Marvel's Inhumans have a long and storied history in the comic book universe. Created in 1965 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Medusa and Gorgon of the Royal Family first appeared in Fantastic Four #45. The unique band, whose powers resulted from the genetic manipulation of an alien race, the Kree, have returned to prominence in the Marvel Universe as of late. In the comic book realm, the Inhumans have dealt with growing tensions with the X-Men over the source of their life, the Terrigenesis -- which happens to be toxic to mutants. Diplomacy runs short as the Inhumans vs. X-Men saga kicked off recently, bringing their conflict to a head.
However, there is a bright point. Next spring will see a ResurreXion, in which both disparate groups will enjoy a fresh start. During which, Marvel will launch four Inhumans' titles, including thee ongoing books, Black Bolt, the Royals, Secret Warriors, and the introductory one-off, Inhumans Prime (check out our exclusive article).
And the hits keep on coming (hopefully) for the Inhumans. Their entry into Marvel's Cinematic Universe seems to have hit a snag, but the souped-up band will parlay their role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. into a full-blown series on ABC, with the first two episodes debuting in IMAX. The latest series of titles should bring in new fans and excite old ones. These four new books look to the future of the Inhumans, and what a future it looks to be.
Marvel editor Wil Moss and associate editor Charles Beacham recently sat down with Screen Rant to discuss their Inhumans Universe and its impact on the Marvel Universe at large (and vice versa).
With a TV show coming up, the Inhumans are about to get a big boost into the public eye. Do you think they'll be a major focus moving forward for Marvel?
WIL MOSS: Yeah, with Marvel there continues to be so much potential in these characters. There's these great Stan [Lee] and Jack [Kirby] originals, just like all the other concepts they created, have so much room to explore and they haven't has as much time in the spotlight as the rest. There's just more opportunity to explore crazy new situations with these characters. It's in the very nature of the way the Inhumans come about that there's constantly new associated with this property. It's something that we really going to mess with, what this whole new launch is all about. It's just changing things up and drawing attention to these super-crazy, interesting characters.
Both the X-Men and Inhumans will be coming out with whole new series. Obviously the Inhumans vs. X-Men conflict has taken a toll on both teams. What kind of changes will we see in the Inhumans going into ResurreXion?
CHARLES BEACHAM: You gotta check out IvX to figure that out. That's the catalyst for some changes and there's definitely going to be some big things that happen on both sides. But really, you gotta check out what's going on in IvX.
Of course, with all that conflict, do you think there's any chance they'll finally be able to put their differences aside, or will there be continued friction between both groups?
WIL MOSS: That's the thing. That's what you got to keep reading IvX for. It's a really a complicated answer. It's not as simple as one or the other. Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire have been building this story for a while, and they came up with a really great ending for this conflict. It seems like it can only end one way, but they've come up with some pretty original ideas for how things are going to end and what that means for relations between both groups. It's something!
Obviously, there's been a push recently to increase the Inhumans' visibility. With a new television show and the ResurreXion relaunch, how large of a role will they play in the Marvel Universe?
CHARLES BEACHAM: I think that's one of the things, without talking too far ahead, that I'm most excited about. One of the books that we have is definitely showing some of these new Inhumans characters playing a big role in the Marvel U and seeing how the things in the Marvel U affect the Inhumans and their world. And we've already seen some of that in the Civil War tie-ins and the Inhumans role in Civil War II. But yeah, I think you can definitely look forward to seeing the Inhumans get more involved in things and seeing how IvX changes their relationship with the rest of the Marvel heroes as well.
WIL MOSS: Each one of these three books is going to interact with the Marvel Universe in a different way. Like the Black Bolt series, where he's got this prison. We've already talked about the fact Crusher Creel is going to be one of the other inmates - and there's another couple of fun Marvel characters that are going to be involved with this book. We'll see Black Bolt rubbing shoulders with people that he never really has before. And the Secret Warriors book is going to be very, very steeped in the main Marvel Universe and that's going to see these characters really introduced to a lot of these Marvel mainstays. Then the Royals book is going to be exploring the corners of the Marvel Universe - the Cosmos. That's definitely going to pull from a lot of different Marvel Universe areas. There's going to be a whole lot of Marvel Universe stuff in these books - each one in a different way.
Speaking of Secret Warriors, with the Inhumans’ relaunch - we've seen them in and out of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D - are we going to see a connection between Agents, the Inhumans’ show, and the comics? Or will those two worlds remain self-contained?
