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Who Are Marvel’s Inhumans?

Updated on March 31, 2015
The Inhumans were first introduced in Marvel's "Fantastic Four" comic in 1965.
The Inhumans were first introduced in Marvel's "Fantastic Four" comic in 1965. | Source

To say the least, Marvel Studios has been on a roll in recent years, turning out one smash hit superhero movie after another in a wide variety of genres and styles. 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which grossed nearly $800 million worldwide, proved that basing these films on Marvel’s somewhat less well-known comic book characters would do nothing to impede their success as long as the creativity and entertainment value of these movies remained high.

That likely was a significant deciding factor in Marvel’s decision to announce an Inhumans movie, currently scheduled to be released on July 12, 2019. If you are like many fans Marvel's movies, you may well be wondering just who these “inhumans” are, anyway, and how will they impact the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

"Guardians of the Galaxy" was once considered an extremely risky project, but it proved to be an overwhelming success; Marvel Studios hopes to see a similar result with the "Inhumans" movie.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" was once considered an extremely risky project, but it proved to be an overwhelming success; Marvel Studios hopes to see a similar result with the "Inhumans" movie. | Source

Background

In Marvel comic book lore, the Inhumans originated during a war millions of years ago between two alien races, the Kree and the Skrull. In an effort to create supersoldiers they could use as part of their war effort, the Kree experimented with genetic splicing on early humans. Although these experiments were ultimately unsuccessful, these genetic changes were passed down over many years to certain modern humans, lying dormant until the people carrying them were exposed to a mutating agent known as the Terrigen Mist.

This exposure, a process known as Terrigenesis, would cause the development of a variety of different superpowers, as well as harmful mutations in some cases. Many of these “Inhumans,” or people with the genetic ability to experience Terrigenesis, created their own society in a secret city called Attilan. Over time, however, some of the Inhumans began to work with better-known superhumans, even joining such groups as the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.

Ronan the Accuser, the villain in Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie, was a Kree, a member of the alien race that created the Inhumans.
Ronan the Accuser, the villain in Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie, was a Kree, a member of the alien race that created the Inhumans. | Source

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Introduction

Shortly after Marvel announced the development of an Inhumans movie, Marvel Studios began to lay the groundwork for the introduction of these characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU. Much of this work was done on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show.

Chloe Bennet’s character Skye, a young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in training, was revealed in season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to really be Daisy Johnson, or Quake, a powerful superhuman who could control seismic waves and even create earthquakes. Her origins have been modified slightly from those in the original comic books. She has now been revealed as one of the Inhumans; her powers were awakened when she was accidentally exposed to a Terrigen Crystal while investigating an ancient ruin. Other Inhumans have also been introduced on the TV show, beginning a storyline that will culminate in 2019 in the Inhumans movie.

Skye, the leftmost person in this "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." character poster, was eventually revealed to be a powerful Inhuman named Daisy "Quake" Johnson.
Skye, the leftmost person in this "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." character poster, was eventually revealed to be a powerful Inhuman named Daisy "Quake" Johnson. | Source

Major Inhumans

Name
Bio
Abilities
Black Bolt
King of the Inhumans
Devastating voice-generated sound waves (prevents normal speech)
Medusa
Black Bolt's wife
Hair that can pick things up, strike enemies, etc.
Crystal
Medusa's sister
Control of the four elements
Maximus
Black Bolt's brother; frequently attempts to overthrow him and assume control of Attilan
Psychic Influence
Medusa is one of the most prominent Inhumans; her power is hair that she can manipulate at will to devastating effect.
Medusa is one of the most prominent Inhumans; her power is hair that she can manipulate at will to devastating effect. | Source

X-Men Comparison

If you have been a fan of superheroes for any length of time, you may notice certain similarities between the Inhumans and mutant superheroes like the X-men. This is no coincidence; although Marvel created both groups of characters, Marvel Studios sold the movie rights to the X-men to 20th Century Fox. This means that, even though Marvel created and owns the X-men characters, it cannot use them in its own movies, nor can it even refer to characters being mutants. That is why Avengers: Age of Ultron featured Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, but made no mention of them being children of Magneto, the X-men’s greatest opponent.

Of course, Marvel Studios still needed a means of introducing new superpowered characters into its movie without actually calling them mutants; not everyone could be an alien like Thor, a supergenius like Tony Stark or a magician like Dr. Strange, after all. By slightly tweaking the comic book history of the Inhumans for its movies, Marvel Studios created a seamless means of expanding their universe without infringing on Fox’s movie rights.

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Casting Rumors

With the Inhumans movie still several years away, any casting possibilities for the film are little more than speculation so far. Besides the possibility that Inhuman characters from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. could appear in the movie as well, the most significant casting rumor so far is for Black Bolt. Vin Diesel has hinted on more than one occasion that he might play the role. Of course, he already has been cast in the Marvel Cinematic Studios, as the voice of Groot, the wildly popular tree creature from Guardians of the Galaxy. However, since Black Bolt does not speak except to fight, it would still be possible for Vin Diesel to play him without two of Marvel’s movie characters having the same voice.

Marvel's "Inhumans" movie will be released in 2019, instead of the originally planned 2018, due to Spider-Man's addition to the Cinematic Universe.
Marvel's "Inhumans" movie will be released in 2019, instead of the originally planned 2018, due to Spider-Man's addition to the Cinematic Universe. | Source

References

Marvel: "Inhumans"

Marvel Wiki: "Inhumans (Race)"

Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki: "Inhumans (Film)"

Box Office Mojo: "Guardians of the Galaxy"

ScreenRant: "Answered: Which Studios Own Which Marvel Characters"

International Business Times: "'Inhumans' Casting Rumors: Will Vin Diesel Star In New Marvel Movie?"

Marvel: "Johnson, Daisy"

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