The Inhumans are finally coming to theaters, just not in the way we initially thought they would. Marvel fans have been waiting for years to see the Inhumans, a genetic off-shoot of early humans who gained extraordinary abilities when subjected to the transformative Terrigen Mists, join the MCU. While their long-gestating movie seems to have been scrapped for good, the Inhumans will be headlining their own ABC show whose first two episodes will be produced by IMAX and screened in their theaters before heading to television.
While a number of new Inhumans have popped up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. over the past few years and the backstory of the race and their creation by the Kree has fueled a number of plots, many fans are still waiting to see the classic characters brought to life within the MCU. With the already established Inhumans world on SHIELD and the combined might of Marvel and IMAX, the new series is bound to be a feast of exciting transformations and uncanny power displays. Like the X-Men, some Inhumans are just plain bizarre, so let’s take a look at the 15 Most WTF Powers They’ve Had.
15. teleporting dog (Lockjaw)
It’d be impossible not to kick of this list with one of the most famous and unusual Inhumans there is: Lockjaw. The thing is, though, no one’s really sure if he is an Inhuman. Long-serving with the Inhuman Royal Family who have ruled from their kingdom of Attilan for centuries, Lockjaw may be the sole case of a non-human Earthling going through Terrigenesis. He’s certainly no ordinary bulldog, boasting incredible size, strength, and the ability to teleport himself and others anywhere he or they desire.
This ability has proved quite useful to the Royal Family and their friends, but the case of Lockjaw is still a curious one. It’s been stated that he was in fact always a dog, rather than a human who transformed into one after Terrigenesis, so he seems to buck the tradition. It’s possible that the Kree simply grew bored one day and began experimenting on some other early mammals. Perhaps even a canine-like Inhuman merely interbred with a wolf, thus passing along the gene. Either way, it’s curious that he emerged looking like a rather modern bulldog and not more lupine in nature. Regardless, fans will be furious if the lovable beast doesn’t appear within the initial 8 episodes of the new show.
14. literary manifestation (Reader)
Daredevil may be Marvel’s most prominent blind hero, but Reader might be able to give him a run for his money. Introduced during Charles Soule’s run on Inhumans in 2014, Reader is part of a new wave of Inhumans in the comics and he’s got an interesting set of abilities. With seemingly little limit, Reader is able to turn anything he reads into reality. He’s been shown to be able to do everything from generate fires, kill people instantly, and even warp space and time itself. The one catch: his people blinded him to prevent him from using his powers.
Luckily, Reader wasn’t that easy to quell, and he soon learned that he could still use his abilities by “reading” Braille. Now, he carries around a stack of Braille cards with different words on them, adding an interesting dimension to the already unique character. While a similarly blind, teleporting Inhuman showed up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. under the name Gordon, it’d still be nice to see the real Reader appear in the new series.
13. ancestral enhancement (Lineage)
One of the NuHumans who popped up after Black Bolt detonated the Terrigen Bomb during the Infinity event, Lineage goes through both a clever and somewhat grotesque looking transformation. Born Gordon Nobili, he’s one of the last living members of a once-respected mob family. During a Thunderbolts tie-in issue, Punisher uses the chaos of Thanos’ invasion to finally try and wipe out all of the last remaining crime families in New York. We meet Gordon and his two sons and learn that they’re desperately vying for a place at the table. In an interesting bit of forward thinking, Gordon and his kids stick around as Infinity becomes Inhumanity and we learn that the Nobilis were Inhumans.
Emerging from his cocoon, Gordon finds that he has the ability to call forth everyone he’s related to, with their faces popping up on his new scaly, purple skin. With such a long-history of mobsters and Inhumans to pull from, the newly dubbed Lineage finally has what he needs to lie, manipulate, and swindle his way into power. Unfortunately for the Royal Family, they’ve accepted him into their home and are convinced to heed his counsel.