WIL MOSS: It's going to be its own thing. Kind of like, everything we do at Marvel in terms of our other divisions. We all keep abreast of everything that going on in the different divisions, we share our material and plans, but it's still its own stuff. The Secret Warriors, that was the series here first, the show ended up borrowing the name for it. We're visiting that whole concept, now with the original series. Carey brought in a whole bunch of kids but the main one, the star pupil was Quake, was Daisy Johnson. So now, this series is revisiting that and Daisy's in the Fury role - she's assembling the team. So there's some broad similarities between things on the TV and film side but it’s really its own thing. Its own material. The Inhumans TV show that's coming out, it's going to feature cast of the Royals book but both are going to be their own things for sure.
It's always fun to see the interplay of both universes back and forth. Of course, Secret Warriors has a lot of big players. Do you think they'll be in and out of the various properties more. For instance, could Ms. Marvel or Moon Girl make it onto television?
WIL MOSS: Who's to say? We'll see what happens in terms of that. We're just focused on making the comic as big as it can be.
CHARLES BEACHAM: As far as the book goes, Matt Rosenberg's got some really, really cool ideas and every single one of those characters - he's got specific plans for how to use them in their roles on the team. I'm really stoked for it. It's going to be awesome. Moon Girl is there for a reason. Ms. Marvel is there for a reason. Quake is going to play an awesome role as well. Looks like she's kind of stepped in as leader but anyone who stares at these characters is going to enjoy this book and enjoy what these characters do, as they come together.
Will there be any major crossovers between the Royals, Secret Warriors, and Black Bolt?
WIL MOSS: Well, they all kind of start from the same spot and then go off and do their own thing for a while. But there will definitely be some connective tissue between all of them...each book is going to get a chance to stand on its own two legs before there's really any kind of story across all three you've got to pick up or anything like that. We're going to be doing its own thing for each one of the books.
CHARLES BEACHAM: Like Wil said, they all kind of pick up at the end if IvX and then Inhumans Prime is kind of the kick-off that starts all of these things and we get to see the fallout and where these characters are going to go. You'll definitely want to check that out. It's going to be really awesome.
Clearly, lots of people will discover the Inhumans from watching them on TV. Inhuman Prime is, effectively, an “Inhumans primer.” Will the latest book clarify things for people who are just coming into the fold unfamiliar with these classic characters?
WIL MOSS: Yeah, the Prime one shot that Al Ewing and Ryan Sook are cooking up is designed to be just that - an introduction for people who aren't familiar with the characters and kind of a hook for people who are already into the characters. It's designed to appeal to people who haven't been reading the books and have heard things on the TV show and are curious. It's a great for meeting everybody before we launch these books.
Are there any other minor characters or fan favorites that will play a larger role, such as Nur, who wound up the lead in Uncanny Inhumans, or Iso? Will other characters come out of the woodwork and play a more important part in future?
WIL MOSS: We were saying in the Royals book we were going to have two of the new Inhumans - Swain [created by James Asmus] and Flint - who came up in Charles Soule's run. Swain, in particular, is a character that Al Ewing is super excited to be writing about. There'll definitely be, in Secret Warriors, the book that's staying on Earth...There's definitely going to be more for these characters. Swain's got a lot of - it's a big cast with Black Bolt and Medusa and Crystal, and we're counting on Swain to be a breakout character for this Royals book. She's a lot of fun.
Will Mosaic cross over into the new books?
CHARLES BEACHAM: You never know. That's one of the things with the Marvel Universe is that we've got so many awesome characters and such a rich history, you never know who's going to show up. I keep going back to Secret Warriors. That's a book that's staying here on Earth and it's kind of an espionage thing going on, so anyone could show up at any point and you never know who they're going to need help from on their mission. You'll have to check it to see what happens.
Are we going to see any major characters, either Inhumans or otherwise, cross into any of the series from time to time?
WIL MOSS: Yeah, Secret Warriors especially...we can't say too much about until we launch it, but once we can, it'll become apparent that book is going to have a lot of interesting guest stars in it. It's something that's going to be pretty key to the whole Marvel Universe for the spring and summer.
Can you give fans a rundown, in general, as to what Inhumans Prime entails; What sort of stories and directions will it head in?
CHARLES BEACHAM: It's really what sets the landscape for the Inhumans Universe going forward. As we were putting together these books and talking to the creative teams, it was really amazing how organically these stories came together; we were able to come up with an overall mission and how these things tie together and went off on their own to be able to explore the different corners of the Marvel Universe. So this Inhumans Prime one shot is setting up that story and showing where the Royals are and what's happening for them as they decide to go off on this adventure. Where these other Inhumans are, why they have a need to form this team now…kind of sets up Black Bolt's new status quo and teases where we're going to find him when his book starts. Just setting the landscape, laying the groundwork for what things are going to look like in April and May and going forward.
Obviously you can't reveal much, but are there any major Universe-rending developments coming out of these series which will challenge the Inhumans' perception of themselves and where they sit in the Marvel Universe?
