strength and his feet were transformed into hooves, capable of generating highly destructive seismic waves. His role in the royal family is that of a personal bodyguard to Black Bolt, and is also responsible for training youths recently exposed to the Terrigen mists in the use of their newly acquired powers.
Brother to Karnak and cousin to Black Bolt, he was exposed to the Terrigen mists as a child. The exposure changed his skin into a scale-like green texture, provided him with the ability to breathe underwater as well as surviving cold temperatures and incredible pressures of the deep. Unfortunately, his resulting transformation took away his ability to breathe in non-aquatic environments. So, he has an apparatus to allow him to breathe on land. As near as I can tell, Triton doesn't have a specified role in the royal family, but it's safe to say he is a jack of all trades, assisting where-ever and when-ever possible.