Here’s something I never thought I’d say in a million years: I’m now excited to watch Marvel’s Inhumans on ABC, from Iron Fist showrunner Scott Buck. Hell has officially frozen over.
Don’t get me wrong, this thing still looks awfully cheap for a Disney production hitting IMAX screens (a format fact drilled into our skulls way more than any Chris Nolan joint), but it’s also starting to look charming enough as a sci-fi show to be relatively inoffensive. Ah, the wonders of spending more than thirty seconds on colour-timing. That said, there’s… a very important line at the end of this trailer:
Did you catch it?
Maximus, brother to Inhuman King Black Bolt and usurper of the throne to pure-blood Inhuman kingdom Attilan… is human. That isn’t just a major departure for the character, it’s a major recontextualization of the entire show, and I’m kind of stunned they went this route.
I’ve liked The Inhumans more than most, though that’s mostly because I really like Black Bolt. The issue with Inhumans lore is that it’s always inherently been about a kingdom of eugenicists who believe in genetic purity. There’s no getting around that fact regardless of whether or not it’s dramatized, and it usually isn’t. Here, by making Maximus seemingly lesser-than in the eyes of the kingdom (whether or not his human status is known to all or only some is yet to be seen), we have an instantly sympathetic villain and one hell of an interesting subtext where our ostensible good guys’ beliefs are challenged.
Will the show’s perspective align with that subtext? I don’t expect them to make Maximus the hero and Black Bolt the villain (it’s infinitely more interesting if they don’t), but this little alteration to Maximus and his motivations has me genuinely intrigued. Oh, and I guess Medusa’s hair doesn’t look entirely terrible in action.
Inhumans premieres in IMAX on September 1st before airing on ABC four weeks later. You can read Meredith’s coverage of the show’s Comic Con panel here.