Even IMAX Can’t Make Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’ Impressive
In an interview with Michael Robinson, Director of Consumer Products for Amazon Education, regarding the new Amazon Rapids ecosystem for young readers, he emphasized that all their stories drop readers into the middle of the action. This forces readers to figure out where they are, which they’ve found quickly engages children in the narrative journey.
Marvel’s newest series, Inhumans, also uses this as a model in its debut episode: a girl runs through a jungle, chased by men with guns. A hoodie-wearing green man triangulates on her, provides some quick exposition that she’s an Inhuman like him, and informs her he’s here to rescue her. He fails, and both are presumed dead.
Unfortunately, off this exciting, slightly dark beginning, the series immediately loses steam by introducing the Inhuman Royal Family, who live inside the moon in a city called Attilan: Queen Medusa (Serinda Swan), King Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Gorgon (Eme Ikwuakor), Triton (Mike Moh), Karnak (Ken Leung), Princess Crystal (Isabelle Cornish), Black Bolt’s brother Maximus (Iwan Rheon)—known in the comic books as Maximus the Mad—and their oversized, teleporting dog, Lockjaw. They’re introduced with little backstory, aside from flashbacks that provide fill in details about the main characters’ younger selves, such as Black Bolt’s parents’ deaths during Terrigenesis (the method by which humans become Inhumans). This scene seemingly explains Black Bolt’s compassion for the emergent Inhumans on earth and is the basis for the failed mission in the series’ opening scene.
The core of the Inhumans story is similar to many Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. story arcs: embracing one’s differences and fighting prejudice. Unfortunately, Inhumans’s progressive message about outsiders recognizing each other and uniting for the greater good gets lost amid the soap opera-esque palace intrigue. In these first 90 minutes, it’s revealed that not only has Black Bolt secretly reached out to Earth-bound Inhumans, but that his brother Maximus has planned and implemented a palace coup by appealing to the underclass of Attilan’s rigid caste system, forcing the royal family to flee to Hawaii.
Read the entire post at PopMatters.
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