WIL MOSS: I can tell you that the Royals book in particular has a really great twist and the end of issue one and two, and we're probably looking at three as well that really just, each time, up-end things in a huge way, not just for the cast, but for the Inhumans. Al's got some really fun twists built into that. The Black Bolt book is something that I think is going to be the book to watch in terms of...it's a strange world we're putting Black Bolt into, with characters that are new, that we've see before that are vast and different. It's going to be a book with interesting surprises.
CHARLES BEACHAM: One of the big things that we'll see, the big changes for the Inhumans in Secret Warriors is, with the Royals, the "grown-ups," leaving the earth; these kids have to grow up really quick. So there's a need for someone to step up and to look after the greater-Inhuman interest, and that's where these kids figure out, "You know what? No one else is going to do it. It's our world now. We have to figure this out." So that's going to be a big paradigm shift for them and I think that's going to be something really fun for younger readers and older readers to look at and to relate to.
Are there any plans for a general story arc like Civil War II for the Inhumans, or are you primarily focused on the individual series at the moment?
CHARLES BEACHAM: Marvel's always looking for crossover stuff. So, expect that the Inhumans will continue to play a role in those crossovers and those events as always. Yeah.
For people are just getting into the series or who've only read a little about them, what can they expect out from Inhumans ResurreXion? What will set these new books apart from what we've seen in the past?
CHARLES BEACHAM: Prime is going to be this great kick-off that's going to provide a little taste of what all three are going to be like. That's something that all three have going for them. They're each kind of distinct from the other one and they're not really like any book you've seen before. The Royals book is going to feature a lot of the characters you know but in a situation and a setting that's totally different. It's like Mad Max in space, to a degree. We've got this Black Bolt book that's – I don't even know what to call it – just a prison book is underselling it. It's something that's almost a new genre we're creating right there. The Secret Warriors book is just going to be a really excellent superhero team book. It's going to be in the mold of Claremont and Byrne on X-Men, Perez and Wolfman's Teen Titans. It's something that's going to be swinging for the fences in terms of being a really great, fun, adventurous team book.
Are you excited about the creative teams working on the series?
WIL MOSS: We're really thrilled to have a great creative roster across all of them, especially on the art end. We're thrilled to have Ryan Sook - who hasn't done Marvel in years - so he's coming over to draw the Prime book and it looks gorgeous. Jonboy Meyers is turning in some amazing pages. He's done these great redesigns for the whole cast, they look just like Inhumans but it's something totally fresh and different. Javier Garron, we're thrilled to have him onboard for the Secret Warriors book, he's just a superstar that is ready to be treated as such. And Christian Ward on Black Bolt is just, page after page of mind-melting imagery. He's something else, and we're incredibly lucky to have him on this book. It's going to be a great looking line of books, if nothing else.
Sounds like you've got some top-notch artists lined up for the Inhumans ResurreXion. Was there any kind of style you aiming for with these books?
CHARLES BEACHAM: We tried to craft an art style for each of the different books, tonally. Jonboy Meyers has an incredibly distinct style that really suits a way to refresh these characters that we've had for a good chunk of time – to look at them in a different way, because his art style is so crazy and exciting. We needed something incredible for the Black Bolt series to suit the bizarre world that Saladin Ahmed has built for this series, so Christian was a great fit. Javier, like we said, he's the next thing. He can tell any kind of story you need him to. He's got a range for characters from bad guys to villains, too young to old – he knows every aspect of any story you throw at him. We're just trying, on each of these books, to find the artistic voice for what we were going for, and luckily enough, we were able to score it.
Speaking of Black Bolt, fans of the Inhuman king learned something unusual about him in Uncanny Inhumans, when Auran discovered that he was speaking gutturally. Will that development play a role in his solo series going forward?
CHARLES BEACHAM: The Black Bolt series is starting from a whole new place that's going to be doing its own thing. That story will be wrapped up in Uncanny Inhumans. You'll definitely want to check out the next issue and see what happens to Auran and Black Bolt there. But I will tell you there are some really awesome surprises coming up. As Wil alluded to, we're putting him in this crazy situation and it's going to be really exciting. I think it's really cool how these stories all came together and the twist and turns that they all individually take – and how they affect each other as we go out over the next six months and the next year of books. Definitely got some surprises to look forward to, some really cool stuff with Black Bolt, specifically.
Thanks ever so much to Marvel, especially Wil Moss, Charles Beacham, and Joe Taraborrelli for taking time out of their busy schedules to discuss the exciting next chapter of the Inhumans saga.
Inhumans ResurreXion, featuring Inhumans Prime, Black Bolt, Secret Warriors, and the Royals arrive next Spring.
Black Bolt designs by Christian Ward.