12. ribbon manipulation (Ren Kimura)
Like Lineage, Ren Kimura is a NuHuman “born” following the detonation of the Terrigen Bomb and the worldwide release of the transformative mists. Cullen Bunn, the writer of Fearless Defenders, also followed the NuHuman through-line of linking character’s new powers with their existing personalities. In Ren’s case, she was an expert dancer before unwittingly undergoing Terrigenesis. After the process, she was chased by the Doom Maidens who sought to use her. Luckily, the Fearless Defenders stepped in to help.
The incident also unlocked her new powers, which granted her the ability to transform her fingers and skin into long, razor-sharp ribbons that she could use to battle enemies. She did just that, combining the tendrils with her considerable dance skills in a beautiful series of panels by artist William Sliney. She’s only appeared a handful of times, but her powers would be amazing to see realized onscreen, especially in an IMAX theater.
11. electron harnessing (Black Bolt)
It’s not just new Inhuman characters that bear unusual powers. One of the most inspired power-sets is also one of the first to appear in Marvel Comics. Premiering in Fantastic Four #45 in 1965, Black Bolt is the head of the Royal Family and the leader of the biggest faction of Inhumans. Though he at first seems to be the strong and silent type, his silence actually masks his true strength. A number of characters have possessed the ability to manipulate sound, but Blackagar Boltagon has no rival when it comes to the sheer power of his sonic mastery.
With an upper limit best not tested, Black Bolt can causes destruction with the faintest of whispers. Because of his awesome power, he’s left unable to communicate, even with his wife and family. Luckily, those closest to him have learned to interpret his moods and expressions, leaving his words to serve as monosyllabic bursts of deadly force on the few occasions he deems it necessary to use them. He’s shown up in a number of animated appearances by the Inhumans, but with the movie no longer happening, Marvel’s The Inhumans seems like it’ll be our first chance to see and hear a live action Black Bolt.
10. clay sculptures (San)
It’s a tale as old as time. You spend your life as an Inhuman playing sports in Attilan and dreaming of the day when you can fight alongside the Royal Family. Your time for Terrigenesis finally arrives, but when you step out of your cocoon, you’re no longer your fit former yourself. Instead, you’ve transformed into a short, yellowish-brown creature with stubby limbs and three-fingered hands. Even worse, instead of cool new powers that will help you fight the enemies of the Inhumans, all you can do is morph clay into sculptures.
Though it seems Kafkaesque, it’s actually the story of San, a character who premiered during the 2003 run of Inhumans. Attilan hosts all sorts of warriors, but a society can’t function without the (In)humanities. Through San, we see this idea play out, as the Terrigenesis reveals his inner artist and he learns that his place in the world is to create beauty to counterbalance all the death and destruction.
9. electrical mimicry (Fulmina)
Another of the NuHumans, Sylvia Prell hasn’t had much comic book exposure. Appearing in two of the Infinity tie-in issues of Superior Spider-Man Team-Up, Sylvia was a bookish girl who longed for a past she romantically viewed as quieter, simpler, and less cluttered by contemporary technology. As a modern-day Luddite, Sylvia is distraught when the Terrigen cloud unleashed by Black Bolt transforms her into a being of pure electricity. Much like San, she wasn’t granted an accentuation of her existing skills or preferences, but was instead treated to the exact opposite.
Forced to flit through machines and power lines, she initially wreaked havoc that the Superior Spider-Man had to reluctantly stop. Eventually, he connected with her as bit of an old-soul (being the mind of Otto Octavius and all) and was able to convince Sylvia to turn to the side of the angels and help him stop a detachment of Thanos’ army. Now the heroic Fulmina, we’ve yet to see the character again, but the new show would be a great opportunity to witness her electric transformation.
8. terrigen control (The Unspoken)
Not to be confused with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, The Unspoken shows that not all who undergo Terrigenesis become superheroes. To be fair, it may not have initially been his fault. Created by Dan Slott and Christos Gage and first appearing in Mighty Avengers #27 in 2009, the Unspoken was once the king of Attilan and ruler of the Inhumans. He went somewhat rogue, however, when he stole the kingdom’s greatest weapon, the Slave Engine, and hid it from his people. He feared its untold power and thought it was better left out of the hands of his people, but Black Bolt felt it was their greatest source of protection. Black Bolt defeated the Unspoken with a little help, and, assuming power, declared that all record of the former king be stricken from history.
