Warning! SPOILERS ahead for Marvel’s Inhumans!
It’s no secret Marvel’s Inhumans didn’t exactly light the box office on fire with a (black) bolt of lightning. The first two episodes of Marvel and ABC’s eight episode event series premiered in IMAX theaters over Labor Day weekend and grossed an estimated $1.5-million at the box office. The reviews have not been kind and it all begs the question of how fans will receive Inhumans when the series properly debuts on ABC on Friday, September 29th. While Inhumans found the interest largely wasn’t there for fans to venture to their local IMAX theaters and pay to see “The First Chapter” of the series during the long holiday weekend, the fortunes of the series could turn around when it’s on free television, though the negative buzz surrounding Inhumans certainly works against it.
Inhumans wouldn’t be a Marvel property without one of the famous trademarks of the brand – an end-credits scene. One wouldn’t necessarily expect that the next six episodes of Inhumans would require a tease, but this is Marvel we’re talking about. For those who attend Inhumans in IMAX, sticking through the credits does result in the expected tag that teases something more to come, though the brief scene is essentially a reversal of one of the major character moments in “The First Chapter.”
To set it all up, Maximus (Iwan Rheon), who is both brother to the Inhumans’ king Black Bolt (Anson Mount) and a human – meaning that he underwent Terrigenesis but it revealed that he possessed no superhuman powers – decided to undertake a coup on the Royal Family. Maximus is a revolutionary who draws popular support from the Lower Castes, who are, like himself, Inhumans who also manifested no powers nor transformations after undergoing Terrigenesis. To help his takeover of the Inhumans’ throne, Maximus also gets members of the Royal Guard to serve his interests, chief among them Auran (Sonya Balmores), the Inhumans’ deadliest assassin.
Auran is right by Maximus’ side when he executes his plan: he attacks Queen Medusa (Serinda Swan) and shaves her long, red prehensile hair, which is her Inhuman power. Luckily, Lockjaw, the Inhumans’ teleporting dog is there to help Black Bolt, Karnak (Ken Leung), Gorgon (Ewe Ikwuakor), and Medusa escape the Inhuman’s city on the moon, Attilan, though they become scattered throughout Oahu, Hawaii. Maximus places the princess Crystal (Isabelle Cornish) under house arrest, and then subdues Lockjaw so he can’t help any more Inhumans escape Attilan.
However, the Royal Family banished to Oahu all try to rendezvous with each other, and primarily with their king, Black Bolt. Medusa in particular maintains regular contact with Black Bolt via their commlinks, which Maximus is able to monitor. While Black Bolt is lost in downtown Honolulu and runs afoul of the police, Medusa finds herself on a bus tour group of the Diamond Head Crater trying to get back to the city and reunite with Black Bolt. To prevent this, Maximus sends Auran to Earth to eliminate Medusa.
Even though she doesn’t have her hair anymore, Medusa proves she’s still formidable and she is ready for Auran. When Auran arrives in Oahu and finds the bus that Medusa was on, she murders the bus driver before Medusa attacks her. Auran is the better hand-to-hand combatant and beats Medusa bloody in their parking lot fight, until Medusa produces a knife and seemingly kills Auran by stabbing her to death. Medusa covers Auran’s body with a tarp and escapes.
The post-credits scene reverses this result, however. Up until this point, the audience didn’t actually know what Auran’s Inhuman power was. She was a killer who used weapons, along with her hand-to-hand prowess, but she hadn’t displayed any particular superpowers. We finally learn what Auran can do when she revives following her “death,” revealing that her Inhuman power is a healing factor, like Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman). Auran then contacts Maximus after coming back to life. It’s a very quick, anti-climactic moment not necessarily worth sitting through all of the end credits for, but as Auran was probably the coolest of the female Inhumans we meet in the series, it’s a positive thing for the series to not be robbed of her so soon.
In the comics, Auran is also a member of the Attilan Security Force, but she is an enemy of Maximus and her powers are very different. The comic book version of Auran is fittingly named because of her parabolic hearing powers. Auran has the ability to choose any word and then hear that word spoken anywhere in the world, including its location, which makes her an invaluable tracker. Still, that’s an awfully strange power, and it’s understandable why Inhumans showrunner Scott Buck (Iron Fist season 1) opted instead to give Auran a power more familiar to Marvel fans, even though its also derivative.
The Inhumans TV series may have changed her powers, but it also homages the comics because Auran died there too. However, comic book Auran died heroically saving a fellow Inhuman. She hasn’t been resurrected like the television Auran immediately was. As one of the three main female Inhumans in the series, Auran may be too valuable a character to immediately write off, but her resurrection does serve to immediately cheapen death in the series. It remains to be seen what role Auran has yet to play in the greater story of the Royal Family’s struggle to regain control of Attilan from Maximus.
Marvel’s Inhumans is in IMAX theaters now and premieres on ABC @ 9pm on September 29th.
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