The future is bright for Comic Book movies and with four major film studios vying for blockbuster payouts there are a plethora of quality titles to entice you into the cinemas in the coming years.
In Part 8 we looked at Captain Marvel as her studio name-sake push for a gender balance and DC’s Shazam gets a run out with The Rock set to play the antagonist Black Adam.
I promised you three movies this week but I decided that with the size of the character base in July 2019’s Inhumans it deserved a full article all by itself.
Inhumans (Marvel) Dir. Unknown
There is a script written by Joe Robert Cole (Amber Lake) and they are currently searching for a director for this one.
2019 finishes off with the much talked about Inhumans project. Most of the talk however is “Who the hell are the Inhumans?” so I decided to take this week’s Supermovies to break it down in the simplest way possible. The Inhumans will (basically) take the place of the X-Men for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as Fox have the rights for them and do not look like losing it any time soon. Fox also have the rights over the use of the word “mutants” in the Supermovies world and so Marvel will be using the term “Inhuman” to explain certain characters that don’t get bitten by radioactive spiders and the like.
The storyline of the Inhumans has already begun in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I would recommend watching the two seasons to get a nice introduction to what these guys are all about. I won’t go into the storyline as it is spoiler heavy so just watch the series to get up to scratch with the Earthly happenings from the Inhumans.
The movie itself may not feature any of the characters from AoS as they have a rich character base to already pick from and as the Inhumans are already introduced, with a possible 3-4 seasons still to come before this movie, I would hazard a guess that they will concentrate purely on the Inhuman Royal family in the movie.
The Inhumans were introduced back in 1965 in the Fantastic Four comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and have had their own story arcs since the 70s. They are still, however, somewhat of an unknown team in the Marvel world, for the movie-going “normal folk”, so let me introduce you to the team and what they are all about.
Lets start with some backstory. The Kree are an alien race, Ronan (Lee Pace) from Guardians of the Galaxy was a member of the Kree, and they are pretty much bad news all round. For years they experimented on early modern humans and basically ditched the experiments and let them fend for themselves. This was out in space. Not here on Earth. So they were splicing the early Earth human’s DNA and experimenting with Terrigen Mist which in turn gave these Inhumans special powers but also caused genetic damage and grotesque mutations. The Inhumans themselves started to practice selected breeding to wean out these deformities and focus on gaining the most power as possible without the side effects.
Now Inhumans wait until they have come of age, much like a tribesman becoming a warrior, to go through the Terrigen Mist and kick start their mutant transformation. The Inhumans are very protective of the powers that the Terrine Mist they possess and if a non-Inhuman comes it contact with it it usually has fatal consequences. The mist itself comes from Terrigen crystals which come solely from our Earth’s moon near the Inhuman settlement of Attilan. Attilan moves around a lot in the comics and it’s on the Moon now, but it’s anyone’s guess where it will be positioned in the MCU.
The Inhumans are quite a private race of people and just like the X-Men tend to have enough internal drama to keep stories moving along without the need for inclusion of the rest of the Marvel characters.
So now you have a crash course in their background, let me introduce you to the big hitters in the comics and the forthcoming MCU movie.
The Royal family are the obvious central characters for the movie and they are led by the super powerful (even by Inhuman levels) Black Bolt. Black Bolt is one of these strong and silent types; although that is for a very good reason. His main power comes from his hypersonic voice and even a whisper from him can shake a building. He also possesses the usual superhero power of uber-strength along with energy manipulation and telepathic abilities. He uses these telepathic abilities to communicate to his wife Medusa and she does most of the talking for him (which is like most marriages, am I right? Huh?). Black Bolt also uses a metallic prong on his head to focus the destructive nature of his voice and increase the accuracy.
Vin Diesel is already the front runner for the silent leader and it would be kind of funny if he only talks but can’t be seen in one Marvel adventure (as Groot in Guardians) and seen but not heard in another. Black Bolt is a clear leader and a force to be reckoned with, but the rest of the crew will definitely gain a lot of fans along the way.
Medusa, Black Bolt’s wife, has as her name suggests has a head of super-powered hair. Each strain of the heroine’s locks are stronger than steel, can grow at will and she can manipulate each strand independently. It’s way cooler than it sounds. The slightly strange thing about Medusa is, not only is she Black Bolt’s wife, she’s also his first cousin. I guess it has something to do with the selected breeding. But to be honest everyone seems to be related as the rest of the list will show you. Medusa is not only a medium for her husband’s commands as that deadly hair of hers can lift several tonnes, pick locks and form savage blades.
As far as the movie goes, the hair is going to be the big thing. The CGI will have to be amazing for it not to look terrible. There are only two options here. At a usual length of 6 foot, they might want to reign it in a bit and just utilise the growing powers to make the illusion that bit more realistic. It will be a big ask but as we have seen in Guardians already, Marvel strive to make the impossible possible.