This betrayal led the Unspoken to become one of the Royal Family’s greatest foes, and his power-set makes him a formidable one. Considered an Omega Level Inhuman and possibly one of the oldest and most powerful among the race, the Unspoken is considered the living embodiment of Terrigenesis. In short, this means that as long as he has access to Terrigen Mists, he can will his body to manifest any powers he chooses. While robbing him of the Mists ceases much of his threat, he’s virtually unstoppable if he has a steady supply. Given his incredible and unique powers, the Unspoken is at the top of the Big Bads list for the new show.
7. living treen (Banyan)
Created last year by Inhuman overlord Charles Soule, Banyan continues Marvel’s long tradition of people who are also trees. Aside from Groot, there are already a number of other tree-like Inhumans who have lived on Attilan, but Banyan’s got the unique backstory to help elevate him. It’s likely that the new series will focus on a small number of the Royal Family and will give us more human stories as we watch regular people become NuHumans, making Banyan a nice fit.
Ajay Roy was a famous Bollywood actor living in Mumbai, but few knew that he also had ties to the city’s crime families. After the Terrigen Mists transformed him into a tree-like creature with regenerative powers, he fled the film studio and spent months living on the streets and gaining back his strength and sense of self. When his mob connections finally caught up with him, offering him a gig as muscle, he came up with a plan. He spent time working for them and waited for the day when all the heads of crime gathered together. Once they had, he assassinated them all and consolidated all of Mumbai’s criminal enterprises under his rule. With the look of Groot and the cunning of Rocket, Banyan could serve as a great smaller threat that the Inhumans have to square off against.
6. energy absorption and monster transformation – Haechi
Mark Sim was a young Korean-American who went through an interesting transformation following the mass release of Terrigen. Growing a large horn on his head, Mark found he could absorb and redirect huge amounts of energy, giving him dual offensive and defensive abilities. But his horn turned out to be a mere precursor, as Mark learned that he could transform himself further once he’d absorbed enough energy. Erupting into a massive bull monster, Mark took the superhero name Haechi, based on a Korean myth. He joined up with the New Warriors, fitting as Christopher Yost introduced him in that very book in 2014, and helped the new iteration of the team face threats.
Like the mutants in X-Men, the Inhumans serve as a way to explore different forms of prejudice and bigotry. Given that, an Asian-American with a big horn coming out of his head would help keep those ideas front and center on The Inhumans. Plus, his powers make him a solid addition to any team and it’d be quite the sight to watch Mark explode into his Haechi form on IMAX screens.
5. super-hair aka trichokinesis (Medusa)
Like her husband Black Bolt, Queen Medusalith Amaquelin can conveniently shorten her name to something that doubles as a superhero identity. She’s also got a wacky set of abilities that are guaranteed to appear onscreen, given her place within the Royal Family. With a set of locks that would make Mary Jane jealous, Medusa’s hair could give Spawn’s and Doctor Strange’s cape a run for their money. Known as Trichokinesis, Medusa has the ability to grow, stretch, and control every fiber of her hair. While this may seem useful in real life but not very good in a fight, it’s actually an incredibly powerful ability. Medusa is essentially granted a number of nearly indestructible and infinitely regenerable tendrils that she can use to grapple, strangle, and throttle her enemies.
Aside from her kingly mane of hair, she’s also a powerful monarch in her own right. Given Black Bolt’s inability to directly communicate, Medusa often serves as both the hand and voice of the king. Over the years, she’s engendered just as much loyalty as he has, and she even steps up to rule New Attilan and the NuHumans once her husband detonates the Terrigen Bomb and disappears. As cool as it’ll be to hear Black Bolt whisper and a watch the destruction follow, it’ll be exciting to finally see Medusa lead her people and unleash her deadly do.
