First, let me preface this article by saying that the contents are my own opinion. Everyone is passionate about certain things, especially comics, and is entitled to their own opinion. Not everyone will agree with me and that’s okay. My intent is not to push my opinion on anyone. I’d be very open to discussing this article’s topic further with anyone. Second, this is a warning that this article does have some spoilers, especially if you have not read Death of the Inhumans.
The Inhumans History
The products of Kree experimentation on early humans. They were first introduced in Fantastic Four #45, although Medusa appeared earlier (FF #36). The Inhuman’s Royal Family quickly became close friends and allies of the Fantastic Four. The Inhumans were a staple of many issues of the FF until they got their own series in 1975. After that, they would receive several mini-series telling a myriad of stories from isolation on Earth to the far reaches of space, until they reached what I consider their zenith – rulers of the Kree Empire (Secret Invasion: War of Kings #1). From here, we witness their destructive war with the Shi’ar, their return to Earth, and the boom of their numbers after Black Bolt detonated the Terrigen Bomb. This decision leads to conflict with the X-Men and to sum it all up…we finally arrive at the final insult – The Death of the Inhumans.
As you can no doubt ascertain from the title of this article, I was not a fan of Death of the Inhumans. This article is not meant to be insulting to writer Donny Cates. Aside from this series, I do enjoy his work. However, I felt this series was an insult to the characters and had no direction. It comes across as rushed and has no real purpose other than killing off several key characters: Lockjaw, Crystal, Maximus, Triton, and Ronan the Accuser. Additionally, this series seems to permanently de-power Black Bolt’s destructive voice. While Lockjaw and Crystal turn out to still be alive, the other repercussions of the series remain. In my eyes, this series is just the culmination of years of mishandling and bungling by Marvel. It’s like the brass over at Marvel said, “We’re pushing X-Men back out there in November and have to get rid of the Inhumans as quickly as possible. We don’t care how.” Then followed by, “Character deaths always sell. Just kill a bunch of them off.”
The Inhumans were pushed to the forefront of the Marvel Universe and basically marketed as the replacements of the X-Men/mutants. This was done so the actual X-Men could be half-put in the storage closet due to Marvel/Disney’s cold war with Fox. Marvel executives would tell us otherwise, but we all know that this was true. There were too many similarities between the Inhumans and mutants, especially after the Terrigen Bomb went off and created hundreds of new Inhumans.
Yet this infusion of fresh content and characters was not even the best time in the history of the characters. I would wager that the best time would be during the time they took over the Kree Empire. The entire race now had a true purpose: working side by side with their progenitors and ruled by the Royal Family. There was so much potential here, potential for more mini-series or even an ongoing, before AND after the War of Kings story-line. However, Marvel could not maintain the momentum the Inhumans, or even their entire cosmic line had created and they went off in a new direction…again. There have been beacons of light when it came to these characters, but they have been few and far between (Inhumans vol. 2, Black Bolt’s inclusion in the Illuminati, Infinity, Black Bolt’s solo series).
On top of all this, there was the proposed Inhumans movie that stalled and eventually became a failed television series. The Inhumans show was a disaster. There is no other word that accurately sums it up. It was doomed from the very first episode. The character designs were poorly done, the plot was incredibly weak, and even the choice of actors was not well thought out. The show was so bad that it didn’t even get a full season – only 8 episodes. The only bright point was Lockjaw because he’s such a good boy in any form of media that he’s in.
So now after decades of half-hearted story-lines and new directions, we come full circle back to Death of the Inhumans. Some of the post T-Bomb new Inhumans are still on Earth and in comic limbo with the occasional character appearing randomly. The Royal Family has gone off the grid and probably back into the comic storm cellar where they resided off and on for years. The end result is a blunder of epic proportions. We have these great recurring characters in the Inhumans and Marvel just can’t seem to get anything right with them or if they do, they don’t stick with it.
Now that Marvel purchased Fox’s movie and television division, the X-Men are back in the spotlight and the Inhumans are going back in the storage closet in the worst way possible – death. Hopefully one day a writer will come in and smile upon these great characters and give fans the stories that they deserve.
Well, that’s it. I’ll just get off my soapbox now and get ready for everyone to tell me that my opinion sucks. Haha.