Time to introduce a baddie I think, and this stays close to home. Aptly named Maximus the Mad, the main bad-guy is Black Bolt’s brother and the obvious choice for the main antagonist for the movie. His powers include enhanced intellect and the ability of mind control, if only for short periods of time. He has made many attempts for the throne of Attilan, sometimes even succeeding . He will no doubt be likened to Loki (Thor’s dastardly brother) but hopefully whoever fills the shoes of the mad sibling can make this his own and gain his own legion of fans. Hiddleston had no problems making the bad guy one of the most loved characters from the Avengers, so the bar has truly been set high.
Next up in the family escapade is Medusa’s sister (so that’s Black Bolt’s cousin also), Crystal. Crystal has your Captain Planet powers; manipulating earth, air, wind and fire (sorry Ma-Ti but no heart here). Crystal is one of the players who has popped up often in other Marvel teams in the past, featuring in both the Fantastic Four and Avengers’ lineups. Also in the comics she was married to Quicksilver who, along with Scarlet Witch, may very well be classed as Inhumans, as to not muddy the “mutant” legal waters. On top of the Quicksilver marriage (which won’t be happening in the movies) Crystal was also involved with Ronan (bad, now dead Kree guy), The Sentry (member of the New Avengers in comics) and originally The Human Torch. As Fox are holders of the Fantastic Four franchise, this relationship won’t be happening either. In the comics she has a kid with Quicksilver and after Magneto kidnaps her daughter she joins the Avengers to kick some ass. Linked with so many characters throughout the years, it is hard to know where she will fit in especially since most of her past lovers are either dead or owned by Fox.
Remember when I was talking about the hideous disfigurements from the Terrigen Mist? This is what I was talking about. Triton is also Black Bolt’s cousin, because it seems everyone is, and he was exposed to the mist as an infant. The powerful mist made his skin green and covered him in scales as well as granting him the powers to breath underwater and swim super fast. He is basically the Creature from the Black Lagoon. The unfortunate side effects of his transformation is that he basically needs to be in and around water all the time. He can use special equipment to saunter around on land but he is the main man when it comes to underwater combat. He has teamed up with Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Fantastic Four, he battled the Kree and has single-handedly captured Maximus the Mad. So he’s not a bad addition to the team, once you keep him good and drenched.
After Triton went trough his transformation by Terrigen Mist, his parents were not super excited to let their younger son go through with the tradition. Karnak has not received any special powers due to his parents wishes but he still acquired kick-ass fighting abilities the old fashioned way, hard work and practice (boring!). He is, however, still an Inhuman and so attributes like super strength, agility and speed all come as a birthright. Karnak acts as a type of strategist for the Royal family and as a master tactician has the ability to pick weaknesses in enemies, their attacks, their plans and even objects with ease. He does this by using “extrasensory” abilities he has developed through meditation and the teachings of their society’s version of Shaolin monks, hence the kick-ass martial arts.
Black Bolt, being the leader of the Inhumans, needs a bodyguard and so he calls upon yet another cousin. They are literally all related. Gorgon is a bullish character. Again, literally. When he went through terrigeneses (what they call the transition with Terrigen Mist) Gorgon was transformed into a brute with bulls legs and hooves so powerful they can cause earthquakes. His strength was also massively increased, even in comparison to the regular Inhuman, and his skin and body’s endurance is super-human.
Now this brings us to the cuteness factor of the Inhumans set-up. The Inhumans need to get around the place just like anyone else and they need to do it quick. Teleportation would be ideal, a teleporting gigantic bulldog would be even better. Lockjaw will surely be a crowd favourite when Inhumans hits the cinemas mid-2019 and I expect him to become an instant cult hero like Groot. Just as you might think, with a super-powered dog, Lockjaw also has super-dog powers. Super senses with respect to hearing and smell, he also has a hugely powerful bite (so much so that once he bit The Thing’s arm and Grimm could not get him off). Lockjaw was so popular he had his own series, Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers. I can see this as a viable off shoot for Marvel with possible animation movies to follow. It has a frog named Throg who is dressed as Thor. Who doesn’t want to see that? Plus they band together to find the Infinity Gems, this could definitely happen.
So that’s the full team. I can see Marvel making the film in an origin route with an emphasis on the Kree/Skrull War and more intergalactic shenanigans. It will ultimately be decided by how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. treat the whole situation down on Earth and even Kevin Feige has said they are just running with it at the moment so it is all fairly up in the air. I doubt they will introduce any of the major players in the TV series but it will certainly set things up for a massive blockbuster.
Inhumans will be released July 12th 2019.
Coming Up In Part 10:
Quite a lot to take in, hence the sole article. I know I promised Cyborg and Green Lantern too but they will have to wait until next time. It’s going to be an all 2020 affair and the end of the planned Supermovie outings. But don’t fret I have far too much nerd in me to give up there.