This spring and summer have seen lots of new publicity about Marvel’s forthcoming Inhumans TV series. But although the characters have been around since 1965, they don’t have the name recognition of characters like Captain America or Spider-Man. So who are the Inhumans and what can we expect to see in their series?
The core cast of the series looks very much like the one established by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four 44-48 back in 1965-66. The key players are:
Anson Mount as Black Bolt: The king of the Inhumans, Black Bolt also may have the honour of the most ridiculous name in the Marvel universe (it’s short for Blackagar Boltagon). A powerful combatant and wise leader, his superhuman power is his voice, which unleashes a destructive force whenever he speaks. As a result, Black Bolt tends to keep his mouth shut; the Hell on Wheels star developed a unique sign language for his character.
Serinda Swan as Medusa: With Black Bolt not saying much, it falls to his wife (or love interest, depending on the point in the timeline) Medusa to lead the Inhumans much of the time. She’s the oldest character of the bunch, having originally been introduced as just another FF villain earlier in ’65.
Iwan Rheon as Maximus: You’re not going to believe this, but Maximus (“the Mad”), played by Iwan Rheon, is the bad guy. Poor Iwan Rheon: after a surprisingly heroic character in Misfits, his role as Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones seems to be making people see him mainly as a creep. Mind you, the show’s producers claim this is as more nuanced version of the character. That’s probably why he dresses all in black and is accompanied by a squad of gun-toting goons.
Isabelle Cornish as Crystal: the Australian actress will be taking on the relatable viewpoint character role among the Inhumans. Crystal’s elemental powers have made her the closest thing to a conventional superhero among the Inhumans in the Marvel universe — she’s even been a member of the Fantastic Four at times, alongside her occasional love interest the Human Torch.
Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon: The tough one. Excels at stomping, kicking and all sorts of foot-related damage-doing.
Ken Leung as Karnak: Also the tough one? Karnak is a master martial artist whose power is to see every target’s weak point. This also extends outside of fights; his critical mind allows him to see the flaw in a plan, making him a valued strategic adviser.
We also get a glimpse of Mike Moh as Triton, the guy with the water powers. As is typical for the guy with the water powers, Triton sometimes get short shrift as an Inhuman, but it seems like he plays an important mentor role at least in the early part of the season.
To be honest, Inhumans looks like an attempt to build a hybrid of X-Men and Game of Thrones, a family drama with medieval politics and super powers. That could be a lot of fun; we’ll see. But the most remarkable thing about it is that Marvel now feels it has the credibility to put Lockjaw — who is, I repeat, a giant teleporting space bulldog with a tuning fork coming out of his head — on screen and expect audiences to accept it. If you love the zanier side of the Marvel mythology, that’s a good sign.