Hello interweb, Nate here. So recently Marvel has been attempting – and for the most part succeeding – to make the Inhumans more important within the Marvel universe and they are even getting their own film in 2019. So who exactly are the Inhumans?
History of the Inhumans
The Inhumans debuted in the comics in 1965 with Fantastic Four #43, but their origins won’t be revealed until later. During the Kree-Skrull war (all you need to know is that it was a war between two alien races), the Kree went to Uranus (no, I’m better than that) as that planet was right between the Kree homeworld and the Skrull homeworld. While on Uranus, the Kree discovered Earth and decided to abduct humans in order to tinker with their DNA to create a superhuman army to face the Skrulls. For reasons not quite known, the Kree abandoned their experiments and these altered humans were returned to Earth and they created their own civilization called the Inhumans.
The Inhumans in and of themselves are similar to the X-Men in the sense that they all have dormant powers hidden within themselves. However, unlike the X-Men, who usually develop their powers around puberty and can actually be found prior to their powers surfacing, Inhumans dormant powers only surface when they are exposed to something called the Terrigen Mist that comes from the Terrigen Crystal. After breathing in the Terrigen Mist, an Inhuman usually gets encased into a cocoon (the time spent in the cocoon varies from person to person being a few seconds to a few days) and hatches out with superhuman abilities (usually based of the individual’s desires or what is necessary for the society) in a process called Terrigenesis; normal humans are not effected by the mist. Another thing that separates the Inhumans from the X-Men is that you can tell if your a mutant before your powers activates through special equipment or mutant powers. However, it is impossible to tell if somebody is an inhuman without exposing them to the Terrigen Mist unless they come from an Inhuman family.
The Inhumans are less of a species (like the X-Men) and more of a civilization ruled by the Royal Family (I talk about them more in the Important Inhuman Members section below) including the king: Black Bolt, and the Queen: Medusa. The Inhumans live within the city of Attilan that can be re-located when discovered as the Inhumans prefer to live in secrecy. The way the society works is when an Inhuman is exposed to the Mist and their powers are revealed, they are given a place within the civilization and they spend the rest of their life there. While the Inhumans usually stay in secrecy, they have worked with the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and the X-Men when facing super powerful forces such as Thanos and Apocalypse.
At one point, Ronan the Accuser (kinda complicated…exiled from the Kree empire…not a nice guy) wanted to use the Inhumans to create an army and Black Bolt challenged Ronan to a battle. If Black Bolt won than the Inhumans would keep their freedom, but if Ronan won than they’ll be part of his army. Black Bolt won, but the Inhuman civilization decided that the Royal Family failed and exiled them.
Recently during the Infinity storyline, Thanos would come to Earth looking for his son as he believed he was an Inhuman. Black Bolt wouldn’t tell Thanos and Thanos continued to attack Black Bolt. In the middle of the battle, Black Bolt said “No!” and destroyed Attilan (which was located above New York) with his powers. This caused the city to crash into New York and activated hidden Terrigen Bombs that contained Terrigen Crystals. This resulted in the Terrigen Mist spreading all over Earth, resulting in Inhumans popping up all over the world (think M-Day for Inhumans). The main goal of this was too make Inhumans more common within the Marvel universe so people are more aware of them.
Important Inhuman Members
There are several Inhumans and as such I cannot touch upon each and everyone of them. Because of this, I’ll only be going over the members of the Royal Family. It should be noted that while I will be going over the special powers of each member, every Inhuman does have superhuman strength and speed that’s about on par to Captain America.
Black Bolt: Black Bolt was born to a mother who subjected herself to the Terrigen Mist while pregnant and thus Black Bolt had his Inhuman powers from the get-go. Not exactly the best thing since his main power is to manipulate electrons and this somehow translates to super screams. Basically the second he was born, his cries literally leveled the entire building. As a kid, he needed to learn to stay quiet and not speak or he could be quite dangerous. As an adult, a whisper can cause a couple cities to be destroyed while a yell or scream can destroy an entire planet (and they say DC has all the overpowered characters). He can also manipulate electrons for different purposes. As a kid he simply used electrons to create things out of nowhere while as an adult he can use these for energy blasts, increase his physical strength, and several other things. His powers makes him non-arguably the most powerful Inhuman. Black Bolt is best known for being the previous king of Atillan and married to the Queen: Medusa.
Medusa: Best known for being the queen of the Inhumans and married to Black Bolt (also her first cousin). Her main powers is her hair…no seriously. Basically she can manipulate her hair similarly to limbs. I have a feeling that this is kinda sexist: giving the woman the power to manipulate her hair.
Maximus: Maximus is the insane, yet hyper-intelligent, younger brother to Black Bolt with telepathic powers who wish to take the thrown. Incase you couldn’t tell, he’s a villain.
Karnak: Karnak is the cousin to Black Bolt and the younger brother to Triton (see below). He was never subjected to the Terrigen mist so he has no superpowers but he does have the Inhuman super strength and speed as well as martial arts skills (his skills in martial arts have nothing to do with him being an Inhuman).
Triton: Triton is Black Bolt’s cousin and Karnak’s older brother. Triton is built for the water so he can breathe under water, swim fast under water, withstand high amounts of pressure, and posseses scales and fins.
Gorgon: Another cousin to Black Bolt, Gorgon is similar to a centaur and can create earthquakes by stomping his feet.
Crystal: Crystal in Medusa’s younger sister and another cousin to Black Bolt She has the abilities to manipulate the four elements: air, earth, fire, and water (so…she’s the Avatar?).
Lockjaw: Lockjaw is an Inhuman dog (so an Incanine? Indoggie? Inpup?) and the Royal Family’s guard dog with the ability to teleport anyone anywhere.
Why the Inhumans are becoming more important
So we all know, FOX owns the movie rights to the X-Men and Marvel/Disney doesn’t. Because of this, Marvel is hoping to replace the X-Men with the Inhumans because of their similarities. If Guardians of the Galaxy have taught us anything, it’s that even the most obscure comic book team can become super popular practically over night with just one movie. I personally haven’t read Inhumans but the concept does sound interesting and I would like to know more about them. I’ll always like the X-Men more, but the similarities do make me wonder how much I’ll like them. I’m also curious about picking up Ms. Marvel since I learned that she’s also an Inhuman.