4. The Living Dream
While the Living Dream is one of the newest Inhumans, premiering earlier this year in All-New Inhumans, he’s a strong candidate for a potential villain on the new series given his unique set of powers. With one of the darker backstories in the Inhuman mythology, Thahn Ng was a citizen living in the fictional country of Sin-Cong when the Terrigen Bomb exploded. Before he could emerge, however, the military burned the home he was in as part of their effort to destroy the Inhumans that they feared. Caught between life and death, Thahn emerged from his cocoon as the Living Dream, a being equipped with immense psychic power.
As an incorporeal Inhuman, Living Dream can possess individuals as well as manifest the souls of those who died alongside him. True to his name, he can also manipulate the dreams, and thus the minds, of others. Because of his horrific death, he uses his powers to unleash waves of destruction upon those who “killed” him. With the Marvel TV shows known for featuring compelling villains, The Living Dream might make the perfect threat for our heroes to face in the first season of the new show.
3. Possession (Mosaic)
The newest Inhuman on our list, Charles Soule created Mosaic just a few months ago for Uncanny Inhumans #11. Like Living Dream, Mosaic no longer has a physical body and instead exists as a spirit that possesses others. Once a prominent basketball player, Morris Sackett had his world turned upside-down after T-Day. Since then, he’s hopped from one body to another, finding that he retains some skills and abilities even after he leaves his host. With his set of skills, he’d actually fit right in as a covert agent on SHIELD. In fact, the precedent has already been set in the comics.
On the page, he’s already possessed Agent May (something she knows a bit about from earlier this season on the show) and made a lifelong enemy of Coulson when he hijacked Lola and took her for a ride. Mosaic could serve as the much-needed thread that connects SHIELD to The Inhumans, as we see him navigate his new abilities and watch the gang try to figure out whose turn it is to let Morris possess them.
2. morphogenetics (Ms. Marvel / Kamala Khan)
Introduced just three short years ago, Kamala Khan serves as a soothing balm to the Islamaphobia that grips much of the country. In her brief existence, Kamala, adopting her hero’s discarded former name of Ms. Marvel, has come to be one of the most popular characters in Marvel Comics. Almost since her debut, there’s been talk of whether she’ll someday have her own film or TV series. Given that Captain Marvel won’t even debut until 2019, it seems unlikely her biggest fan would show up in 2018 when The Inhumans premiers. That’s what future seasons are for, right?
After going through Terrigenesis, the young Pakistani-American girl from New Jersey emerges with the ability to stretch, change her size, and alter her appearance. Boasting the combined abilities of Mr. Fantastic, Ant-/Giant-Man, and Mystique, G. Willow Wilson helped create one of the most fun and unique characters in the Marvel Universe, Inhuman or otherwise. She’s basically Jake from Adventure Time, so seeing her in live action would open up untold possibilities for fun and exciting scenes of both fighting and just dealing with life as a high school student.
1. a living door (Eldrac)
Our number one spot goes to one of the weirdest Inhumans: Eldrac. Created by Jonathan Hickman (the Kevin Feige of comics) during his run on Fantastic Four in 2010, Eldrac went through quite a bizarre transformation after his exposure to the Terrigen Mists. Surely dreamt up during a fever dream or LSD binge, Eldrac is a living door, built into the very walls of Attilan. Existing as little more than a massive, gaping mouth, Eldrac has the ability to send anyone to anywhere they need to go. Acting as the Royal Family’s main method of travel besides Lockjaw, Eldrac commands vast amounts of interdimensional energy that lets him move large groups of people across space as long as they, you know, walk inside his mouth.
Given the creativity of Eldrac’s look and powers, here’s hoping that the Inhuman door shows up on the new series. Most every artist has provided a slightly different look for the Inhuman, so how he’ll appear on TV is up for grabs. Either way, his existence will be the foundation upon which many amazing jokes can be laid.
Any weird and wonderful Inhumans you think we missed? Let us know in the comments!
Marvel’s The Inhumans will debut in IMAX theaters Labor Day weekend of 2017, prior to being aired on ABC.