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When Marvel releases their 20th film in 2018, it won’t just be any superhero film. To celebrate this landmark achievement, the studio will be introducing a different side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, something...irregular. After months of rumors and speculation, it was officially announced in the big special presentation that Inhumans will be released on November 3, 2018. Non-comic book readers will look at the name utterly clueless, but longtime Marvel fans have been looking forward to these genetic anomalies being introduced - not only because they’re interesting characters, but because they open up all kinds of new opportunities for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So far in the MCU, we’ve followed the exploits of Earth superheroes and aliens, but what about something in-between? What if there was a group of individuals who were alien to our society, but just as much a part of the planet as we are? They live in a society that has existed in secret for centuries, and holds the key to unlocking one’s inner potential. That is what the Inhumans bring to the table and then some. To elaborate, here are several reasons why Marvel is making the right decision with creating an Inhumans movie.
They Fill The Niche That The X-Men LeaveAlthough there are a fair number of superhumans in the MCU, most of their powers can be attributed to science or extraterrestrial origins. Tony Stark built his armor, Bruce Banner was exposed to gamma radiation, Captain America took the Super-Solider serum and Thor...well, he just comes from an awesome race of aliens! In the Marvel books, most people with genetic powers are labeled as mutants, but since 20th Century Fox owns the live-action rights to the X-Men franchise, Marvel can’t use that particular term. Fortunately, Inhumans can cover that "naturally powered" demographic.
In the comics, the Inhumans are already unique genetic specimens, but their true potential reveals itself when they are exposed to the Terrigen Mist – a special vapor that gives individuals superpowers. So while they’re not born with their special abilities right away, the Mist awakens the ability inside. The Inhumans can honestly be the source of all superhumans in MCU.
Recently in the comic book series "Infinity," a Terrigen Mist bomb was detonated in Earth’s atmosphere, which caused every Inhuman descendant around the globe to develop powers. Could the MCU do something similar? Over the centuries, Inhumans may have hid themselves across Earth and produced progeny. Centuries later, a Terrigen dispersal device is set off in different areas, unleashing the superpowers that these descendants have inside them. Either way, with mutants off-limits, Inhumans are the best substitute for explaining how people are born with superpowers. Not everyone has the privilege of being caught in a gamma explosion or getting a top secret U.S. government serum.
They Live In A Unique SocietyThe Inhumans descend from a sect of people who were experimented on by the Kree thousands of years ago. The Kree hoped these humans would prove useful in the war against the Skrulls, but eventually they abandoned this experiment. These test subjects went on to form their own society away from the rest of civilization. Living in the city Attilan, the Inhumans developed advanced technology and experimented with the Terrigen Mist, which awakens their powers. While there are thousands of Inhumans, the main characters in the Marvel stories are often members of the royal family. There is their king Black Bolt, whose destructive voice forces him to remain mute, his wife Medusa, her sister Crystal, Black Bolt’s scheming brother Maximus the Mad, the agile Karnak, the powerful Gorgon, the aquatic Triton and the teleporting canine Lockjaw. It’s a good bet that these will be the main characters in the film and will help usher us into the world of the strange characters.
Because they’ve lived in seclusion from the rest of Earth, Inhuman society is much different than ours, primarily due to its technological advancements and rigid caste system. Although the world knows of their existence, the Inhumans still like to keep to themselves and maintain their own rules and laws. While we’ve had the opportunity to explore other worlds with the Thor movies and Guardians of the Galaxy, Inhumans gives the MCU a chance to explore a society that may share some similarities with the rest of Earth, but is primarily different. It will be interesting to see the contrast between the social structure of Attilan and the rest of the world.
They Can Sustain A Separate FranchiseMarvel Studios President Kevin Feige summarized the potential of the Inhumans perfectly today when he stated they "can be a franchise or a series of franchises unto themselves." Inhumans could be done in a way similar to Guardians of the Galaxy: its characters are connected to the MCU, but they can be off doing their own thing. While it would be cool to see the Inhuman royal family interacting with the Avengers at some point, frankly there’s no reason that needs to happen immediately. One of the criticisms directed at movies like Thor and Green Lantern is that the narrative spent too much time on Earth, so Inhumans needs to avoid the same pitfall. Okay, Attilan technically is on Earth, but my point is that the franchise could sustain itself even if it only took place in the Inhuman city and areas of the planet that are inaccessible to regular humans. There are dozens of characters to draw from and plenty of royal conspiracies and conflicts that could fill several movies. It would be like a sci-fi Game of Thrones... but with a lot less gore.
So while Marvel will probably stick Easter Eggs here and there hinting at the rest of the MCU, they have the opportunity to keep Inhumans a self-contained film series. Hell, Attilan can fly, so if Earth gets too constricting, the Inhumans could always head into space. And who knows – it’s possible that could wind up getting them directly involved with Thanos.