Marvel did something special for their fans when it comes to their most recent addition to their television lineup. The spin-off series from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. made its debut this past weekend on the big screen instead of on the television screens. Inhumans takes the word that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just used to describe people with special powers and finally brought the real Inhumans to the Marvel television universe.
And Marvel did it on the biggest screen possible, debuting the first two episodes of Inhumans on IMAX. Reviews have been split and too much talk has centered on the box office take but, as always, the truth lies somewhere in between all the debates.
Forget about the box office take, which was a disappointing $1.6 million. That was actually higher than a recent Game of Thrones IMAX screening in 2015, although Marvel surely hoped for something higher. Everyone seemed to consider the $1.5 million Game of Thrones received to be a great success but the $1.6 for Inhumans to be a failure.
So, forget all that and just look at what was presented. First of all, remember that these are the first two episodes of the Inhumanstelevision show so there will be people leaving knowing that they won’t see the next step in the story until October (the premiere will debut on television on Sept. 29).
Fans who only watch Marvel on TV and at the movies consider Inhumans to be the television world’s version of mutants. With Marvel not owning the X-Men rights at the time, they made the superpowered beings that the population feared into Inhumans, which means humans changed thanks to something called the Terrigen Mist.
However, in Marvel Comics, The Inhumans are a Royal Family who leads a society of super-powered beings in their own sovereign land known as Attilan. They were the result of experimentation many years ago by the alien race known as the Kree (Ronan’s race from Guardians of the Galaxy). Over time, they feared for their safety from humans who kill anything different than them and they were able to lift their city from the Earth and move it to the dark side of the moon.
That is all backstory.
Inhumans starts out with the Royal Family on the moon, ruling over the people in a conformist society where a person’s status is determined when they are young and there is never room for upward or downward movement. On the show, those with the most useful powers are ranked in a higher class and those with the lowest powers usually work in the mines for their entire lives.
That makes the entire story ripe for an uprising, which is what happens on the premiere. Much like in the comics, this comes at the hands of the king Black Bolt’s brother Maximus, the only member of the Royal Family who did not gain powers from the Terrigen Mists. However, he has the ears of the people who are tired of living like slaves in the mines and plans a coup.
The series first two episodes then sends the Royal Family to Earth and Maximum (Iwan Rheon) takes the throne in Attilan. It is exactly the story that Inhumans needed to tell and one that works well as Maximus is a great villain but also slightly sympathetic due to his seeming lack of powers.
It looks like the series will bounce back and forth from Attilan to Earth, although the most interesting action takes place on Earth. Triton (Mike Moh) is the first to go to Earth and is shot by humans, seemingly tasked with murdering any Inhuman they find on Earth.
When Maximus starts his coup, Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) is able to get their giant dog Lockjaw to transport King Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Queen Medusa (Serinda Swan), leader of the Royal Guard Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor), and top advisor Karnak (Ken Leung) to Earth before she and Lockjaw are captured.
By the end of the Inhumans IMAX screenings, none of the members of the Royal Family have found each other.
The casting is spot-on. Anson Mount is exactly who comic fans should see in their head when picturing Black Bolt. While there were some creative decisions made concerning Gorgon and Karnak, both actors fit those characters like gloves as well. There was a lot of concern about photos of Medusa that hit the Internet but they make sense after seeing this premiere.
Finally, Iwan Rheon is just fantastic as Maximus. He could have easily turned him into an unlikeable and dastardly villain but he delivered a perfect touch of humanity and pain to make him a perfect sympathetic villain for this new Marvel television series.
There have been a lot of bad things said about Inhumans, but at the end of the day, it is exactly what the show about the Royal Family needed to be. The series will live and die with how the Royal Family reacts to the people of Earth, and likewise, how humans react to more Inhumans.
The political and family struggles will also play a pivotal role in how the series ends up over time but, for this Inhumans IMAX release, the intent was to make a person want more and it succeeded as well as can be expected. The Inhumans are ripe for TV success and this was a solid start.