8:00am PT by Chris E. Hayner
'The Inhumans' Primer: A Guide to ABC's Royal Marvel Family
As ABC decides whether or not to renew Marvel's Agents of SHIELD for a fifth season, the network already has its next comic book adaptation on the horizon with the impending arrival of The Inhumans, which is a co-production of ABC and Imax and — like SHIELD — is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While Agents of SHIELD may have introduced those not familiar with the comics to the race known as the Inhumans, chances are you are going to get something very different from this show. Instead of focusing on characters already showcased, Inhumans will center on the race's royal family, who are featured in a variety of Inhumans comic books.
A series synopsis reads, "After the Royal Family of Inhumans is splintered by a military coup, they barely escape to Hawaii where their surprising interactions with the lush world and humanity around them may prove to not only save them, but Earth itself."
That will not only provide for a rather lush backdrop for the family's adventures but serve an easy setup for a potential crossover with Agents of SHIELD, should the latter continue and the producers decide to go in that direction. So who are the Inhumans? Thanks to SHIELD's Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), viewers have gotten some idea of the alien race, though their story runs to much deeper.
This group of beings are actually part human. Their DNA has been spliced with that of the Eternals, a race of superhumans found in the comics. The result was the Inhumans, who were originally secluded from humanity, formed their own society called Attilan and gained a variety of powers through experiments. However, given that they have spent so much of their lives secluded, they have weak immune systems when it comes to Earth's surface. The race is led by the Royal Family, with Black Bolt (Anson Mount) serving as king and Medusa (Serinda Swan) as queen.
Black Bolt (Anson Mount, Hell on Wheels)
The leader of the Inhuman Royal Family has a peculiar power. His voice bringing destruction, with the comics explaining that the shock wave it causes being capable of leveling a city. With such a risky power, he's trained himself to be silent at all times, even while sleeping. In the ABC series, Mount's version of Black Bolt will communicate with the other characters through sign language, rather than words. But don't except to see American Sign Language used, though. Given that the Inhumans were raised in their own society, EW reports that Mount has created his own sign language for the character.
Medusa (Serinda Swan, Graceland)
The queen of Attilan's power comes from her hair, which she can control and move at her will. Like many of the Inhumans, she also possesses superhuman strength and speed, among other abilities, in the comics. She also happens to be an accomplished thief, with her hair becoming a useful aid in pulling off heists. While it's unclear how it will be portrayed in the show, Medusa and Black Bolt were originally written as distant cousins who fell in love.
Maximus (Iwan Rheon, Game of Thrones)
Maximus is the brother of Black Bolt but also wishes to usurp him and become king of the Inhumans. He's the primary antagonist in the comics and looks to be doing the same duties in the TV series. It may not be confirmed that he's the character behind the military coup that brings Black Bolt and the royal family to Hawaii but has his fingerprints all over it. According to showrunner Scott Buck, the character is "Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment."
Crystal (Isabelle Cornish, Australia Day)
Medusa's little sister Crystal has the power to manipulate elements — wind, air, water, metal, electricity and earth. After the genetic experimentation by the Kree in the comics, she was the first of her kind to be labeled an Inhuman and is considered a princess in the Royal Family. She's also the only member of the family who has a pet, a 2,000-pound teleporting dog named Lockjaw. And yes, Lockjaw will appear on the series as a CGI creation.
Karnak (Ken Leung, Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Karnak is Black Bolt's cousin and trusted adviser. He serves as a philosopher and strategist for the royal family, with the ability to sense the possible fault or weak points in all things — including plans and structures. In the comics, he's also a master martial artist, making him a very scary foe.
Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor, Concussion)
Another of Black Bolt's cousins, Gorgon leads Attilan's army. Rather than feet, this character has the legs and hooves of a bull that can create seismic waves, similar to those of an earthquake.
Triton (Mike Moh, Empire)
Triton is also a cousin of Black Bolt's, as well as Karnak's brother, who serves the royal family and has the ability to live underwater. In the comics, he is portrayed as having green skin and is unable to survive long-term out of the water, thanks to his particular powers. Luckily, since Inhumans is set (and filmed) in Hawaii, that shouldn't be too much of an issue.
Auran (Sonya Balmores, Soul Surfer)
With the power to hear anything on Earth that she wishes, Auran is the head of Attilan's royal guard, serving Black Bolt and Medusa.
An original character
Californication alum Ellen Woglom has joined the series as a character who has yet to be identified. However, as Buck recently noted, it will not be someone pulled from the comics. Instead, she has been created specifically for the show. What's known is that she works for a private aerospace company and has a passion for space and the moon.
The first two episodes of The Inhumans will debut on Imax screens for a two-week engagement beginning Sept. 1. The series, with expanded episodes, will then premiere on ABC as part of the fall season for an eight-episode run.